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Home Organizing Tip #2
The Central Calendar

Home Organizing tip #2 deals with the central calendar. With the busy lifestyles that we lead these days, I find it absolutely essential to have some sort of central calendar that the whole family can look at and add to.

Over the years my method had changed.  I've used binders, large wall calendars, bulletin boards, bullet journals and spiral bound calendars.  All have served a useful purpose and have worked at different stages in our lives.

In my house I have a 2" binder that sits on the desk in my kitchen. For each week I have a calendar page on the right side and a note keeping page on the left side. This sits open on my desk all the time. I got this idea a long time ago from a little booklet by Diane Hopkins and it has been a life saver! I've adapted it slightly to fit my needs.

The Binder Method

The first organizing method I used was a 2" binder that sat on the desk in my kitchen. Each week I had a calendar page on the right side and a note keeping page on the left side. It would sit open on my desk all the time. I got this idea a long time ago from a little booklet by Diane Hopkins and it has been a life saver! I've adapted it slightly to fit my needs.

The calendar is the main section of my notebook. After that, I had several other sections marked off by notebook dividers.

  • The next section is where I kept all the blank copies of my grocery lists. This maked it easy to add to the list throughout the week.
  • An essential part of home organizing is being able to find things when you need them. Therefore, an important section in my binder was the one where I kept all of our newsletters and schedules from the different clubs and groups we were in. This way I would know exactly where they were and could reference them when I needed to.
  • The next section was where I kept a list of phone numbers that I might need, but that don't necessarily need to make it into my address book.
  • Another section kept those handy lists of tips you get in emails all the time. I knew I'd never remember all of the neat ideas, so I would print them out and stick them in my binder for future reference.
  • I had other sections for church related information as well as a section where I kept non-homeschooling information that we might need.

The nice thing about using a binder was that I could add or change sections whenever I needed to. It was also easy to take with me to planning meetings and the like.

The Wall Calendar

The next house we moved to didn't have room for me to lay my binder out so I decided to try a large wall calendar.  You could also use this in addition to the binder method as it would work well if your binder needs to be located in a room other than your kitchen.  You may not be able to take a wall calendar with you if you need to, but at least everyone will be able to see the activities that are scheduled for the month.

As the kids grew up and became involved in their own activities and work schedules, I designated a spot on the calendar for each child to write down their activities or work hours.  I've known other families that designate a certain color pencil/pen for each member of the family to write their information down so it is easy to see who is busy and who isn't.

The Digital Calendar and
Bullet Journal

Since my husband, myself and some of our older children now have smart phones, I've tried an online family calendar.  This is definitely handy when I am out of the house and need to make an appointment.  The downside is that I now have a lot of calendars to mark things on and inevitably I forget to put an appointment/event on one of the calendars.  They are all handy, you just have to remember to keep them all updated!

When I got into direct sales, I went back to the old spiral bound calendar.  Wow, the dark ages, but you know what?  I actually like having a calendar that I can carry with me and write all kinds of notes and things on. I use that, my phone and the central wall calendar currently.  That's three calendars to synchronize, but it seems to be the best method for me right now.

The newest thing to hit the organizing market it the bullet journal.  There are all kinds of books and online tutorials that show you how to set up a bullet journal.  If you like to be creative and artsy, this might be a good fir for you.  Me? Not so much. Mine ended up being boring and after awhile I thought it was too much work so I just went back to my spiral bound calendar.

No matter what home organizing method you use, you should have some sort of centrally located calendar that the whole family can see. It will allow everyone to keep up on activities and they won't always have to ask you what is going on that day.

Home organizing is essential for keeping the busy home school family on track and anything you can do to make that easier is definitely worth the time and effort.

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