Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

An organized family

Posted October 3, 2010

Getting organized is no easy task, especially when you are a busy mom! Recently I put some time aside to get serious about keeping track of our family's schedule.

There are homework assignments, soccer games, early release days, wear red shirt days and all sorts of things that don't seem important on their own. Add them all up and you'll drive yourself mad. Someone has to keep track!

So I went shopping for the perfect three-ring binder and index tabs. I decided that for a few dollars I could save my sanity.

Each tab has a child's name attached to it. Additional tabs are for extracurricular activities and miscellaneous items. I bought a three-hole punch so I could put important paperwork inside.

Then I created a master calendar on my computer and filled it in with everything from gym days to project deadlines and field trips and put those in the binder. Any family member can pick the binder up and know what the day's schedule is. I created three months worth of calendars. And I wrote in pencil because no matter what -- when you have three children -- things are constantly changing!

It sounds overboard, right? I don't care. I thought for awhile I was going to lose my mind keeping track of which child needed gym shoes on Monday and which day I was responsible for soccer team snacks. Now, I feel a little more in control of my life.

It's a slice of heaven and I did it for under 15 bucks at an office supply store. To every other parent out there feeling overwhelmed: save yourself. Get organized any way you can. And if you have any good ideas please send them my way!

Aysu is the mom of three kids and assistant news director for WRAL-TV.


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  • howdiditgettothis Oct 4, 2010

    For home organizing, I love my label maker, plastic storage trays/bins of all sizes, dry erase sheets (you can buy a large easel size pack of 10 for less than $10 at Office Depot), and Wallies Chalk board decals.

    For younger children's items, those wooden racks with open plastic colorful bins were so easy for keeping toys up, but accessible.

    I use a large sized desk calendar for event planning. I also prefer paper for keeping track of when I'm asked to do something, being able to say "Let me check my calendar" also gives me time to decide whether there is truly time for another commitment.

  • Killian Oct 4, 2010

    We used a white board calendar with different color markers for each person. Worked wonders, with easy editing/cleanup. The chore chart shifts each semester with new sports seasons and such, so that's a quick Excel spreadsheet, also color coded, that's printed and put on the fridge. That way, everyone in the house can know what is expected of them on any given day.

  • elliesmom Oct 4, 2010

    We use a large erasable chalk board calendar (actually a HUGE sticker) we bought from Pottery Barn Teen. It is awesome. Each family member has a different color chalk marker and we can all see how the month looks by walking into the kitchen. I do use a binder to keep all the school and activity calendars that come home. My daughter loves adding her activities to the big calendar--I hope this translates into some later love of organizing :-)

  • bjgupton Oct 4, 2010

    It's great to be organized because we all have a lot to keep up with, so teach your children to organize themselves. With a little discipline and consistency, they can learn to take care of their own needs for school and also learn not to depend on Mom to remember. They may forget things, but that will help them to remember the next time, especially if Mom doesn't rescue them. It's okay to rescue on occasion, cause that is a Mom's priority, but they will only learn if they have to deal with the consequences of forgetting.

  • no more - no less Oct 3, 2010

    I use a computer software calendar with a different color code for each family member. It makes life so much easier.

  • snowl Oct 3, 2010

    I love organization in any way shape or form. It sure beats hunting for something or forgetting something. Your home also "looks" cleaner because everything is in it's proper place. Busy Mom's should also be prepared to say the N word.....No. I'm very good at that, (in a nice way of course:-)

  • HapiApiGirl Oct 3, 2010

    I so love my three ring binder...tried the cool PDA route, but there is something about tangible paper that really makes me feel organized. There are so many great add ons like zipper pouches that help me keep receipts for returns, etc. I take my binder everywhere!!! Love it! Glad you are all organized!