Running a household is a major undertaking. Couple that feat with demands of running a business or working your career and you can easily go stir crazy. With a husband and three girls, all under the age 10, and 3 companies, I know what it is like to helplessly feel like your world is spinning out of control. I used to find myself in a frenzy trying to manage my home, my family and my work obligations until I realized that I was going to have to run my home just like I ran my businesses – intentionally. You are going to have to get intentional and organized for your household to run smoothly.
Here are 5 small steps that will help you tremendously as you endeavor to bring your world back into order:
1. Share Calendars – You probably share calendars at work with your co-workers and supervisors. It makes it easy to see who’s available, when they’re available and where they need to be. So why don’t you have one for your family?! When we added this option to our family structure, things flowed so smoothly. My husband and I can both see each other’s obligations, as well as where the kids need to be right on our phones.
If you are currently using Gmail for your email provider, it’s simple to set up. Just open your calendar and ‘add a friend’s calendar’.
2. Create a To-Do List – I am probably a little list crazy because I create one for everything, but they are really your best friend on the quest to creating order in your life. The great thing about to-do lists is that when you actually get to cross something off, it is the most gratifying and motivating feeling ever!
I use old school, handwritten lists as well as electronic applications. Both options work just fine. However, a couple of my favorite apps for creating to-do lists are Asana and Evernote.
Also Related: 3 Apps to Keep You and Your Family Healthy
3. Set-up an Information Station – In my home, this is a cork bulletin board in my kitchen. This board houses important papers about upcoming events, activities, meetings and is separated according to each child. When there is a question about the details of a particular happening, we refer to the board. Be sure to keep your station organized by periodically trashing outdated items.
4. Shift Responsibility – As your children grow older, start making them responsible for keeping up with their individual schedules and preparing for those obligations. My 8-year-old is solely responsible for ensuring that her dance attire is packed and ready on the night before practice. This small requirement saves me both time and sanity!
The only caveat to shifting the responsibility is that you want to be sure that you are giving your children realistic tasks to handle. Otherwise, you will find that it will only stress both you and your child out because they are incapable of performing what you have requested.
5. Go with the Flow – When it’s all said and done, just relax and go with the flow. Even with all the planning in the world and following these steps to a tee, there is still going to be room for mishaps. That’s fine! Give yourself (and your family) room for those mishaps. After all, what matters most are the people that you are with, not the systems that are not working properly!
How do you keep your busy household running smoothly?