This summer, I’ve been taking it easy. I’ve scaled back my menu planning to as simple as possible, I’ve been taking it easy here on the blog, and I’ve left some of my home organizing projects for later. It’s been wonderful enjoying summer playing with my toddlers, spending time with my husband, and with my nose in some fabulous books.
But. I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. I think it’s imperative to take some time off now and then to relax, enjoy those baby cuddles, and sit on the couch for a few hours and read. But. There’s something about an organized schedule that can actually give you so much freedom.
While there is such a thing as being so scheduled that you are ruled by your day planner and get frazzled if one thing gets off – there is also such a thing as living in complete chaos from a totally unorganized schedule!
Living in the Middle
I’ve learned throughout the years, that there has to be a happy medium – between stressed out and frazzled mom who lets her schedule rule her life and the stressed out and frazzled mom who lives moment to moment in total and pure chaos because there is no structure what so ever.
Maybe it’s because I’m a messy at heart (although I suspect most women need to live more in this happy middle ground) but for most of my time, I need to walk this balance of order and scheduling in my life while at the same time leaving room for the messiness that is life sometimes and spontaneity (especially with little kids).
Summer has been a wonderful time to throw out the schedule all together and just enjoy life out in the sunshine but as the new school year approaches, Bible studies are starting up again, new Sunday school classes start, and most of us have to start sticking to new schedules and routines…it’s time to get back into the swing of things.
Getting Back into the Swing of Routine
So this month, I’m getting back into the swing of my routine – and I’m so excited to get some schedule back in my life! If you just need to get back into routine, or get ready for school to start, here are some tips on how to use a planner to get back into a routine.
Sue Hooley, author of my very favorite planner, shares her secrets for creating a manageable back to school routine. As a busy mother of five kids (ages 21 to 5 years old), Sue has plenty of awesome advice to share with me on how she manages a household and how using a daily planner is an essential step in effective homemaking.
Develop a Solid Morning Routine
A good morning routine can really help get your morning off to a good start. It’s amazing how productive I am when my morning is started off right! When sharing about her kids chore routines, Sue shares, “I make one schedule for the summer and another one for the school months (I try not to have jobs that exceed 20 minutes for school mornings)”. Here is a sample of what Sue’s schedule looks like for summer. I just love that the five year old has pictures for his chores.
If your kids are starting school again soon (whether public school, private, or homeschool) planning ahead gets especially important. As I share in my video below, I use my planner as my primary meal planner. I track breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and any hospitality meals I have.
This allows me to plan ahead and make breakfasts and lunches once a month and freeze them or do them over the weekend. It really helps me to free up time during my busy week and I imagine that when we are homeschooling, having pre-prepared food will really help take the pressure off our days.
Write Down Everything
Sometimes, I feel so overwhelmed with all the different things that I have to handle each week, that I am going to drop the ball on something and forget to do it. I try to combat this with writing everything down in my planner.
I’ve written meal plans, shopping lists, to-do lists and more on different pieces of paper or in different notebooks and I end up losing during the week! How helpful is that? With one central planner, I can keep all of these things in one handy place that I can take with me in my purse to the store or where ever I need to go.
Having a planner with all of this helps me to feel like I have my homemaking command center all in one place!
My absolute favorite planner, the Homemaker’s Friend Daily Planner, is on sale right now for $12.99!! And while supplies last, when you buy the 2015 edition of the planner, you get 2014’s FREE! This means each planner is less then $6.50. And you have five months left to use the 2014 planner.
See What’s Inside
I’ve shared about this planner before, and I’ve had a lot of people ask exactly why I like it so much. So I dove into the planner and shared each section! Leave me a comment if you have any questions. (Also, here are my tips for using a planner and homemaking)