Where on earth did 2016 go? It is nearly time to start school again already!
I swear it still only feels like November, yet here we are in mid way through January already. Right now, while I am writing this, I am off sailing the South Pacific Islands enjoying a well earned holiday. But not before I have put a few things in place. At least then, the back to school transition will run smoothly when we return.
This post is the first of a three part series that I was asked to participate in. I would like to thank Hailey from Organise It All for asking me to take part in her back to school series. And for sharing her first step earlier this week. I really hope that these posts add some value to you.
Our systems and needs will be very different from each other, simply because of the differing ages or our children. But this in no way means that either of us will be less organised than the other.
A few simple steps taken in advance can really save all of the hassle of the last minute run around the day before school goes back.
Scheduling & Routines
The first part of this series is how we organise our family’s schedules and routines, and I must say for me, this is becoming a little easier to organise, but a lot more hectic to keep up with.
My son, Zac, is starting Year 10 this year. YEAR 10!!! It just doesn’t seem possible.
He attends a school where his main course of study, outside of the core subjects, is in the field of Technical Production, Sound and Lighting. He is very fortunate to have already found himself a job at a well known and highly respected lighting company. Zac works there during the holidays, and is quite often required to work on school shows both at school and outside of school.
For us, this requires a high level of organisation and communication to ensure that he is able to be where he needs to be, when he needs to be there. Add to that already busy mix, a HSC course that he is starting a year early, and offsite at a TAFE Campus, and I am thinking that we are not going to have time to scratch ourselves this year.
Moving towards digital organisation
Our household is very quickly becoming a digital household. Both Zac and I are very computer literate and both of us spend way too much time on computers. And whilst we need to work on that, it is actually a blessing in disguise when it comes to organisation.
For us, a digital calendar is a much better approach to our planning and scheduling. We always have it on us, (neither of us would ever be caught out without our phones!) and we can quickly add, edit or remove appointments, etc, on the run.
I still use my calendars, which you can find here, at home on my fridge, and mostly this is for a quick glance at upcoming commitments and for my husband who is not quite as digitally reliant as us.
School Digital Diary
The school is starting this year with a digital diary, that the parents can access so we can see any homework that has been set, upcoming assessment tasks or exams, and any other notes or changes that are being made.
Zac is quite often pulled out of his Tech class to do the set up for assemblies, shows, open days, etc, which of course all forms part of that class, but this is noted in the diary. If a teacher wants to let us know that he didn’t complete his homework, that is noted in the diary. And Zac himself, sets up events for anything he has upcoming and sends me an invitation. That’s right… he sends me an invitation to drive him to a show an hour from home, wait around for four hours, then drive him home again. Very considerate, isn’t he?? LOL.
So, with all of the calendars now covered, that leaves the rest of my scheduling to share.
On the Agenda Today
My to do list will remain the same. I really like using the “What’s on the Agenda Today” sheet that I designed, and possibly in the future I will digitise this. But right now the hard copy works for me. It has space for my to-do’s, things to do while I am out, things to pick up and more. You can download a copy of this here.
My cleaning schedules are also still working for me. Though right now, I must say I am absolutely loving having Ryan come to my stateroom and make beds, wash towels and run the vacuum through daily, however he is not too keen to come home with us to continue.
I designed a very simple sheet that I laminate and keep handy. Up the top are my daily tasks and down the bottom are weekly tasks. There are checkboxes for a week at a time in the daily section and a month at a time in the weekly section. Each Sunday after I have filled in the daily section I simply wipe it clean and start over on Monday. And likewise once I have finished using the weekly section.
This eliminates the need to keep printing new sheets each week, and if you happen to miss a task one week, you know that is the first place to start the next week. Pick up your free copy of my Cleaning Schedule here.
The last part of my scheduling and routines is my little Command Centre. It has been an absolute lifesaver when it comes to bills and paperwork.
I am not going to go into too much detail here, as I will be doing a post on this in the future. But I will give you a quick run through of how I use it.
This is a very simple desk organiser that I have folders in to keep track of all important documents.
There are folders to:
- To Do
There is also one file for each family member and one for school, along with one for each of the bigger projects that are happening at that time. For example, there was one for the cruise, and one for my dance competitions.
How it works
As bills come in I diarise when they are due and set a reminder on my digital calendar. They are then put in the To Pay folder until that time comes. Once a bill has been paid it goes in either the To File, To Scan or To Shred folders.
If it is important enough to scan, it is then filed in my Dropbox folder with password protection and the physical bill goes in the To Shred folder. I have very little now that I deem to be important enough to actually keep a hard copy. Only things like mortgage documents, immunization records, house deeds, etc now make it to the file box.
Things that need to be done, something like following up on a incorrect bill or paperwork to be completed, goes in my to do file. Once completed, it is either scanned, filed or shred.
The individual files we have is pretty much for paperwork that doesn’t necessarily require action but isn’t ready to go away. Or more realistically, paperwork I want off my desk that the husband and son have not finished with!!!
And lastly the school folder is for upcoming events, permission slips, canteen menus, everything except schoolwork. I also include assessments and exams so I can keep an eye on due dates.
Once a week I go through each folders and complete as much as I can.
So that is pretty much it. I have so much more to share with you so make sure you check back next week for Part 2. And make sure you don’t miss out on the post from Organise it All later this week, where Hailey will share how she stays on top of her Schedules and Routines.