"Mombrain." It is real! Some say the clarity returns six or seven years after giving birth. Some say never. Gah!!! How is one to cope?
Yes, we live in the digital age but apps and phone reminders just don’t cut it to keep me organized, so I had to get creative. After many attempts at trying to keep my husband aware of the day to day commitments, I think I finally found a winning combination. I gathered inspiration from Pinterest and threw in some original ideas to create a "Command Center" that works for our family. I’m sure it will need to be updated many times over as our needs change with growing children, but I wanted to share this version.
If you're new to this concept the basic idea is a visual board that engages your family in chaos control. This can include a calendar (weekly or monthly), grocery list, meal planning, chore charts, weather updates, whatever is helpful for you and your family. My daughter is a little too young for some of this, so I'll add to it down the road. I also incorporated a quick and easy way to sort through the mail and get all that junk off of my dining room table. Here's how I devised my organization system.
1) Organize the Clutter
Take back your kitchen counters and table with a simple shelving unit. I searched an L-O-N-G time for this perfect solution! It has a small shelf (for calendar board accessories- see below), two compartments, and 3 small hooks. I use one compartment for paperwork that needs to be tended to, i.e. future appointments, r.s.v.p.s to invitations, school registration forms, etc. The other I use for bills. Separating my bills and keeping them up and away from my threenager has made life easier on both of us! The hooks are great to hang keys or in my case my husband's hats. It's right at the top of our entryway, so I've almost broken him of putting his hat on the kitchen table or counter. Almost!
2) GO BIG!
I had a smaller whiteboard calendar placed in the kitchen for years and I can’t even count how many arguments my husband and I had about it. No matter what I did he would still text, call, and ask me in person (inside our house) what the plans were for the day/week. It was enough to pull my hair out! I didn’t understand what I was missing but I did know that it was tough to fit everything on that small board. So I searched and searched... and now I'm in love! So much so that I mounted it on a piece of foam board and ordered a separate frame to ensure it would stand the test of time.
This board was everything I was looking for, re-usable, large, and compartmentalized.
3) Use Color
I am such a visual person, so being able to distinguish who's activity is who's quickly is clutch! For example, I used green for family events/joint activities on this board.
4) Incorporate Meal Planning
Make recipe cards that include the list of ingredients and use them to plan out meals for the week before generating your grocery list. This takes a little effort up front but will save you so much time in the long run.
Create recipe cards.
Cut lined paper into 3" x 4" rectangles (I just made lines in a word document), then laminate the pieces. If you don't have access to a laminator, Staples and most office supply stores can provide this service relatively cheap.
Cut out cards and adhere velcro to back side.
Write out your recipes/meal plan.
I used a permanent marker (for those recipes I know won't change) and dry erase one for everything else.
Boom, making your grocery list just got ten times easier! Plus no more trying to figure out what to make when you first get home or realizing mid-way through cooking you're out of a key ingredient.
The board above has two sections adjacent to the calendar portion. I use the larger section for upcoming events and appointments outside of the calendar's timeframe. The other section is working well for grocery items since most of my list is taken care of on the recipe cards. It also eliminates the half-completed grocery lists from my kitchen counter. Win!
Hope these suggestions help you stay on top of all your activities, appointments, events, important paperwork and bills! How do you curb "mombrain" to stay on top of everything? I'd love to hear from you in the comments. Thanks for reading!
Looking for more tips on managing the chaos? Check out How To Be A Well Rested Mom and 3 Timesaving Tips For Making Healthy Dinners!
Hi! I'm Nicki, a full time working Mama in a fast-paced male dominated industry. I blog for a creative outlet and to help moms like you make this parenting journey a little easier!
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