December 22, 2016

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A Family Binder & A Weekly Meeting For Organized Chaos

October 17, 2017

My Real Life Morning Event: My son threw up in the living room, the other one dropped a glass of juice on the floor. While I was cleaning all that up the cat ate my cereal.

 

Most weekday mornings are insane without scrambling to find all the necessary paper work to start the day. If you hate the paper search or simply just forget about it, you may find a Family Binder beneficial. Setting up the binder won’t take much time and will allow you to divide the family into sections and keep everything together. 

 

Follow along and I’ll show you how easy it is.

First, you will need a binder, this can be any size depending how much you will keep in it. You will also need page dividers, I like the ones with pockets because when I’m in a hurry I may not punch holes and then I lose that paper. Optional items would be a 3 hole punch, a three-ring pencil case (beats looking for a pen all the time) and trading card pockets for storing business cards of all the businesses you may frequent and need a phone number for. Choose any other pockets or dividers you may require.

 

Next, decide if you want fancy pintables or if you will just use everyday lined paper in each section. I have pinned a selection of free printables at

https://www.pinterest.com/studio9kelowna/family-binder/

I am using printables for this example. Thanks to all the awesome bloggers for their designs!

 

I gave each kid their own section; this is where we kept any invitations, papers that need signing or returned to schools or after school activities. Each kid also had a contact list with all his or her friends phone numbers. This way if I couldn’t find or contact them I at least had number of their friends I could call to start the search. This is less of a problem with kids that have cell phones, but even those die occasionally. Parents, you should have a section too. I was surprised at how many pieces of papers I ended up storing in that thing and my kids always had my contacts if needed.

 

When my kids were growing up, I operated a home daycare and was also a single Mom raising 3 boys who were going off in all directions… Super busy! My favourite thing I picked up, along the way, was “The Family Meeting”. At first it sounded kind of cheesy, but we tried it and it was awesome, if for no other reason than to help with the meal planning. The 3 boys and I sat down after dinner every Sunday and had a quick 20 -30 minute meeting. We were able to discuss any issues that had happened during the week or air any grievances they had without being in the heat of a moment (it couldn’t be a gripe session though), plan fun activities, delegate chores, plan on visiting Grandparents or friends and working out extra curricular activity schedules. It was at one of these meeting I learned my middle child felt that I ignored him. Turned out it wasn’t just a feeling. I did ignore him. The oldest child or myself was always the Chairperson, the person who decides who speaks next (parents, remember this is not your time to lecture and you should not be holding the floor for more than a few minutes) and someone has to be secretary and take notes. Always keep your meetings upbeat. The best part of the meeting was the dinner idea sheet.

 

 

 

 

Everyone had to help choose meals for the week! As every parent knows, coming up with 7 dinners in a week is a pain and then throw in all those bagged lunches and suddenly popcorn begins to seem like an excellent option for every meal.

This meal plan made grocery shopping less stressful too. I knew what I had to prepare for and I didn’t just wander the store aisle mindlessly throwing in whatever looked good. As the kids got older they started sharing recipes they found online and I let them help cook more.

Use a printable for your meal plans or write it all out and keep it in your binder under the meals tabs.

 

That is a basic start and all I ever used, but there are things you can add if you wanted too. Cleaning schedules, budgets, bill trackers, etc.  Have fun with it and make it your own!

Have a look at my sample!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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