This morning Big was running around the house shouting, “We don’t have anything to do today! We can do whatever we want!”
Of course he had school, but that wasn’t what he meant. What he meant was that there was nothing on the calendar this afternoon. His excitement? Well it was a sign of two things, I think. One, that we’re over-scheduled. He was seriously thrilled at the idea of nothing. Two, that having a calendar out for the entire family to see has made a real difference in our house (of control freaks).
Yes, for the past couple weeks, I’ve been using Erin Condren’s new FUNctional Family system. (And if you aren’t familiar with Erin Condren, feast your eyes on this site. This company creates beautifully designed stationary, planners, iPhone cases — and much more.) Not only is the system really attractive, which is a bonus, but we’ve honestly found it to be so helpful for our family. As you know, I’m the queen of missed appointments and forgotten parties. It’s not a crown I wear with pride. It’s just that I have multiple calendars going — work, social, school — and sometimes I forget to check them all. Having this wall-hanging planner in our kitchen has forced me to write things down, right away.
I must admit, I thought it would be a help for Lenny to be able to plan for our busy evenings and weekends, but I had no idea how important it would be for Big. As a kid who has trouble with transitions, being able to start the day knowing what’s coming has been so empowering to him. And it’s helped me not have to answer the constant nagging of, “What are we doing today?”
You know what else it’s helped me do? Not miss things. Amazing, right?
Here are the cool features:
• You can get either a chore tracker or a calendar to clip on the left-hand side. While I got both, I’ve decided to use the calendar in the kitchen and may use the chore chart in the boys room when we tackle making chores/allowance a part of our routine. Which is going to be soon…very soon. (You can also get reward cards for the chore portion, but I didn’t. Worth checking out on the site though!)
• While the calendar is weekly, I’ve decided to draw lines myself so I can see a couple weeks out. I leave about 1/2 for the current week, then break the bottom half into two more columns to write in two more weeks. This way things don’t sneak up on me when I update it each Sunday night. (Though I took this pic before I started doing that…)
• On the right-hand side, there’s a magnetic notepad. I’m trying to use that for our Safeway/Target/Costco lists that tend to be scattered around the house on sticky pads.
• The board itself is dry erase, so you can write in all the emergency/sitter info in either dry erase or permanent if it’s information that won’t be changing.
• Below the calendar on the dry erase part of the board, there are empty boxes. When baseball season is over and I start cooking again (at least sometimes), I’m going to use that for meal planning. Again, no more, “What are we having for dinner?”
• I love the personalization Erin Condren provides too. I chose the background pattern/colors, added our name, and included a picture of the kids. People are constantly telling me how cool it is!
• While it comes with a pen holder and a ready-hang backing, I decided to use Command strips since I didn’t want to put a nail in our cabinets. So far, so good!
If you want to see it in action, here’s a quick, cool video showcasing the product:
So, be honest. Are you an organization queen who could use a new minion? Or are you a disaster looking for some sort of magic trick to help you (read: a lot like me)? Either way, you can enter to win my FUNctional Family Planner giveaway.
There are three ways to enter — and each individual may enter in all three ways to increase your chances of winning. Enter by Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 11:59pm (PT). The winner will be chosen at random and I’ll contact that person via email following the entry end date.
1) Leave a comment here sharing your best organizational tip, or your worst (lack-of-)organizational mistake.
2) Like Erin Condren on Facebook, then leave a comment here that you’ve done so (please include your name).
3) Follow Erin Condren on Twitter, then leave a comment here that you’ve done so (please include your Twitter handle).
Disclosure: I was sent a FUNctional Family system for review purposes. All opinions are my own.