Has the spring cleaning fever hit your home yet? This time of year is great to freshen up your space and clear out the clutter. We tend to think of the physical clutter in our homes first. The junk drawer, the old condiments that need to be cleaned out, and the clothes you haven’t touched in months. Today I want you to think of spring cleaning in a different way.

It’s time to spring clean your schedule.

I know you are already saying to yourself, yeah right. It’s so busy right now and I just have to get through the next couple of months till summer.

But what if there was a better way? A way to carve out time for yourself, your family needs and still be present for the end-of-year recitals and tournaments. 

Take a few minutes to look at your schedule with fresh eyes and put these action steps into place.

Spring Clean Your Schedule. Declutter the unnecessary and make time for your priorities.

Prioritize

  • What absolutely has to be done? Where do you need to be and when? Write it all down or print out your digital calendar so you physically can see it. Are there invitations coming in and you haven’t made a decision yet? Are there any in the inbox you can take a pass on?

Delegate

  • Can you divide and conquer? Often times Mom is the one doing all the driving around to get the kids everywhere, while also getting meals on the table. Is there one night your partner can cover the pickup or drop off for an event? Have you taken the time to ask? The secret here is to plan ahead. It doesn’t do anyone any favors to ask at the last minute. Look at that schedule you printed out and have a family meeting on a Sunday night to see where you can share the responsibilities.

Create Space

  • This is often the hard one but is the most needed to stay calm when life is extra-busy. Do you know what you need to feel centered? Is it cooking a meal from scratch? (When I spend quality time chopping vegetables it makes me happy. Anyone else?) Is it reading a book? Is it just finding time to take a shower? How can you make time in your day to recharge and be ready for the next day?
  • As a parent, can you also create space for your kids? After school can become a race of driving/practice/driving/homework/eat if we are not careful. Those days will happen but can you look to find opportunities for kids to get a breather? Let there be space in the afternoon for playing in the backyard or with neighborhood friends instead of scheduling something.

Give Yourself Permission to Say No

  • This may be the hardest of all. Remember those invitations in your mailbox/inbox/message box? They will continue to come even if you take a pass here or there. If you give yourself and your family members the opportunity to feel refreshed, you will be in a much better place to engage with friends at a latter date. Letting go of the “fear of missing out” is a hard one, but you can step away from your social media and monthly get-togethers if it will give you much needed respite to stay fresh and strong.

What do you think? Are the ideas here resonating with you? It can be hard to step back and relook at your schedule and to-do list with fresh eyes. As a parent I find myself struggling with the balance of letting my kids get involved with sports after school, but recognize that too much structured time doesn’t work well for them. Or me. We had to make changes for the spring and watching them play with friends spontaneously after school is good for the soul. (and all the science says outdoor play is really what kids need the most when they are little!)

Tell us, what can you edit to help you find more space in your day?

 

Beware the barrenness of a busy life. -Socrates

While on vacation, it becomes easy to see some of the habits we have when it comes to our schedules and connectivity. The daily influx of notifications on our phones. Texts. What’s up on social media now? The email inbox continues to fill as so many things compete for our attention. Quiet is so hard to find these days and I wonder if you feel the same. March Break starts at the end of the school day today here in Canada and it’s a great time to push the reset button before the spring season begins.

We have to make a conscious effort to avoid the glorification of busy. I fear that if we don’t, our kids will only know a world of to-do lists, dings and a lack of quiet. The immediacy of filling their needs is hard to live up, unless you are an iPad. Making them wait is a life lesson and it is taking great effort sometimes to slow them down and be present. If they are so busy, where is the time to create and imagine? Boredom in the week ahead may be a good thing.

If you don’t feel busy, you may wonder if you are doing enough. I read about bloggers with much bigger platforms than mine who homeschool four plus kids and still manage to be in so many places at once. Some days I think, why can’t I do that too? Other days I am wise enough to step back and wonder if they are doing it all themselves, or do they have help? The same goes for stay at home moms, working moms and everyone in-between. Busy is a part of life, but is doesn’t need to define us.

When people ask me how I do it all, I’m always a little hesitant to answer. For me, I like having lots of things going on. It gives me energy and fills my need to learn new things. However, I also check out for two months of the year at the beach to recover from the pace of this lifestyle. It works for our family, but may not for others. Everyone has to decide what level of busy works for them.

Everyone is busy. Parents singletons, grandparents. They are all busy in their own life stage. It’s not a competition. When someone asks, “how are you,” talk and share about what is filling you up, instead of what is filling your calendar. If you can’t think of what is filling you with joy, then it may be time to give that calendar a little edit.

Next up on my reading list is Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy by Alli Worthington. As I plan to rebrand this website in the coming weeks, I’m excited to read through the book and see what direction this little space should go. Blogging has never been a way to keep me busy, but more as a creative outlet. Sometimes we all need to write down what’s in our head to make room for more.

If you want to listen in the car instead as you play the role of chauffeur (me lately), take a listen to this podcast episode. As host Jess Lively said:  This episode is perfect for anyone who is over-scheduled, overwhelmed, or wants to drop the word “busy” from their vocabulary. I listened to this over a year ago and the comment about “e-brain” has stuck with me. Take a listen and see if you can climb out of the trap of answering busy, instead of really sharing what’s bringing you joy.

For those of you in Canada, enjoy your vacation week. I’m looking forward to ours and seeing where our open schedule takes us each day.

Breaking Busy Book: How to find peace and purpose in a world of crazy by Alli Worthington

After last February’s epic snowfall, I can’t say I was very excited for the return of winter. When we learned we were moving to Toronto, we had no idea what to expect. Most people said it isn’t too bad, yet others said the last two winter’s were really cold. So far it’s been quite bearable, but I know we are far from through the woods.

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite things this winter that are helping me stay warm and cozy when the temps do dip below freezing. The only thing missing from this list is my husband lighting a fire in the family room.

How to Survive Winter with Cozy Favorites

  • Reading has become a favorite pastime again. All the Light We Cannot See is a must read. (amazon affiliate link)
  • North Face Mittens (shop)
  • Essential oils-I use the Young Living line and use Thieves daily. (if you need someone to place your order with, I can connect you with someone in the US or Canada) There are another 4 oils I use regularly as well and so far we are all staying healthy this season!
  • L’Occitane Shea Butter- using this on everyone’s hands and face. Amazing. (shop)
  • Tea is key, and so are cute mugs.
  • Lole Emmy jacket (shop). I have the blue one!
  • Cozy boots are a must for our slushy mornings. I love these ones from Merrell.
  • Audible books, which is Amazon’s audiobook shop- get 2 free audiobooks when you try it out this month. (amazon shop) I find it easier to listen to non-fiction books on my reading list in the car. My two favorite ones as of late are Big Magic and Make it Happen.
  • Tennis is my favorite sport these days. It’s social and aerobic at the same time and makes me feel less of an outsider in my new town. I use the Babolat Aerodrive racket.

Share some of your winter favorites in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear what’s on your list.

A few people have asked about what we pack in our Yumbox lunches. These are our favorite lunch boxes, both for ease of use and how cute they are. They come in a variety of colors and inserts so you can customize it to the age of your child.

Yumbox bento box lunch for kids

When packing the boxes, it’s best to break it down into categories. The Yumbox makes it easy for you by reminding you of the categories in their inserts. Protein, dairy, vegetables, fruits and grains. So simple, right?

We own both the panino (sandwich friendly) insert and also the original bento box version. I use them both so frequently I can’t say I love one over the other. We have the blue and the pink box.

Here are some ideas of what to pack for each category.

PROTEIN
  • Hummus
  • Yogurt
  • Cold cuts rolled up
  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Beans (chick peas are kid friendly)/Legumes
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Sunflower seeds/sunbutter
  • Sulfite free pepperoni sticks
DAIRY
  • Cheese stick
  • Cheese cubed
  • Yogurt- plain or greek flavored with honey is better than the presweetened variety
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ricotta with honey
FRUIT
  • Grapes-check for seedless variety
  • Berries
  • Melons
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Pears
  • Applesauce
  • Oranges/Clementines
  • Raisins/Craisins
VEGETABLES
  • Peppers
  • Cucumber- English is better for packing
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Peas
  • Broccoli/Cauliflower
  • Salad
WHOLE GRAINS
  • Pita bread
  • Crackers/rice crackers
  • Popcorn- (homemade)
  • Whole wheat bread/bagels
  • Pretzels
  • Rice cakes
  • Homemade mini muffins/breads

 

Pin the image to save for those mornings when you just can’t think of what to pack!

Healthy kid lunch ideas using the Yumbox lunch box container bento

 

What else do you like to pack in your kid’s lunch box?

Note: I’ve bought all my Yumboxes myself. Love them. The links in here are affiliate links, which means if you decide to purchase one the site receives a small commission. Thanks!

It’s officially fall and time to embrace the change in seasons. Cooler days and darker nights are not my favorite part of fall, but it does give us an excuse to settle in and get cozy. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite things that get me excited about the fall season. Add to this all the pumpkin things, like my pumpkin pie smoothie, and I’m ready for falling leaves and cooler temps.
Fall uniform, check. (which is a vest, jeans and tall boots. Thank you Joanna for solidifying the uniform name!) Happy rain boots, check. New kitchenware for cozy stews, check.
Fall Fashion Favorites
 Sources…

What’s on your must have list for Fall?

8 Ways to Make Stitch Fix Work Better for You

Over the past year, Stitch Fix has become part of the busy woman’s vocabulary. No time to shop? Stitch Fix will do it for you. Looking to update your wardrobe post baby? Stitch Fix can do that too. Yet despite how amazing the program is, many women are still struggling to make it work for them. When I’m wearing a fun novelty sweater, my friends will now say, “That’s a Stitch Fix isn’t it? Why don’t I get stuff like that?” Everyone loves the idea of it, but some need to guidance of how to work for them.

Stitch Fix has given me a closet I love. I walk in and it takes me very little time to get dressed. I have options for dressier gatherings, but also chic everyday clothes. I truly enjoy each piece I have decided to keep and they bring me joy. (yes, I have read this book, and now reading her second.)

Today I’m going to share some tips on how to make Stitch Fix work better for you. It’s still a fairly new company so things continue to be updated and allow for more communication with the stylists. There are lots of different places where you can make your opinions known, loud and clear.

Take the time to fully update your StitchFix Profile to make it work for you.

Take some time to fill out your Style Profile, but remember to come back to it occasionally to see if it still makes sense.

 

1. Style Profile: spend some time filling this out. I think it should take no less than 10 minutes to fill it out for the first time. This is where you fill out the info for your size, style preference (based on image collages) and needs.

2. Style Profile: for returning customers, continue to go back into your Profile. New questions get added by the company, including ones regarding Petite sizing and are you are Pregnant.

3. If you really want more clothes to choose from, select the jewelry from the list of items you do not want them to send you. I have never received any bracelets/earrings/necklaces and instead get a lot more clothing items to choose from. (my accessory exceptions are handbags and scarves)

The note to Stylist is the best place to give specific feedback for your next StitchFix box.

4. Note for your Stylist. This is a fun place to be specific about what you want to see in your next Fix. You can always get to this by signing in to your account if you have a fix scheduled. Go to your Home tab and enter details of what you need in the note. This is the place to remind the stylist that you don’t want sleeveless, have a long torso, looking for cardigans, hate cardigans, etc. I am specific here about what is appropriate seasonally. Living in the Boston area and still looking at snow, I don’t need anything too summery yet. I share that I need transitional items that lend themselves to layering. Living down South, you may be ready for sleeveless tops and cute dresses.

Create a Pinterest board to help your StitchFix stylist

5. Creating a Pinterest board to help guide your Stylist. I had one started long before Stitch Fix arrived at my doorstep and had hundreds of pins to help share my style with my stylist. (Thank you Michelle!) Start your own and see what outfits make you smile. You can search Pinterest for ideas, head to the women’s fashion section, or pin directly from J. Crew or other shopping site. You can follow my Pinterest board below and scroll through to take a peek at what I’m saving to share with my stylist.

 

Use the StitchFix checkout area to give specific feedback about your box.

6. When you checkout your box, be very specific in the feedback. This is your chance to say if you have a long torso and need longer length tops. Same for bottoms. Got something you really didn’t like? Tell them what it is? The shape, the print, the feel of the fabric, the color, the length? There are so many things that make a piece of clothing work for someone, but it may not work for you. Let your stylist know.

7. Share Stitch Fix with your friends and if they purchase a box, you get $25 in free clothes. Lovely, right. This is my affiliate link and I have been able to get a few credits to help update my closet the past 18 months of using Stitch Fix. It’s no cost to you either and is easy to share online with friends and family once you have a profile.

8. Stick with the same stylist once you find one that gets your style. I’ve had the same one for 7 of my 10 fixes. She knows I’m partial to navy and green and novelty printed tops. Is it always 100% keep? No, but I’ve had at least 4 100% keep boxes, which is great because you get an additional 25% off. I have friends that will keep item #5 and then barter with friends to trade! This may not always be accommodated, but it’s great when you find a match.

Declutter your closet with Stitch Fix

Are you ready to streamline your closet so you only see items you love? Head here.

Stitch Fix has been great for this busy mom. Not only do I save time by not having to shop around for clothes, but I can try them on at home and then drop anything I don’t want to keep on my doorstep for the mailman to return. So easy. I also recommend keeping the styling cards that come with each item. Over time, it is helpful to go back and relook at how an item can be repurposed for different occasions.

Head over to Stitch Fix and schedule your box today! This month I coordinated my delivery with a friend so we can trade items if something doesn’t work for us. It’s a Stitch Fix Swap!

p.s. Have you seen my favorite picks for fun Fall Fashion? Head over here to check it out. And now the Winter Survival Guide is live too!

This post is brought to you by VTech and The Motherhood celebrating the newest VTech Video Baby Monitor. All opinions are my own. 

Are baby video monitors worth the money?

I still remember the day we registered for baby gear while expecting our first child. It was overwhelming with all of the choices and baby gear I need. I tried to be mindful of not registering for everything, but it was hard. When it came to baby monitors, I had to decide whether to register for a standard one or a video one. Are they worth the extra money? This was over six years ago and I wish I had decided then to register for the video one.

Here’s why. Having a video monitors gives you peace of mind when the babies are infants all the way through even kindergarten and beyond. Today we own two video monitors and excited to test out the new VTech Safe & Sound monitor this month.

3 Favorite reasons why video baby monitors are great for Babies

  1. Turn the volume up really loud so you can hear them breathing. If you haven’t had a baby yet, you will be amazed how often you listen to make sure they are breathing. Stressful, but better if you can do it from another room and not risk waking a sleeping baby.
  2. Really see if a baby is truly awake, or just a little restless. It’s easier to wait it out if you can see the baby on-screen to better judge if you need to go into the room.
  3. They are just so sweet, and quiet, sleeping who wouldn’t want to peek in on them.

3 Favorite reasons why video baby monitors are great for Playrooms

  1. You get to hear what really happened amongst siblings.
  2. Kids get a little independent play time, while still being supervised.
  3. I can cook dinner upstairs while I watch the kids play safely in their playroom together.

The VTech’s Safe&Sound® Pan & Tilt Full Color Video Baby Monitor has been fun to test out. It has 3 of my must have’s in a baby monitor: a wide scanning area, temperature, and intercom. There are lots of other bells and whistles, but those three are key. It’s so easy to use my preschooler can talk on the intercom and change the direction of the camera. (Set up was done in under 5 minutes too!) For families with multiple children, or needing a camera in a playroom, additional cameras can be added to the same parent monitor. Our neighbor has this set-up for her girls and it’s great to find a monitor that can automatically cycle between different cameras.

Video Baby Monitor at home in the kitchen

I recently read Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (now with Bébé Day by Day: 100 Keys to French Parenting). They spoke of “the pause” that french mothers took before immediately rushing in to a fussing baby. A video monitor helps you in that transition of letting a baby start to self soothe himself back to sleep. We had a video monitor for the first time with Connor from the time he was born. It has been great to hear him start to wake up, but hold off going in until I saw him wiggling around. As a toddler, it’s even more helpful as I can tell him “I’ll be right up” to keep him calm as he waits for me. Being the third child, he has been forced to wait for me at times. (most times.) Turns out he is the best sleeper in the house. I do think giving him the time to sometimes go back to sleep mid-nap has been valuable and I would be less apt to wait if I didn’t have the video monitor to gauge his needs.

Twitter Party Time!

What: Whether you’re enjoying your infant’s sweet little smiles or admiring your toddler’s growing independence, we know you never want to miss a moment with your children. Thankfully, VTech’s Safe&Sound® Pan & Tilt Full Color Video Baby Monitor has you covered. With features like remote pan, tilt and zoom to scan your child’s room, automatic night vision and digital transmission that’s private and secure, you can be sure you know exactly what’s happening with your little one during naptime or playtime! Join me for a Twitter party to learn more about this amazing product and to chat about general baby and child safety tips! 

When: Wednesday, February 18 at 1 p.m. ET

Where: We’ll be on Twitter – follow the #VTechBaby hashtag to track the conversation. You can see the details and RSVP via this Vite: http://vite.io/themotherhood 

Hashtag: #VTechBaby

Prizes: During the party, we will be giving away five nursery safety baskets featuring VTech Safe&Sound® Pan & Tilt Full Color Video Baby Monitors to randomly selected participants who answer the trivia questions correctly. Prizes limited to U.S. participants only. 

Hosts: @TheMotherhood, @TMChatHost, @CooperMunroe, @EmilyMcKhann

Tell me what you think? Are video baby monitors worth the higher cost? Do you wish you had them when your kids were little?

organizing solutions book

The new year always brings about an organizing fever to many homes, mine included. Over the past few years, we have tackled small organizing projects, which often included buying new storage units for all of our stuff. This year I read the book, Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD. It was life changing and maybe it can be for you too.

Letting Go of Stuff

First off, I don’t have ADHD. However, I do suffer from owning too much stuff and blessed with three kids 5 and under who also have a lot of stuff. We try to take good care of our belongings (and toys) so everything is always in “good” shape. Reading this book taught me that being in good, or even perfect, condition doesn’t give an item permission to stay in our home. If it doesn’t have a purpose, it’s just more stuff.

As I keep my Word of the Year in mind, clearing out the clutter allows me to focus on the task at hand. Instead of struggling to put clean dishes away in an overstuffed cabinet, I took some time to pare down our collection of pots and pans. Some were donated and others that are used infrequently were moved to an accessible area in the basement.

The Organizing Solutions book addresses the challenge of dealing with sentimental items, like gifts. Some may not be your style, or the gifts are no longer IN style. Somehow after reading about how to reevaluate gifts made it okay for me to say goodbye to certain items. I’ll always appreciate the sentiment, but now my home can really show our favorite items and those that mean something to each of us.

The book is not just for people with ADHD, the author notes early on how distracted busy mothers can benefit from her methodology. In any give day (hour) a mother has to wear many hats. Following the same approach to make clean up easy, clearing the clutter in every room is the first step.

Chapter by chapter I got a few new ideas to bring order and calmness to my space. My office desk has a space for a couple of beautiful things and my new 2015 Emily Ley planner (yes, I am a paper and pencil girl!) Papers have a home and I’ve learned a few tricks on how to be a bit more ruthless with all the paper that does come into the house on a daily basis.

Simple rules for toy storage

 

In the playroom, I finally realized why my very pretty Ikea storage unit still didn’t help with clean up time. The book explains the difference between “pretty” storage and “efficient” storage. I think there is a happy medium but I would much rather make clean up as easy as possible for me AND the kids.

I created a downloadable printable of the SIMPLE RULES FOR TOY STORAGE that I hope can help you bring some peace and calmness to your toy mismanagement. Sign up in the box below to have it sent to you. Print it out and keep it handy to refer back to when the toy room starts to overflow again.

If you get on an organizing kick, my other favorite reads are One Bite at a Time and The Nesting Place. It’s easier to keep reading about organizing, but the reality is you have to start taking action. Good luck and happy sorting.

photo credit: Wendy Copley via photopin cc

The magic of the holiday season can get lost when we stress about buying gifts. As we get caught up in the frenzy of generosity, it can be a challenge to slow down and find meaningful gifts. This week I had the opportunity to stroll through the variety of shops in Wellesley’s Linden Square. What a delight it was to talk to shop owners, get some personal attention and NOT fight for parking. Plus there is even a holiday gift guide to help figure out those holes on your list.

I had shopped Linden Square before, but usually it was due to a trip to Roche Brothers or The Cottage Restaurant. (best birthday brunch ever there!) On the shopping stroll, I got to check out a bunch of stores I had never been into, plus some old favorites.

Roosters: Upscale men’s grooming center. I could see my husband visiting here and really appreciate that Roosters is open on Sundays. For the holidays, check out their father and son package. They are also located in MA on Tremont Street in Boston and also in Lynnfield.

Shop Linden Square

Salon Maleah: a salon that focuses on hair only, with some excellent colorists. I loved getting my hair done into the “holiday twist.” The stylist taught us the bobby pins should be positioned so the bumpy side is against the scalp. Turns out I’ve been using them wrong my whole life! Salon Maleah is offering a holiday blow dry bundle special for the holidays!
Magic Beans shopping Linen Square
Magic Beans: toy store and so much more. I used to shop Magic Beans when I was first having babies and relied on some of their stroller experts to help me find the right ones. I really thought of it as a store for infants and toddler needs. I was happy to discover Magic Beans has a huge assortment of games for kids up to age 14!  They have GoldieBlox for ages 4-12, depending on the kit. Board games, building sets, arts and crafts and classic Brio trains. I got a crash course on the holiday hot list and hope to share some ideas if you are still in shopping mode! Don’t forget they offer gift wrap year round too.
 Shop Linden Square Shop Linden Square
Kenzie: the place to shop when your daughter doesn’t want to shop a “kids” store. They offer a tween line, but now added a women’s line due to popular demand. What started as baby and kids clothing 28 yrs ago in Coolidge Corner has turned into a focused assortment for girls ages 7-14. I really enjoyed this store and look forward to bringing Madison there when she is a little older. The holiday dress assortment was just lovely, and the sportswear was full of pop colors and fun silhouettes. (p.s. Kenzie is carrying the skiwear line Bogner if you are in the market!)
Shop Linden Square
Step to the next store over and you will find yourself in Tiny Hanger. Clothes, adorable shoes (oh, the shoes) and select toys for kids, infant through 6x. For the special little ones on your holiday shopping list, you can find some unique gift items that both mom and kids will enjoy.
Shop Linden Square
Sara Campbell: my surprise favorite shop. I always love a good assortment of cashmere for the holidays in a rainbow of colors and Sara Campbell delivered. From their versatile ruanas, to a beautiful pullover, there are plenty of gift options for that wow factor under the tree. Aside from the cashmere, my favorite item there was the charcoal grey scarf trimmed with rabbit fur. Just gorgeous.
Shop Linden Square at Bonsoir
Bonsoir: time to make your home shine for the holidays. There was a lot of beautiful, and delicate items in the store. Thankfully the staff at Bonsoir showed me some kid-proof ideas for holiday decorating. Two new fabrics for dressing the table are coated cloth and the French Green Sweet. Spilled drinks will be your enemy no more. Dress it up with a rhinestone runner and your table is good to go.
Bella Sante: Lovely spa for all your relaxation needs. Need to give your husband a gift idea? Try the 5 Elements Treatment. Two hours of bliss. Sign me up. Plus you can get $25 spa dollars to spend on products for every $200 gift card.
Shop Linden Square
Tobey Grey: 13 denim lines for your shopping pleasure. They even have denim for your guy! Tobey Grey had some fun holiday tops too if you haven’t picked on out for parties this month.
Have you shopped Wellesley’s Linden Square? Happy holiday shopping!
Disclosure: I attended a media shopping event to help facilitate this story. All opinions shared here are my own. 

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Sharpie, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia  #StaplesBTS http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Back to School Organizing with Sharpies

It’s nearly back to school season! Don’t you just love the rush of getting the kids all ready for school and buying beautiful new notebooks, markers and lunch boxes? I’m a sucker for pretty notebooks and colorful markers. I still remember how excited I was to go back to school shopping for all the items on our supply list when I was younger, back in my Trapper Keeper days.  While my excitement for back to school now focuses on my kids, it’s also about getting our family back into a routine.

Yummy Sharpie Colors. I just can't get enough!

As I started looking at the back to school deals at Staples, the fashion assortment of Sharpies caught my eye. All those colors…all that color coding I can do. Yes, even I who loves all things digital, has paper calendars and check lists. I read an article last year that said we remember more of what we write down on paper than we do after keying it into a computer (or phone.) The brain registers these two actions differently, and it’s handwriting that has the staying power. After reading this, I felt better about sticking with paper and pen for my weekly agenda. It has made a difference keeping track of my schedule as I write out the week ahead, along with my menu plan, every Sunday.

Free Printable Weekly Calendar

September has always felt like a fresh start to me, even if it’s not really a “new year.” Today I wanted to share with you a fun, FREE, printable calendar that you can use each week to stay organized. There are three ways you could use this to help keep everyone on the same page in your home.

Cute weekly calendar printable

 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE WEEKLY CALENDAR PRINTABLE

(this is a file in Google Drive, open the link then go to File–>Print)

1. Print out the calendar each week and write out your family’s schedule and color code with Sharpie markers. The Fine and Ultra Fine Sharpie packs are currently on sale at Staples through August 24th, while supplies last. I love all the colors in the fashion pack I bought. (I dug up my Nana’s old cranberry mold glass jar to hold them all for easy access. You can get the same effect with a wide mouth pint jar.) 

2. Print out the calendar once, color code your “master” schedule and then laminate it. You can then add in the weekly appointments that change using a dry erase marker. (Hint- I use the wet erase markers, which you can also find at Staples.)

3. Print out the calendar for each child and write out their weekly schedule with them. I know the young ones ask a hundred times a day when they are doing something and which day it is. Having their own calendar schedule is a great way to teach them the days of the week, and explain to them when their activities will be. Use the Sharpie colors to color code their schedule for non-readers. Red = school, blue = swimming and so on.

Sharpies from Staples for Back to School

What other ways can you use this calendar? Are you a back to school organizing junkie like me? Want to shopping at Staples together and see what deals we can find?