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Week #52 Organized Home Challenge
Keep A Family Calendar

A family calendar is the best way to coordinate all the comings and goings of every single member of your family, and to make sure you aren't, as a whole, spread too thin, and get enough family together time.

A family calendar is the best way to coordinate all the comings and goings of every single member of your family, and to make sure you aren't, as a whole, spread too thin, and get enough family together time. Find out how to make and keep one with these step by step instructions {on Home Storage Solutions 101} #52WeekChallenge #OrganizedHome #Calendaruse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

That's why this week's challenge is to keep and actually get in the habit of using, on a daily basis, such a calendar.

This is the perfect time of year to begin this challenge because the New Year is almost upon us, and you may need a new calendaring system for the coming year anyway.

So, while you're in the store buying a new calendar (or making something you're personalizing for yourself) keep the following steps in mind to get the most out of this useful tool.

Are you new here? This week's challenge, all about keeping a family calendar, is one of the challenges in the 52 Weeks To An Organized Home Series. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren't already a regular reader).

Why You Should Keep A Family Calendar To Get Your Home Organized

family calendaruse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Before I give you the steps for this week's challenge I want to explain why I even have this task on my list of 52 things to do to get your home organized. Because, after all, strictly speaking having a calendar doesn't in any way, shape or form directly organize your home.

However, such a calendar definitely does indirectly help you get your home organized. Plus using one can lead to a better, more fulfilling home life. Let me explain what I mean:

Advantages And Benefits You'll Get From Using A Family Calendar

  • Like with any calendar (when used regularly), you'll be less likely to forget appointments, meetings or other non-regularly scheduled events
  • You'll see not only what you personally have to do, but what everyone else's schedule is too, to know what really is on your agenda for the day (i.e., carpool, helping with homework, etc.)
  • Your family is your team, with everyone ideally helping each other out. Using a calendar for the whole family makes sure everyone on the team knows what is going on.
  • You can plan your meals, grocery shopping list, etc. by seeing the agenda for each evening to know what you'll have time to cook, and if you need any special snacks, meals, etc.
  • The whole family can see if one (or more) of you is overextended, and make decisions about how to cut back to have a more realistic schedule
  • Scheduling family time is easier, and you can make it a priority
  • No one else in the family can say they forgot about the overdue library book, upcoming spelling test, doctors appointment or whatever else is going on since it is right there, on the calendar that is accessible by everyone, instead of a "secret" calendar in your purse that only you reference

Depending on the uses you make of your family calendar you might have other benefits from using it too, that aren't listed above. For example, some people even use it to assign chores and schedule routine things like cleaning, laundry, and exercise into their schedule.

In addition, others use it to help with making a grocery list, or errands list, where the last person to use something up needs to write in the space on the calendar so it can be restocked during the next trip to the store.

Step 1: Get A Family Calendar

The first step is to actually get a calendar to use for keeping track of all your family's activities. There are several consideration to make when you get a calendar that the whole family will be using.

Let me start by saying, however, that although below I've listed things I think are ideal about certain calendars, there are many ways to create and keep one of these family schedule managers, and there is no one "right" way to do it. Whatever works for your family is perfectly acceptable.

January Start Calendar Versus School Year Start Calendar

This is the perfect time of year to get your calendar if you like one that begins in January, since it is currently the beginning of a new year (or soon will be).

The other popular start for calendars is at the beginning of the school year. These school year calendars typically start in August instead of January, and also run for 12 months.

Choose whichever start time period works best for your family, since this is really just personal preference.

My family uses a school year calendar since my kids are in school, and the beginning of the school year feels like the beginning of a new to me, just as much as January 1st. That means this time period makes the most sense for our family. If you think a school year calendar makes sense for you too, but you want to start your family calendar now, choose an 18 month calendar that starts in January this time, and then a regular school year calendar the next time you get one.

Monthly View Versus Weekly View

You can go two ways with a family calendar, getting one with either a monthly view or weekly view.

Personally, I think that the weekly view is the best because it gives you an overview of the week, and can help you with scheduling but not overscheduling yourself, and also allows room to write everyone's stuff down.

I wouldn't go down to a daily view calendar for the family calendar because then you can't see the week as a whole, and that can be like not seeing the forest for the trees when it comes to scheduling and planning.

On the other hand, having more than a month at a glance won't give you enough room to write in all the details you've got for each family member, and for family activities. Frankly, if you've got lots of kids, or are really busy then a monthly view may be too small too. You make the call about what works best for your family's situation.

Where You Will Keep Your Calendar?

Where you keep the calendar is also important in deciding what kind you should get.

I personally like to keep a small calendar in my purse, so that I can check appointments and schedule them while I'm out and about, but that is not my family calendar. That is my personal calendar that I sync with the family version.

The family calendar shouldn't be too small, and it should be located in a central location where all the family congregate regularly. In most houses that will be the kitchen.

Therefore, the three best kinds of family calendars are large wall calendars, magenetic refrigerator calendars, or a countertop calendar that everyone can reference.

There is no right or wrong type to use. It just depends what kind of space you can devote to the calendar, and where.

There are a million places online and in stores to buy a calendar that will suit all your needs just fine. The one I personally use is the Full Focus Planner. Learn more about it here.

Full Focus Planner: My Favorite Productivity Tool

Online Family Calendar Versus Paper Calendar

This leads me to a what some people consider a philosophical discussion -- paper versus online or electronic calendars.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both kinds of calendars. I am at bit old school, and partial to the paper versions myself. My reason is that I like to look at the calendar with my kids, point out things to them, let them help me add events, and schedule out things on there with their input. That is easier for me to do with paper.

On the other hand, if everyone in your family has access to technology an online calendar, that everyone can share and add dates too, such as a Google calendar, may work just fine for your family. I would still urge you to consider having a paper version that everyone can glance at while eating their breakfast in the morning though, just because I think that is most convenient.

Step 2: Spend An Hour Or So Filling In Dates From All Your Other Calendars Into This One Location

Although you can continue to keep your own individual calendars, if you wish, you need to combine all the information from these calendars onto your one family calendar. Don't forget the kids' school calendars, either.

The first time you really do this, you may be suprised how overbooked you really are, as a family, since you've never seen it all on one calendar before.

If people continue to keep individual calendars you'll need to schedule a regular time to "sync" the calendars up, so nothing gets scheduled but not put on the family master calendar. My family likes to do this when we discuss our plans for the coming week at dinner on the weekend, for example.

Step 3: Get Yourself, And Your Family Into The Habit Of Using And Updating Your Calendar Daily

Your family calendar can only help you get organized if you use it and update it regularly.

You should update and reference it, for example, each day as you review mail and other paperwork you've received that day, at your home mail organizer center.

Try to get in the habit of referencing it every morning when doing your morning routine, and again at dinner each evening. Discuss upcoming events with everyone in the family, or ask how activities already scheduled and finished actually went.

Along with the organizing that can happen with these discussions, they can also be good conversation starters to really hear how your family's day was.

Try to schedule some fun things on the calendar too, not just work or chores stuff. That makes it more fun to look at, to see what fun thing is coming up next, especially for kids. My kids get a big kick out of seeing what's for dinner, and that is exciting to them, so it doesn't have to be anything too elaborate.

Once you've got your calendar going, I really think you'll see an overall improvement in your days and your home, because you will know where your family's time is going and can better structure it for work and fun.

Tell Me How You Keep Your Family Calendar And How This Week's Challenge Is Going For You

family calendar

I would love to know how this week's challenge about keeping a family calendar is going for you. You can tell me your progress or give me more ideas for how you've organized this area of your home life below in the comments.

I also love before and after pictures of your calendaring system, since there are so many wonderful ways it can be done, and I would love to see some of yours. Submit your pictures (up to four per submission) and get featured in the Creative Storage Solutions Hall Of Fame. You've worked hard to get organized, so now here's your chance to show off!

I've already got some submissions from other readers (like the picture to the left), so please check them out for more ideas and some inspiration.

Sign Up For The Newsletter To Get Your Free 2021 Declutter Calendar With Daily 15 Minute Missions

Free Printable Declutter Calendar

While we're talking about calendars, I've got the 2021 declutter calendar ready, and it provides daily 15 minute decluttering missions.

These daily missions roughly correspond with the 52 Week Organized Home Challenges, and can help you get them accomplished.

That means by doing both the daily missions and the weekly challenges you could have your whole house both clutter free and organized by the end of 2021! How awesome is that?

Please note that if you're already subscribed to the newsletter you don't have to do anything to get it the latest calendar. Instead, it's been sent to you via email, through a link in the newsletter. There is no need to resubscribe for 2021, you're already set and ready to go, and the calendar should already be in your email inbox!

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Over the years I've tried LOTS of ways to remind people, daily, of the missions. Again in 2021 I'm offering daily reminders of Declutter 365 missions via text messages. (You can click the link to read the article with more information about this product.)

How to get the Declutter 365 daily missions delivered via text straight to your phone

Please note that the texting service only will text to U.S. based phone numbers, so only get this if you've got a U.S. based number.

Stay Motivated & Encouraged, And Get Help When You Need It With The Declutter 365 Premium Facebook Group

Along with daily reminders, getting support through motivation, encouragement, and help when you need it can make the process of decluttering your home much easier, and give you the tools to succeed.

To help with all these tasks I've created a special, private and exclusive Facebook group that you can join where I can help you with group coaching through the missions and tasks, and you can also get help and support from like-minded Declutter 365 participants as well.

Both annual and monthly subscriptions to this private Facebook group are available. Find out how to join the Declutter 365 Premium Facebook group here.

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Sneak Peek For Next Week's Challenge

Kitchen Organization Challenge

We're working on our homes slowly, one area at a time, so don't get too distracted from the family calendar challenge that we're doing this week. Plus, technically, this is the last challenge of the year, so is there really going to be a challenge next week?

Well, of course there is! Even if you've mastered every one of the 52 challenges already (and come on now, who really has every aspect of home organization mastered?), you've got to maintain your organization, get rid of that little bit of clutter, or improve your methods further. That means we can work through these challenges over and over again.

So next week we'll begin the challenge again, and we'll start with an area that needs lots of constant work and attention, because it is the busiest room of the house -- your kitchen. We'll focus on various aspects of organizing your kitchen for quite a few weeks, in fact, since it's such an important area.

I hope you're getting excited about the possibilities for 2021, because I am!

A family calendar is the best way to coordinate all the comings and goings of every single member of your family, and to make sure you aren't, as a whole, spread too thin, and get enough family together time. Find out how to make and keep one with these step by step instructions {on Home Storage Solutions 101} #52WeekChallenge #OrganizedHome #Calendaruse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase a product through them I receive a small commission which helps me provide this information to you for free, plus support my family. My integrity and your satisfaction are very important to me so I only recommend products I would purchase myself, and that I believe would benefit you. To learn more please see my disclosure statement.

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