*Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PilotYourHoliday #CollectiveBias
The holidays are upon us and in our home, this is easily the busiest time of the year (as it is in many households across the country). Between keeping track of my blog content, remembering appointments, and keeping track of work schedules, I’m always left feeling drained and a bit overwhelmed. Does this sound familiar to any of you? I’m sure if you have kids, you understand this very well!
A few winters ago while Zack was stationed in Japan, I came up with a system that worked wonders in terms of keeping my life and everything in it organized.
*Roll over the image to check out the Pilot FriXion® Pens!
Create a Command Center
First and foremost, your household needs to have a command center. In our home, this is a bulletin board and it’s a complete life-saver during the busy holiday season. Our bulletin board contains notes between me and my husband, a calendar of events for the month, appointment reminders, important phone numbers, Christmas party invites, etc. Anything we could possibly need to know or access can be found right here on the board. How handy is that?!
So to create your command center, you need to find a good place in your home for it. Currently, we’re living with Zack’s mom while we buy a house, but she has a really awesome space in her kitchen that is perfect for this. It’s a small corner desk with cabinets above it and plenty of space for office essentials. If you don’t have this kind of space in your home, then all you really need is a bit of wall space for a bulletin board.
This brings me to the next step – choose a board that works best for you. This can be a bulletin board a chalkboard, a wall calendar, or even a combination of the three. Ours is a bit of a combination at the moment and it works super well for us.
Once you have an idea of where you want your command center and what you want it to look like, it’s time to gather your materials. For us, this includes:
- A bulletin board
- Nails (or another way to secure it to the wall)
- Sticky notes
- A small wall calendar
- Pilot FriXion® Pens
- A small envelope
The materials list can be as long or as short as you need. This sort of thing will look different in every home depending on your family’s individual needs. So once you have everything, it’s time to get it up on the wall and start putting it all together.
To do this, I like to pull together my personal calendar and my husband’s work schedule so I can start plugging everything into the calendar. The calendar includes our work schedules, various appointments, holiday parties, and anything else we have going on in the month. I like to use the Pilot FriXion® Pens for this because they’re erasable! Sometimes life happens and plans change. So having a pen that is easy to erase and make simple changes is a complete game-changer! It’s the only pen that gives you the power of infinite do-overs. Another thing I love about this pen is its smooth writing gel ink. So you can write smoothly and erase cleanly every time!
These awesome pens can be found at your closest Target location. If you download the Target app, you can get 15% off any FriXion Erasable Pen from 11/30-12/31!
Once all of your important dates and events are listed on your calendar, it’s time to set up the rest of the board. I like to have an envelope pinned up to hold various notes, holiday party invites, cards, etc. I also keep thumbtacks and sticky notes closeby to make it super easy for Zack and I to leave each other notes. If you’re using a chalkboard, be sure to keep chalk in an easy to reach place as well. We also like to keep a long piece of paper up so we can add items to the grocery list throughout the week.
There might not be too much to add from the get-go, but the key is to make it easy for you to communicate with each person in your family and create a space where you all can easily see what everyone’s plans and schedules are.
Use a planner
Although we have pretty much everything located on our home calendar, I also keep a daily planner in my bag which has a copy of our whole schedule and everything I personally have to do/get done and when. This houses a lot of my business deadlines and checklists. Things Zack doesn’t need to know and/or things that don’t affect him and his schedule. So rather than cluttering our main calendar with items that don’t pertain to him, I keep them in my own planner instead.
Color code everything
I love the Pilot FriXion® Colors Marker Pens for color coding. Pretty much everything on our calendars is color-coded in some way. For example, in our home, orange is my work/blog due dates and tasks, blue is ‘home’ (aka appointments, holiday parties, family get-togethers, etc), green is Zack’s work schedule, red is bills, etc. The Pilot FriXion® Colors Marker Pens make it super easy for me to keep all of our various tasks and events organized so it’s
Don’t over-book yourself
As easy as it is to say ‘yes’ to everything that comes your way, it’s important to also learn how to say ‘no’. Allow yourself some downtime so you aren’t left feeling drained all the time. Weekends are especially challenging for this. It’s okay to not go to every single holiday party or every tree lighting or whatever it may be. If you want a night in with some Netflix, then do it! Your mental health will thank you.
Create a system that works
Finding a routine that works is crucial. And every family’s routine will be different as well so there’s no right or wrong here. If your husband gets home from work at 5pm and you don’t get home until 6pm, then leave the cooking to your husband. If it helps then you can even plan (or even prep!) your meals in advance to make meal times easier. Order takeout once a week to give yourselves one less thing to do that day. If your kids are old enough, get them involved in the cleaning to help keep the home clean and organized. Communicate with each member of your family at the start of the month and find a good system that will work best for your family during this busy time of year.
Want to try the FriXion Erasable Pen for yourself? Check out Target’s mobile app to get 15% off any FriXion Erasable Pen. This offer is valid 11/30-12/31.