Simplified Household: Calendar-in-a-Box

by Ivory Soap on 08/14/2013

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Do you have weird school papers strewn all over the house?  A calendar that is so cluttered with information that you can’t hardly read it?  Did you forget pajama day at school AGAIN this year?  How long has it been since you went to the dentist?

Well, this is an old homeschool trick that I really think needs to make it’s way into the main stream of mommyhood.  I’ve seen those folders they send home from school; y’all have just as much paper as the rest of us.  So, here’s how you do it:

  1. Get a cheap crate from the store and 32 hanging folders depending on how far ahead your paperwork goes.
  2. Date them by WEEK.
  3. Drop every shred of paper that comes to you in the correct week:  notes about teacher gifts, special school days, projects, vacation stuff.
  4. Drop in a weekly calendar page (could just be a blank sheet of paper with the date at the top) to record appointments.
  5. If what came to you was on one big sheet and needs to broken up over weeks, write it on index cards and drop them into the right week.
  6. While you’re at it, drop yourself in index cards with notices for things you forget, changing the air filter, library book returns, changing the car oil, reordering the prescriptions by mail.
  7. If you meal plan, throw those in there too, if you like.
  8. Each week (I generally do this on Saturday), reboot your personal planner (whatever form it takes, even if it’s just a corner of your counter) with the week of stuff you have in the file folder.
  9. Look it over, figure out what happens when and just deal with that ONE WEEK OF YOUR LIFE.

Already, your personal calendar should be more empty.  I keep a general yearly calendar, kinda, but it’s mostly ceremonial so I can say things like, “Your grandparents will be here in three weeks.”   All you need on there is stuff that is going to take weeks of prep, which really, you could just drop a card in a few weeks before to remind yourself, “Start shopping for Thanksgiving Dinner.”  Otherwise, your box is now your calendar.  It’s remembering all kinds of things for you that you don’t even have to think about again until that week arrives.

Another benefit of this system is that you really CAN’T schedule appointments and whatnot without being home with your box.  So, when the high-pressure lady at church tries to nail you down to work the benevolence room, you say, “Let me get home to my calendar and I will call you.”  Awesome-saucesome.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony August 17, 2013 at 3:17 am

So….love this suggestion. I started using this type of system at home and at work and it has paid huge dividends. Now that computer calendars allow you to attach things to them….most of my calendar is done on the computer with a pasted “what is required and by when” in the notes. I still used the crate, broken down into days of the week, with section dividers between the weeks, for the hard copy things that have to be manually filled out and returned, but all in all, those type of things are getting fewer and fewer.

Cindy August 17, 2013 at 3:34 am

AHHHH! Yes! I am so going to try this this year! What a great tip!

Jan August 17, 2013 at 11:04 am

What a wonderful idea! Could be used for paper bills, too, though I have few of those these days.

Mary August 17, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Why 32 and not 26? Love this idea!

Hilary Milner August 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I am wondering, like Mary, why 32?
This is like my “tickler file” which has 31 days, and then 12 month dividers.

Ivory Soap August 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Oh, sorry, 32 is the number of weeks in our homeschool year. School is 8-9 months long and I think in terms of school papers.

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