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How One Stay-at-Home Mom Schedules Her Week

By Sara on Sat, Mar 31, 2007

General, House Tips, New Baby, Parenting Tips

This post is from my sister – the proud mommy of a 9-month old baby boy! (Who’s one of the cutest boys around, by the way! 🙂

A little background on me: I am a new stay-at-home mom to my awesome baby boy, Andrew. I am also a bit of an organizational freak (it runs in the family) :). I am one of those people that needs lists and structure and order to my world in order for anything to actually get accomplished. As I know a lot of new moms do, I have really struggled to not only care for my baby (and my husband) but to also actually get something else done with my life. I had dreams of all the projects I would do around the house once I stopped working and stayed at home with my new baby. And dreams they have remained…. 😉

About 4 or 5 months ago I decided I needed some sort of weekly schedule set up as well as a running list of “to do’s” so I reverted back to my old administrative days and created a spreadsheet–all pretty and color coded and organized. Basically, I had it set up so that the far left side was my “to do” list in order of priority and then next to it was a Monday through Friday schedule set up–Mondays were laundry, Tuesdays were groceries, Wednesdays were cleaning, and so on. This system could very well work for some of you out there, but I couldn’t seem to get into it. It wasn’t flexible enough for me or for the uncertainties of babyhood. Sometimes I never got to laundry on Monday, or I was having a meeting at my house that night so I needed to clean instead. And as far as my “to do” list, it seemed nothing ever got done off of that because there was always something coming up. (To be fair, I need lists right in front of my face screaming at me that I can also cross off and erase.)

So, I needed a better system…one that allowed me to be flexible from week to week and day to day, and also allowed me to write things out “on paper”.

Full Calendar Enter the Dry Erase/Magnetic Calendar! I bought it, along with a regular dry erase board (for my project/”to do” list) and some kids’ magnetic letters and numbers at Walmart , total cost being around $15.00. Hey, I need to have fun while I work!

Close-up of CalendarBasically every week I sit down in front of my calendar and project list, knowing the appointments and other extras going on that week and schedule accordingly. So that I am not writing everything out and cramming lots of info onto one little daily block, I use a magnetic letter to represent each of my regular “duties” (G for Groceries, L for Laundry, H for Housework, P for week and meal Planning, etc.). Then in the bottom left corner I write the number(s) associated with the projects on the “to do” list that I hope to accomplish that day.

“To Do” ListThe project list is on a board of its’ own, with magnetic numbers labeling them. I did it this way so that if for some reason the project prioritized as #1 is no longer as important as #4, they are easily switched. That way I don’t have to completely re-write my list. Every week looks different than the one before and projects/”to do’s” that don’t get done can easily move to the next week! 🙂

I just started using this system 3 weeks ago, and I already feel better about the way I spend my time. I really do feel like I have accomplished more simply by having a structure in place that still allows for the baby bumps in the road. It’s also nice because my husband can see everything that’s going on that week for me and can easily add something to my list that he’s asked me to do as well. I am sure there might be tweaks to this system that might make it even better, or better suited for you, so please feel free to comment and give your own suggestions!

Written by Sara Das - Visit Website

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14 Comments For This Post

  1. Becky Watts/Moma/Grammie Says:

    Wow!! How Creative and Functionl!! So proud of both my girls. OK. Young ladies, mommies ol my grandchildren. What a delight y’all are. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” III John 4

  2. Sarah Says:

    Ok, so you created this article a while ago, but I just found it and have to say thanks so much. I love this! It is great and works wonderfully!!!

    Stay at home mom to a 3yr old and newborn

  3. Kari Says:

    Where by chance did you get that dry erase board with the black trim? I have been looking all over the place!

    Thanks,

  4. Sara Says:

    You know, I’m fairly sure I got everything at Walmart, although it was over a year ago now, so I could be remembering incorrectly. It’s possible I got it at Target, though. Hope you find it!!

  5. lynda Says:

    thank you so much for your organizing idea. i will definately try it out. i hope i can keep it up! its simple enough that i think i can do it. i am a mother of a one year old son. i love him so much. but i have to get organized so i feel better. i want to set a good example for my son. so he can see that i productive and also can be a loving mom. wish me luck!

  6. Sara Says:

    Lynda, I’m glad the idea sounds like it will work for you and your family. I know what it feels like to need to get that organization back in your life, so I do wish you great luck and success!

  7. Sarah Says:

    Great, great idea. I really needed structure in my day. I have to boys I stay at home with they 10 months apart 28 months an 18 months an my day is so hectic but I am going to give this a try. THANKS!!

  8. Kay Says:

    Sarah~
    Glad you enjoyed the article. Try it out for a couple of weeks and then come back and tell us how it worked out for you. What did you keep the same and what did you do differently? Everyone has to be able to work out the kinks according to their own personality, so the more ideas, the better!! 🙂

  9. allison Says:

    I just found this article as I am struggling to get things done while allowing time for teaching my 3 yr old son! I have a 2nd on the way & need to get organized quick! Thanky ou so much for sharing. I truly hope this works for me…it sounds fantastic!

  10. mandy Says:

    What does the “W” stand for?

  11. Kay Says:

    Good question, Mandy! It’s been a while since my sister posted this, but I think it was for “work” meaning bills, projects, helping her husband with his work. She also added ” e” for errands. Hope that helps! 🙂

  12. Mommy of 3 Says:

    This is a great post! I really enjoyed reading this. I have a scheduled, but I am looking to tweak it a little. I really like your creativity with your schedules.

  13. K Says:

    Where do you put this? Hang it so forth. Looking for a ideas for the kids too. Thanks

  14. Kay Says:

    From Sara: “I used to have a small desk area and would hang my calendar and to do list on the wall above it.”

    I personally have also posted stuff on the fridge so that everyone sees it multiple times a day. I would think that would be the most important thing – hang it where it can be seen, and therefore can remind you of what needs to be done. I have a thousand little lists here and there, but if I don’t have it somewhere central where I’m guaranteed to see it, it will never get done. Just my two cents…

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