Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Organizing Your House: The Family Council

Family CouncilsSo after last week's post everyone's now got their very own cute little inbox, right? Everyone's throwing their receipts and shopping requests in just like they were told and in every home, bliss and contentment now reign, right?

As a follow up to the inbox suggestion I'm going to mention something we do in conjunction that has been helpful: The Family Council. Now this is really a broad term for anytime a family (no matter how big or small) gets together over a topic but I'm going to be a little more specific about those councils and how we use them.

Sunday nights we hold special Family Councils where we plan the upcoming week. Why Sundays? Well because we're usually all there in one place and are relaxed after the weekend. When Andrew and I were newlyweds we picked Sunday for the day when we'd sit down in the evening and go over any items that needed to be calendered for the upcoming week.

Once we had children we decided that it would be wise to bring them into the operation and it's worked well. We get together and find out if anyone has anywhere special they need to be that week--any concerts? Any activities? Award ceremonies? Games? That's the time to bring it up and get it on the calender.

I go through that inbox I mentioned last week and pull out anything that would affect the calender and bring it up. If there are conflicts, that's the time to work it out and get it resolved instead of waiting five minutes before takeoff when you realize that both parents had meetings to be to and no one is available to drive the kids to the game.

When there are special events like a holiday season or family vacation ahead Family Councils take on a special significance, we use them for planning the together time. We do some brainstorming and make a list of everything anyone can think of that they'd like to do during the summer or accomplish during that holiday and then each family member gets to vote on what they'd like to do.

When we went to Florida we made the list of all the things we wanted to do then each person got two votes, that's it. That meant we had 12 activities we were going to do and it was democratic enough that no one could argue. Then we schedule those activities in right there on the calendar so we could prepare appropriately. Once it's on the calender the chance of the activity falling apart has dropped by a drastic 80%. According to our highly scientific calculations. Give it a try and see if it works for you.

Here are a few other great ideas for organizing your home from some other organized bloggers:

By I'm an Organizing Junkie:
* My Secret to Staying Organized or At Least One of Them
* If It Bothers You, Change It!
* Remove, Sort, and Purge!
* Small Tackles Can Lead to Big Results

By Organizing Queen:
* 7 Ideas to Organize Art Projects
* My Best 4 Ways to Tame the Magazine Monster
* Organize Your Magazine Clippings
* Frugal Organizing with Cereal Boxes


Ellen said...

Those links are going to be helpful. I am not a natural at organization.

Jen @ JenuineJen said...

Thanks for the ideas. I find in my home our organization ebbs and flows. Usually we are organized and on top of things but then we slip up and have to catch up and regroup to get organized again. At least for the most part we are organized.

Org Junkie said...

Thanks for the link love! Love the idea of Family Council meetings!

Minimalist Mommy said...

I love organization and love new ideas. This is a great one and one I may implement. Thanks

G's Cottage said...

I used and kept a 4-color pen with the primary calendar. It helped visualize not only that the time was allotted but which child (we were in pencil, of course).

Beth - Total Mom Haircut said...

This is such a great idea. I bet your whole family really looks forward to those nights. Now, the question is, will I remember it from now until my kids are old enough to begin.

I'll check out the links too. We're all about organizing over here right now.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

My parents always did this on Monday night and it was great. The rule was, if it isn't on the calendar don't even ask.

Hmmm, I'm thinking I need a seperate basket right under the calendar.

Janet said...

I'll have to keep this in mind for future. Even though there are only 2 kids, I can already see overscheduling being a potential problem.

Playful Professional said...

We did this while I was in high school, and it really helped us stay organized (or at least it helped my mom). You can also play a game or activity together after family council to make it a little more appealing for the kids.

cari said...

Our family, my parents and their six children with all of their children, get together twice a year for a special televised church conference, after which we have a family council and discuss all the important events coming up for each individual family. We also plan upcoming events and discuss need and concerns of other family members. It is a great way to stay connected and know what we can do to support one another. I just found your blog and love it. What an inspiration and I'm so excited to learn more about life in different from life in So Cal.

nottryingforaboy said...

Great ideas!

I'm totally doing the inbox, but I'm still looking for a box I like.

texas_sweetie said...

those are beautiful kids.

Check out mine too!

Let Me In
Spot The Mommy

April ~ Living the Sweet Life said...

I love it that someone else does family council meetings. We started ours when the kids were born and have let them comment when they were old enough to talk. Ours are not so regular. They happen when something needs to change or if we are planning a trip etc. We also have a quaterly meeting with the change of seasons. I am glad you posted on these meetings they are a great way to keep the family connected.

Coach J said...

I like the idea!

Shannon said...

I love the family counsil idea. I am going to start doing that when my little ones get bigger. Keeping up with 4 kids is going to be a challenge for sure! Thanks for the links!

Motherhood for Dummies said...

Wow...michelle organized....I never would have thought :)

Amy said...

Uh oh, is your sister calling you out? :) It is so funny because neither my sister or I were organized when we were fact, I was a walking disaster. I am really trying to be better about this so I appreciate these posts.

You are so smart, my friend!


Your ideas are great1

carol said...

Hello! Just came across your blog and was amazed by your back for more readings!

An Ordinary Mom said...

Calendaring/Family Councils are the only way to keep life organized. I am sure my life will get even more chaotic as the little ones get older.

Great advice!

thediaperdiaries said...

My hubby and I used to do a family council before kids but have kind of fallen out of the habit. With the oldest starting Kindergarten next year this is probably a good time to reinstate it. Thanks for the tip!

Darilyn said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog and it's a good thing I found you. These organizing links are calling my name!