setting up schedules and routines
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Setting Up Schedules And Routines

Discussing ways of setting up schedules and routines for families

With the school year approaching, I feel it’s important to figure out some of the scheduling and routine logistics before you get bombarded with the back-to-school hoopla.  Today I am sharing how to set up schedules and routines for our Organize Back To School Challenge.


Trying to coordinate schedules can seem super overwhelming!  I know I have felt that way numerous times this past summer with both kids in different activities on different days in different locations.  There are many ways to keep your family organized.

Setting Up Schedules And Routines - Color Coding

  • Color-Coding

The easiest way to keep each member of your family’s activities organized is to color-code the entire family.  I talked about how I do this in yesterday‘s post.  By assigning each family member a color, you won’t have to write the name of the family member along with their activities.  You are able to just write their activities down in their designated color.  I always recommend creating a key which says what color each family member is assigned.

Setting Up Schedules And Routines - Calendar

  • Calendar

Giant calendars are perfect for allowing you to have a lot of space to write activities down.  I use a giant calendar, which is located in the kitchen.  Each family member gets a different color (as I shared above), and I can record their activities on the calendar in the color that is assigned to them.  For example, my son is blue so I write all of his activities in blue on the calendar.

Setting Up Schedules And Routines - Planner

  • Planner

If your life is more on-the-go, a family planner might be what you need to keep things organized.  By purchasing a planner that fits into you bag, you will be able to carry it around to add dates and activities to as they arise!  I have many planners because I like to keep certain things separate from one another, so I have a family planner, a work planner, and a blog planner.  Some of my favorite planners include The Day Designer (which can also be found at Target for a limited time!), Erin Condren Life Planners, Blue Sky Monthly Planner, and Arc Customizable Notebook Systems.

Setting Up Schedules And Routines - Weekly Calendar

  • Individual Calendars

Another way to keep schedules organized is to create many individual calendars.  Each family member can have their own calendar to write what they have going on for the week.  This is helpful for families with older children as they can be responsible for their own schedule.  (Tomorrow I’ll have some individual planners in my Etsy shop!!)

  • Whiteboard/Chalkboard

Using a whiteboard to record different activities can be an incredibly easy way to keep your family organized.  I recommend this is your family has a pretty set schedule where not a lot of things change.  You can record what activities are going on for the week and make minimal changes as needed.


The best piece of advise I can give anyone when trying to change a routine is to write it down with an action plan!  Not only will it help you remember what and how you want to change a routine, but it will keep you accountable for following all the steps you put in place.  For example, my kiddos bed times just keep getting later and later, which means my 5-minute clean-up at the end of the night needed to be moved.  I wrote down my action plan:

  1. Start to clean up the house with kids help in all rooms. (Before they would only clean up one room.)
  2. Clean up the kitchen and start the dishwasher.
  3. Clean up outside and cover patio furniture.
  4. Close all blinds.
  5. Every room will be put back together before we go upstairs.
  6. Kids brush teeth and get into pajamas.
  7. Read books together.
  8. Bedtime

Then, I shared it with the entire family.  I printed out a copy and hung it on the fridge with specific times everything should be completed by.  For the first two weeks, I was incredibly strict with the times as I wanted to make this a habit.  We have gotten a little looser with the times, but everything is totally cleaned up by the time the kids go upstairs at the end of the night.

Setting Up Schedules And Routines - Routine
Setting Up Schedules And Routines

So your goal today is to figure out how you are going to keep your schedules organized, and write a routine or two that you either want to change-up because it isn’t working, or you need to start as school is starting!

As always, make sure to follow along on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more pictures and tips!  And share your progress using the #organizeback2school!

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The Organized Mama is your ultimate resource for all things organizing with families in mind. Our mission is to share practical tips, tricks, and tutorials everyone in the family can follow!