The topic for this month is Scheduling/Organizing a Busy Family. I'm a day late but wanted to make sure I joined in anyway.
Put Everything in the Calendar - Dave and I both use Outlook calendars for our work so we also invite each other to family events so it's all there in front of us each day. When I register the kids for swimming lessons, it immediately goes into my calendar and I invite Dave too. If he's going away for work, he sends me the invite so I know when he's gone. E started using a wall calendar in his room this year and it works well for him so he knows when he has piano and tutoring.
Meal Plan - I've written about meal planning before, but it helps us immensely. I write the meals on the chalkboard in the kitchen, and try to plan accordingly for when we have a busy night with a short timeframe for eating.
Organize Bags in Advance - Sports bags with all of the things needs to be packed up before we are rushing out of the door. There is nothing worse than getting to the pool/rink/field and realize you're missing a key item.
Don't Complicate School Lunches - Our kids eat about three different things on a rotation - cheese bagels, jam sandwiches, and pitas. They get some combination of cookies, Goldfish, pears, apples, cucumber, and peppers, and then two packaged snacks. This saves me from thinking too much about what I'm packing.
Limit Activities - My kids only do two or three things per season - right now it's swimming and skiing for both, and E has piano and Q has skating. (E also does tutoring, but I don't count that as a 'thing'.) In the summer it will be golf and baseball for E, and ball hockey and t-ball for Q. We are busy enough during the day that I don't want to have to be out every night of the week. Dave curls on Mondays and I have choir practice on Thursdays so that adds to our schedule as well, and we need to be careful we aren't overextending ourselves.
None of these are that complicated and we only have two kids so life is a little less hectic than others :)