As a parent, organization tools are a must. There is so much to juggle between school, doctors’ appointments, sports practices, grocery shopping, meal prep, home repairs, and childcare—just to name a few. Calendars, apps, and best practices are often welcome additions to living a more harmonious and stress-free life.
Here are some of our recommended organization tools that have helped members of our very own Au Pair USA parents and host parents feel less chaotic and more at ease with the daily juggle of parenthood:
- Google calendar: A great way to stay organized, receive reminders, and share events with your partner, au pair or even carpool buddy. Google calendar allows you to color code, share specific calendars with specific people, and create a virtual system for managing events like playdates, sports practices, and even your au pair’s weekly schedule.
- Time Power Family Calendar: Another great scheduling tool is this large whiteboard style calendar that gives you plenty of space to visually see what’s happening on a daily basis in your home for two-week periods at a time. Use this tool to showcase what’s on the dinner menu, activities for the kids, your au pair’s schedule, and even your own schedule! In addition to this, don’t forget Au Pair USA provides all au pairs with a Schedule and Weekly Planner. This tool is extremely useful for planning your au pair’s work week, analyzing how much work was planned compared to what was actually completed and documenting hours worked and stipends paid in the case that any confusion or disagreement should arise.
- Label makers: Who doesn’t love a label maker? Not only are these great for keeping track of kids’ school supplies and water bottles, but have you considered labeling household tools as well? When things are labeled, kids are more likely to keep their toys and belongings tidy. Labels are also a great way to help your au pair learn new vocabulary they may not be familiar with, minimizing miscommunication.
- Routine charts: If morning or nighttime routines are challenging in your home, give routine charts a try. These are wonderful ways to incentivize your kids to become more independent and learn important skills like making their beds, brushing their teeth, using the bathroom, and practicing reading. Working together as a team with your au pair to enforce routine charts will make everyone’s jobs a lot easier.
- Laminated lists/instructions: Keeping inventory of your groceries by creating a laminated list of everything needed at home is a great way to stay organized. When things run out, simply check off what’s necessary to replenish. This will avoid forgetting something during your weekly trip to the supermarket. Local Coordinator and former Host Mom, Kate Bryan also recommends laminating instructions for household appliances for your au pair, like the washing machine and dryer and posting them near the machines.
What would you add to our list of suggestions? Let us know here!