The past few days I have been having the strong urge to organize–that old familiar feeling one gets when she is 9 months pregnant and nesting. This organizational urge strikes me every couple of months. I am thankful because as a mom of four, I need to be organized. Even though my home is organized, I will still forget, however, to pay preschool tuition on time. I really wish I could set up an automatic draft account with the preschool. I am slowly getting better at remembering certain dates, such as when it is pajama day at preschool. Having to convince my child, as we enter the classroom full of friends wearing pajamas, that jeans and a spider-man t-shirt can be pajamas is not pleasant. I have two paper calendars, a weekly calendar by the door, and a calendar on my phone. Baby is turning two years old soon and I am not sleep deprived or coping with pregnancy brain, therefore, I vow with a clear head to not forget homework due dates, snack days, or God forbid, pajama day.
My desire is to be organized in all components of my life, just as I have a “home” for every item in my home. Within my home I have systems in place–from laundry to where you must put your shoes. My life is chaotic enough, my home has to be organized so I can stay grounded. Having an organized home alleviates the annoying stressors that can be preventable; such as, locating your child’s left shoe as you are running late for an appointment and rushing out the door. In addition to my organizational urges, I also can be a bit over the top about decluttering and not allowing excess “stuff” in my house. “Mom why did you throw that away? I loved that paper!” Boy #2 asks as he digs through the kitchen trashcan to get a paper with masking tape stuck to it. Apparently, I did not hide the “artwork” well enough under the discarded coffee filter in the trashcan. Boy #2 will probably end up a hoarder, due to the psychological damage I may be causing him by throwing away his “artwork.” We will let his future therapist deal with that issue. So where am I going with this?
I LOVE to learn from others. I wish I had a friend with four sons slightly older than my own children so I could follow her around and take notes. During Boy #3’s birthday party the talk among some mothers was not of my half-assed Pinterest attempt of decorations, but of my menu board. My menu board and my meal planning system seemed to be a hit. Four hungry boys, a husband with two jobs, multiple sports schedules, amongst the daily grind, makes meal planning a necessity. This board is not fancy. I used an old cutting board, wine corks cut in half, hot glue, thumb tacks, and index cards. Aesthetic components are not important when I organize, practicality is. I hope others who are searching for a meal planning system will gain insight from mine and create a useful system for their family. Live, learn, and pass it on!
My up-cycled menu board!
I write the entrée on the front of the index card. A synopsis of the recipe for the entrée is written on the back of the index card. On the back of some cards I will write side dishes which pair well with the entrée. To create a shopping list I check off items on my standardized, staple grocery list, which corresponds with the recipes for the week.
The entree is written on the front of the index card.
A synopsis of the recipe for the entrée is written on the back of the index card.
Only an entrée the entire family enjoys is pinned to the menu board. It took time to accumulate recipes all six of us liked, or at least would eat out of pure hunger. For a while, we ate the same entrée over and over again each week. I refuse to be a short order cook. I will slightly modify an individual’s plate, but will not prepare an entire separate entrée. We tried a new entrée each week and slowly my recipe box grew. I am now excited, with all the recipes I have collected I can maintain efficiency through the use of a color code system. I am such a dork. Each entrée is written on the index card in color, one color contains seven recipes to serve as a week’s worth of meals. Each week contains a chicken entrée, a ground beef entrée, a pasta entrée, and two meatless entrées. I realize the photo above does not illustrate the coding system I just explained. Instead, the photo above is a visual of multiple entrées in each week to help one better understand my color code system. At times, my board is colorful and my weeks are scrambled. The menu is hung on my pantry door where it is visible to all in the family.
I hang the menu board on my pantry door. Yes, there is a safety door knob cover on my pantry door. Life with boys!