Joe & I are a busy couple; between long hours at work, decent amount of travel, lots of projects around the house and a new puppy to take care of, we always seem to have a lot going on. Since we’re both constantly on the go, we try to be intentional about keeping coordinated with ‘life stuff’ between the two of us. The system isn’t perfect (is any?), but we’ve found these 6 things help us stay organized!
top 6 ways to stay organized between spouses
1 Calendar Working in an office, we both are glued to our email and calendars for work purposes. We try to replicate that in our personal life. For example, Joe & I only have one car. Living downtown Seattle, this works really well for us, but does take coordination. Anytime one of us knows that we’ll need the car for a future date, we make sure to send the other a calendar invite with the times so that neither will forget. Another common calendar invite on both our calendars is our Thursday night reminder to take out the trash. Without it, we’d be drowning in garbage 🙂 .
2 Clutter Baskets are our miracle cure as it relates to clutter around our house. If either of us sees stuff from the other person sitting out that shouldn’t be, we’re allowed to store in the basket (but no where else). We also then know if we can’t find something, it’s likely in the baskets. Cleaning up a room can now actually be a 5 minute task!
3 Groceries I’m the grocery shopper of our duo and Joe is the cook. While these roles play to our strengths (arr…. mask my weakness in cooking), it requires us to be coordinated. We both use the grocery list app Anylist to coordinate weekly grocery shopping and meal planning. Joe is able to add groceries that he needs to make his fancy meals, while I can add on to the list for the essentials. Regardless of which app or method you use, I highly recommend you having a system to ensure that there’s a joint list for groceries AND needed household items.
4 To Do Lists No one has to force me to make a list, but I didn’t always keep a “Joe” list. I felt kind of silly having a list of things to talk to Joe about. I mean, do I really need to write down conversations to have with him to remember? Well, actually yes, you should write down ALL your to-do items, even if it’s things to discuss with your spouse. For example, asking Joe which dates he wants to travel for our upcoming vacation so that I can book the flights, deciding if we’re going to put a fence in our yard, or selecting a puppy classes to take Reagan to.
5 A Minute a Day I like to spend a couple minutes a day with Joe talking about our schedule for the rest of the week (or the next week). Now having a puppy, we’re learning to coordinate our schedules to take care of Reagan so chatting about our schedule regularly has been really helpful.
6 Meetings OK, this might sound a little overkill, but bear with me. Once a month we try to spend at least an hour going through ‘house things’. Going through our finances, figuring out vacations for the year, random items from the to-do list that we forget to talk about. It’s not always necessary and we don’t do this EVERY month, but the idea of having a scheduled time to just run through stuff is really helpful. I compare it to being a work and passing a coworker in the hall to discuss work things vs scheduling a meeting in a conference room. Yes, the drive bys are great, but sometimes it’s more productive to schedule a time to discuss. (No I don’t book a conference room for these meetings with Joe 🙂 )