Thursday, July 28, 2016

Your Back-to-School Countdown Checklist!

The Back-to-School catalogs have been out for weeks and the "Welcome Back" letters from schools are popping up in mailboxes everywhere. No matter how much we would like to deny it…school is almost here!! AH!!

So to help us start getting back in the groove, we put together a fun little School Countdown Checklist of all the things we want to accomplish in the next few weeks before heading back to school. Both my daughter and my niece contributed to this list {see "family trip" and "play dates with friends"} and I think we've covered some of the most important reminders.


2 Weeks Before School Starts

If your school is like ours, you've had your school supply lists since the beginning of summer, so now is the time to pull those out and start watching sale ads. Because most of us don't do all of our school shopping in one place, it may be helpful to break up your shopping lists by store. To help you out, our first back-to-school Free Printable is this handy School Shopping List:


These lists print two-to-a-page and you will want to cut them down the middle to make two lists {we recommend printing borderless if you can}. They are blank so you can use these lists throughout the year! Just write the store name at the top and jot down your items.

As you start collecting all of your school paperwork and lists, you may notice that your planner or family calendar needs some refreshing. Our  Printable shop has a lot of fantastic options right now for planners, calendar pages, student planners and more. We also still offer our Free Home Management printables in 3 sizes, and if you are looking for a new way to organize your week, our second back-to-school freebie is this great List Organizer!


If sticky notes and Post-its tend to pile up in your house, our new Weekly List Organizer is a great way to keep them all together. Just print this organizer once, laminate it for durability, write your lists for the week, stick them on and stay on task!! You can put this page in your Home Management binder, your planner, or even stick it to your fridge or family bulletin board.

After your lists are made and your calendar is in order, it's time to start working on another schedule.

BEDTIME!

Did you know that our Kids Chore/Reward Charts can be used as a Routine Chart too? With tasks such as Brush Teeth, Read Book and Take a Bath…you can set up your chart for morning and bedtime routines! A few fun stickers may make the process go a little more smoothly for everyone :) And adults…don't forget about your bedtime too! Mornings are going to get busy again, so it's important that you wind down early too.

Saying farewell to summer is hard, but having an end-of-the-summer trip, outing or special day gives us all something to look forward to. Even if you can't get to the beach or travel, planning a backyard campout or trip to the zoo is a great way to end a fun summer {Thanks for this reminder Addie & Nia}.

1 Week Before School Starts

For some of you, school is only a week away at this point, which means it's time to reconnect with school friends and start getting our home in order!! The hustle and bustle of school days starts right away, so it helps to be organized from the beginning. This is a great time to clean out closets and start assessing which school clothes and shoes fit…and which do not. It's also helpful to find a place for backpacks, lunch bags and other gear. 

And speaking of lunches…

Your homework assignment for the day is to search the keywords LUNCH PACKING STATION in Pinterest and then carve out a good two hours to browse all of the amazing images. Organizational eye candy, I'm telling you!!

Getting your lunch packing supplies together in one place is such a smart idea, especially when it makes things easy enough so that your kids can help you pack the lunches (or do it themselves!!). It also helps when it comes time to grocery shop. You can better assess what you have and what you need to stock up on. One thing you will find in almost every Lunch Packing Station is a space for some fun Lunch Box Notes. Last school year, we shared a free set of Lunch Box notes each month and you can download all of them HERE!!


Print these babies early so that they are ready to go! We hope to share some fun new ones throughout the year :)

And while you are on Pinterest, be sure to also search the key words HOMEWORK STATION and READING NOOK. We may not all have the space or the money to create those beautiful work stations that we see in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog, but even something as simple as setting up a desk in your kids bedroom or putting together a caddy of supplies and other homework/reading essentials can be helpful. Professional organizers always claim that having these dedicated spaces keeps away distraction and gets kids excited about doing their work. I don't know if "excited" is the right word…but anything is worth a try, right?!

Depending on your school's schedule of events, you may have the opportunity to attend a "Find Your Way" day or a "Meet the Teacher Day" before the first day. You will be coming home with a lot of information about important phone numbers, schedules and events for the upcoming year and if you want a more centralized place to keep the important stuff, here is a School Information Sheet you can use in your planner, home management binder or on your family bulletin board. You can download it X-SmallSmall & Large {Please note that the X-Small/Personal size may look blurry in the download preview, but will not print this way}.



The Day Before School Starts

This can be such an emotional day! On one hand, we are a little sad that summer is officially over, but on the other, we are excited for a brand new school year full of possibilities and memories to be made! Staying positive and excited will get your kids excited too. Before bed, talk about the first day, read some "back-to-school" books and plan a special treat or activity for when they get home from school. 

After all that, make sure EVERYONE gets to bed early (you too, parents!) but before you do, make sure your camera is out and you have your First Day of School signs printed and ready to go for the morning. Our Printable Chalkboard First Day of School signs were a big hit last year, and we've updated all of them for this school year!


The First Day


It's here!!! The first day of school. You've already done all the prep work and you are organized and ready to rock-n-roll!! Now smile, take lots of pictures and get excited for a GREAT YEAR!!!!!!

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Please feel free to share the link to our shop blog with all of our back-to-school goodies, but PLEASE do not link to the downloads directly. These printables are free to download and use for personal use, but they MAY NOT BE EDITED, SOLD OR PRINTED FOR RESALE in any way. If you have questions about these printables and how they may be used, please contact us in our shop. If you like the beautiful cliparts used in some of these printables, they can be purchased from some of our favorite Etsy shops, including: 
© Erin Bradley Designs | erinbradleydesigns.etsy.com
© Sugar Studios | www.etsy.com/shop/sugarstudio
© Goodness & Fun | www.etsy.com/shop/goodnessandfun


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

FREE Summer Printables to Help You Get Organized

For kids, Summer Break = FREEDOM!!!
For parents, Summer Break = What am I going to do with these kids all day??!

In the beginning of summer, I am so thankful for slow mornings with no alarm clocks or frantic where-are-my-shoes-the-bus-is-almost-here panic attacks. I appreciate lunches in the park, afternoons at the beach and weekends at the campground. Most of all…I LOVE not having a schedule.

For about a week.

After that, I find that ALL of us need at least a little schedule. I realize that using the words "Schedule" and "Summer" in the same sentence is frowned upon, but for the sake of this post, let's go with it. 

To me, having a Summer Schedule isn't about giving up those lazy mornings or lunches in the park. It's not even about scheduling every minute of your day with activities and projects. 

To me, having a Summer Schedule = Sanity

It may be Summer Break for our kids, but we still have a house to take care of and errands to run. We still have dinner to cook every night. We still have activities, parties and events to plan for. We still have work and other professional responsibilities. And…we still have kids who have their own responsibilities, practices to get to, summer reading minutes to log, etc. 

If we want to keep our summer chaos-free and still have time for FUN…it's a good idea to have a simple schedule to follow. Last summer, we created a Weekly Docket to help you do just that and this year, we are adding two fun printables to go with it!!



The Weekly Docket can be your go-to planner page (in addition to your monthly calendar). Use the daily squares for meal planning, activities & appointments, etc., the To Do & Errands lists for your weekly tasks and the "Activity or Project of the Week" box for any home project, vacation, party, etc. that you have planned. This printable would work great on your fridge or family bulletin board to keep everyone informed of the week ahead :)

The next printable that was a HUGE hit last year is the Summer Bucket List!


I always like to make a list at the beginning of the summer of the books I want to read, the movies my family and I would like to see and all the things we would like to Make & Do {like plant a fairy garden, re-stain/paint the swing set, plant an herb garden, etc.}

And, because my family LOVES camping, I've added an "Adventures to Take" list. This list is for writing down anywhere you want to go and explore this summer. It can be visiting family in another state, or visiting the museum, or going hiking...any adventure you'd like to have at home or far away. The reason we added the bucket list this year is because we don't want to forget about the FUN of summer!!! We've waited all year for these 3 months…we need to make the most of them :)

Speaking of fun…the next printable in our set is a Summer Holidays Schedule. This list includes your typical summer holidays like Father's Day, 4th of July, etc., but it also covers the SUPER fun holidays like National Ice Cream Day and the Great American Campout Day. We've done our best to track some of the most popular ones we could find online, but be sure to comment on this post if you know of any we left out :)



Our family is going to try our best to follow one very important "rule" this summer. We came up with it together in the hopes of actually sticking to it. At the top of our Bucket List, we wrote:

This summer is all about family, friends and FUN!!

We can't avoid work or the daily chores & responsibilities that go along with being a grown-up (boo!!!) but we CAN vow to be more present and enjoy all the things that make life worth living. 

So, friends, what is your summer "rule" this year??!!

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To download these printables and get started with your Summer planning, click on the following links:


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

{Printable} Last Day of School Signs!

It's hard to believe that another school year has come and gone, but if you want to capture all the excitement of your kids' LAST DAY OF SCHOOL, be sure to download one of our Free Printable School Signs for the 2015-2016 School Year!



We have signs from Preschool to Senior Year and every grade in between. Click {HERE} to download!

Be sure to stop back again in August for First Day signs for the 2016-2017 School year! 

We hope you and your kids have a great summer!!

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PLEASE NOTE that all Printables offered at ThePolkaDotPosie are for personal use only. If you would like to share these FREE printables, please link to our blog or Facebook page and not the actual files themselves. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring Cleaning!

Spring

A word we've all been longing to hear {and feel} for the last 6 months. So now that the sun is finally shining and the flowers are blooming, it's time to open those windows and do a little SPRING CLEANING!!

To help you out in the process, we've put together two handy Spring Cleaning Checklists. The first is a list of yearly projects and tasks to be done in and around your home each spring, and the second is a blank checklist that you and your family can fill out together with more detailed tasks and projects. 




I've created the printables in 3 planner sizes, including 8.5 x 11 in case you want to hang it on your fridge or family bulletin board. You can download them all HERE.

And don't forget all the little helpers around your house! We have a fun selection of kids Chore & Reward charts that can be customized with a variety of different tasks and responsibilities.

Each of our kids has their own and we hang them on the fridge.


You will notice that I laminated both the charts and the chore/task cards and that is simply so I don't have to reprint a new chart every week. It also gives me the ability to change out certain chores or tasks throughout the week or month. For example, if my daughter doesn't have homework one day, I can swap it out with something else. All I do is use Poster Putty on the back and they easily peel right off and I can restick them over and over again.


To check off her tasks, my daughter prefers marking her squares with these little pink magnets we found at Target. My son, on the other hand, likes to use markers so we use our washable Crayola dry erase markers and they wipe right off each week.


 If you've been struggling to get your kids to help around the house too, or if you are wanting to keep them on a routine during the school year AND summer break…be sure to check out our Personalized Kids Chore Charts


Looking for an adult Chore Chart? We've got you covered there too!! This freebie has been a HUGE hit for adults and older kids who are looking for an easy way to track weekly chores and tasks.



It's nothing fancy, but it certainly does the trick! Just make a list of your household chores and then check off the days you complete them. Most cleaning gurus will tell you that laundry, vacuuming and pick-up should be done daily, while other things like bathrooms and windows should be done weekly. You can download a copy of this chore chart HERE.

We hope that all of these fun printables will help you get your Spring Cleaning underway and keep you on track all summer long!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 Goals & Resolutions Printable

I love the start of a new year. 

Maybe it's because I love having an excuse to reorganize my home and set up a new planner. Or maybe it's simply because I love having the opportunity to dream big and set new goals for the year. 

I'll admit…some of our goals for 2015 were big ones. We wanted to save money for two important projects on our home, I wanted to grow my business, we wanted to travel more as a family, I wanted to volunteer more in the kids' school (just to name a few) and all the while, I tried to focus on my Word of the Year, which was "No." I know that may seem like an odd word to choose, but it was because I found myself saying "Yes" to too many little things and I was losing sight of the bigger things that were more important.

I am still not very good at saying "No" (unless I'm speaking to my kids or a friend asks me if I feel like working out), but the times I did say "No" this year made it possible for me to say "Yes" to say many wonderful opportunities. We traveled more, we saved enough for our home projects AND ThePolkaDotPosie became a familiar name in the planner community. 2015 has been nothing short of spectacular and I can't wait to see what 2016 will bring :)

But before 2015 is over…we need to plan!! To help us out, I have a NEW free printable for your 2016 Goals & Resolutions.



Our printable looks a little different this year. We've added a section for the "Word of the Year," which is best described as a word that you want to focus on all 365 days (or 366 since it's leap year). My Word of the Year for 2016 is:

SIMPLIFY

Next, our printable has a space for you to write a goal for each category of your life. You can make these goals/resolutions as simple or specific as you want. For example, my Health goal is to run a 10K this year and my Friends goal is to have more coffee/lunch dates with my girls. We also have a blank space that you can use for something more personal or specific for you or your family. Perhaps you are saving for home improvement, or a vacation, or perhaps you have a personal goal of starting your own Etsy shop or meeting the love of your life :)

The purpose of writing out goals & resolutions isn't to make your life more stressful, but rather to encourage you to do more of what makes you happy!! Have fun with this list and use it as a guide for the next year. We may have some repeats on our list (I'm looking at you Health & Fitness. Ha!) but what's important is that we try. It's never too late to set a new goal…or achieve an old one.

Happy New Year, friends!!! Thank you for being a part of our lives and our dream. See you in 2016!

To download our FREE 2016 Goals & Resolutions page, click on one of the following links:


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

All Aboard The Christmas Lights Express!

One of our family's favorite Advent Activities is taking a ride on the Christmas Lights Express! 

Every year, after our kids are freshly bathed and in a new pair of Christmas jammies, we leave these Christmas Lights Express Tickets on their pillows. For the last few years, our Elf Toodles has been the one to deliver them so that he can go alone on the ride with us :)



We created a free Christmas Lights Express printable in 2013, and as of this december, it has been downloaded over 5,000 times! Seeing those downloads come through brings us so much joy knowing that so many families are using it to make memories with their own children, grandchildren and nieces & nephews. If you've used our tickets in the past, we would love to see a picture on our Facebook page or a story in the comments :)

This year, we wanted to give our Christmas Lights Express ticket a little makeover so that it coordinates with the rest of our Free Christmas Printables. We also made it a little easier to print with 4 to page :) We hope your family enjoys using these as much as ours does.

All aboard!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Our Favorite Thanksgiving FREEBIES!

With Turkey Day a little over a week away, it's time to start planning and prepping! We've got a bunch of great Thanksgiving Freebies to share with you today.

First up, we have our popular Thanksgiving planner pages to help you organize your menu, plan a shopping list, tackle cleaning and kitchen prep, journal your thanksgiving memories AND a coloring sheet for kids (or adults).



After we shared our super cute Thanksgiving Lunch Box Notes last year, a few friends told us that they actually used them for their Thanksgiving kids table! What a GREAT idea!


Download these Thanksgiving Lunch Notes {HERE}

Next up, we have a new "I am Thankful for You" sheet of 2" printables that you can use as treat bag tags, cupcake toppers, or plant sticks! All you need is some heavy card stock and a 2" paper punch!


Download these Thanksgiving Tags/Toppers {HERE}

And finally, our newest Thanksgiving Freebie is this printable word art!! It is sized 8x10 so you can print and frame it for your home or give it as a hostess or teacher gift!


Download this Thanksgiving word art {HERE}

We hope all of our great printable freebies will make your Thanksgiving holiday a little more organized and a lot more fun :)

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our wonderful friends and customers! We are so thankful for all of you!

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A FRIENDLY REMINDER

Please feel free to share the link to our shop blog with all of our Thanksgiving goodies, but PLEASE do not link to the downloads directly. These printables are free to download and use for personal use, but they MAY NOT BE EDITED, SOLD OR PRINTED FOR RESALE in any way. If you have questions about these printables and how they may be used, please contact us in our shop. If you like the beautiful cliparts used in many of these printables, they can be purchased from one of our favorite Etsy shops, © Erin Bradley Designs | erinbradleydesigns.etsy.com