Karen’s Stories | Helping Things Run Smoothly In A Foster Home

Happy New Year, fellow foster families!

I’ve been doing videos the last few weeks with Crossroads, but this time I thought I would try my hand at writing a blog.

I don’t know if you feel the same way as I do when January starts. You make plans, not necessarily resolutions. At least I don’t call them that. I call them plans or strategies.

This year I have a few plans. My first is to be more organised with paperwork. I am the biggest procrastinator when it comes to paperwork. Even if the paperwork means I get money, I still drag my feet. I don’t know why. It’s not like it’s difficult. I just keep putting it off. Then, when I do it, I promise myself that I won’t do it again.

And here we are…. lol

This year I am making Tuesday’s ‘paperwork day’. I am being proactive and putting everything together, such as receipts, respite info, etc. each week. I do not want to be fishing in my wallet, the bottom of my purse, or the glove box in my van at the end of the month. I don’t want to be wiping off something sticky, taping pieces together, or panicking for the receipt I can’t find.

“Where did I put that receipt…?”

It’s funny because overall I am a fairly organised person. I have lunch strategies, laundry strategies. Little things that make things run a little smoother.

I thought I would share some of those strategies with you, in case you too are trying to get more organised this year.


Lunch Time!

My lunch strategies are pretty easy. When I go grocery shopping, I buy the things I need for lunch and I freeze everything, so it is ready to go for the kids to make their own lunch.

I will make subs, pizza, and chicken nuggets, and I package everything individually. Sometimes I will quickly microwave the nuggets before wrapping them in foil or putting them in a thermos, but for the most part, kids will happily eat cold nuggets and cold pizza. I also do leftovers from supper ONLY if they ask. So, during dinnertime clean up, I wrap meals individually, and in the morning pop them in the microwave, then thermos.

I keep little ketchup packets and sauces from drive-throughs so we can throw them in the lunch kit too.

I will bake cookies, or muffins, and package and freeze those. I also have a container of cheese strings and yoghourt tubes. I put crackers or trail mix in snack baggies. I will do individual veggie bags as well.

It takes a little bit of prep work but overall, it’s pretty quick. I cook lunch items at the same time that I cook supper or start before because I’m already in the kitchen.

The kids also like to help package the pre-made meals. That way, my kids know what we have, and they can put their own lunches together if they are old enough. In each lunch, we pack a main food item, a treat, a cheese string or yoghourt, a fruit and veggie, and a juice box.

Even if my kids are not old enough, preparing and freezing lunch items ahead of time still makes it easy for me to make lunches because it’s all handy to grab


Daily Routines

For the last couple of years, I have had a “new friend” – a laminator. I use it to help organise the kids and chores for them.

I have a little guy who gets very frustrated when I tell him what steps to take to get ready for school. He doesn’t know what steps are next. He is old enough to, but his ADHD brain gets him confused and frustrated.


What I have done is put pictures of the routine together on a poster, which I laminated and put on his bedroom and bathroom walls. The pictures are:

A Routine Poster in my home
     Get up,
     Get dressed,
     Throw out pull-ups,
     Take meds,
     Have breakfast,
     Brush teeth,
     Pack lunch,
     Make bed,
     Put coat on.

This has alleviated a lot of frustration because he can go back and look at the pictures and see what he has or hasn’t done yet

In the past, I have taped laminated pictures of clothing items to dresser drawers, so my kids know where their clothes go. They are responsible for putting their own laundry away and this method works for even the youngest of kiddos.

With winter here, I have three containers for outdoor clothes: hats, mitts, and scarves. Again, I put the bins in our closet and use laminated pictures on them to show what goes where.

It’s not perfect, but it certainly helps everyone.


These are just a few of my tips for making things run a little smoother.

What time-management tips do you have? What helps make your day go smoother?

If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?

Most importantly, what can I laminate to make my paperwork go easier?