November 22, 2022

How we organize everything: the F.L.O.M. (Family Logistics and Operational Meeting)

I wish I could ask every person how they organize their lives.  I am so curious – how does it work? What do you do?  If you are in a partnership, what does your partner do?  Every single person lives a life every day of the same number of hours and yet has a vastly different experience of those hours.  When it comes to families there are fundamentals we all need to follow: we all get food ready, we all maintain a home to a liveable standard, we all clothe ourselves and our kids.  We think about school and leisure.  Every family has 70% of the same things on our plates and we spend almost no time talking about how we manage it all.

A year ago my husband and I started having planning meetings.  They’ve evolved over the month and will surely continue to evolve.  Our current agenda is as follows:

  • Short review of the week – specifically kids and food plan.  Did the week go well?  Was it hard?  Why?  Can we improve things going forward?  Lots of weeks repeat – I’m in para-finance so my months consist of regular 4-5 week intervals of busy to less busy.  If a busy week went bad, what can we do to make it better next time?
  • Look ahead to the following week
    • Food plan: go through each day and decide who will make dinner and what we are having
    • Nursery run: who is doing drop off and pick up at nursery? Usually whoever does drop off makes dinner.
    •  Nursery Cover: Who answers the phone if nursery calls to send a kids home, and who can take time off work to watch any sick kids that week
    • Sport/Hobbies: do each of us have enough time for our scheduled sport/hobby in the calendar?
    • Family Adventure: do we have at least 1 family adventure planned in the week, or enough family time in general?
  • Shops and Driving: Do we need to go food shopping?  Anything else we need to drive to?
  • Any Other Business: We have a FLOM notebook where we write AOB items in the back, things we need to discuss that we don’t get time during the regular week.  Often this includes holiday planning, potential trips, division of labor (a few weeks ago my AOB was “I don’t want to do all the laundry anymore).  Sometimes we have AOB items that stay there so long we have to schedule a new time to address them, like “pick out cabinet unit for dining room” which has been on the list 6 months and we finally scheduled a time to do it together because no one had the energy for that on a Friday)

We have additional items during our End of Month and Mid Month meetings as follows:

Mid Month:

  • Looking at the month ahead to see if there are any scheduling issues
  • Allocating days we will be away with work (we both do one to two nights away per month with our jobs)
  • Scheduling bigger events like Christmas fayers, long weekend adventures, playdates with friend we don’t see enough

End of Month:

  • Reviewing the family budget
  • Making monthly family goals / reviewing the month

And that’s our current logistics system.  I know it will change again, and it is a lot of work to maintain, but it also means that hopefully when things start veering off course (as they usually do) we can at least right it in a week or two rather than waiting until everything implodes.


  1. This is so organized and thorough - I love it!
    I have to admit we're more haphazard. I tend to do almost all the planning, but a lot of this comes from necessity. My husband travels frequently for work, and trips can be relatively spontaneous. I've learned over the years it doesn't make sense to give him specific recurrent "jobs" - say, the garbage, which comes every other week - because he might not be home. He always helps with garbage when he's home (and might do it 100%, to be honest), but I'm always the one who knows when garbage will come. Turns out, he's away the next time we have garbage collection, so I know it will be on my plate that time.

  2. We don't have kids, so there are fewer logistics in our lives. We make a meal plan on Friday evenings and go grocery shopping. As part of the meal plan, we go over the coming week and figure out things like who is taking what car and when, who is cooking dinner, and the like. We talk about finances and how things are getting divvied up when there are big changes to employment or a bill is added or changed. I think the biggest issue we aren't particularly systematic about is chores related to cleaning and that's just because we've implemented several systems over the years and none of them has stuck! Generally I start cleaning, my husband notices, and he starts helping. It's not consistent about how often or how thoroughly it happens.

  3. That was so interesting and I appreciate you sharing your planning strategy. You're so right that we all live lives where 70% things on the "to-do"-list probably overlap, but we rarely talk about how we manage it all.

    I think it's great that you have check-in meetings with your spouse where you discuss these things and make plans on how to handle things going forward. Are these meetings "smooth" or do you have to negotiate a lot?

    Since like NGS, we also don't have kids, our planning is definitely paired down, but I'd say that I still do most of the "mental work" (just keeping track of things), although Jon has started making list of his own :)
    We split up certain chore between us and do renegotiate, when something doesn't work.

  4. Wow, so organised and that is definately the way to make sure it is not left to one person. Since my kids are all grown now we have a lot less logistics and they tend to be broken up without us really discussing it. (25+ years marriage will do that I guess). When the kids were younger I did all the logistics, my husband travelled a lot and so this made sense (similar to Elisabeth above).