Fall means back to school for our children and sometimes ourselves! Organization is a key part of educational success! Try these tips with your family to assist in their achievements.
Come and go drop spot
Regardless of the age of the student, we all have purchased needed school supplies including various papers, glues, note cards and more which are already in our home. Gather all the supplies together in one area, organize these by category, find a “home” with easy access for these, and store these in appropriate containers. By having all the supplies in one place, you know what school supplies you have. You will not only save frustration but also save money and time in last minute purchases.
Have you heard of the “K.I.S.S.” principle? Keep it simple sweetie can be applied to simplifying your life by limiting your purchases. Each time your children request additional clothes, videos, or other items, assess your space limitations in your closets and storage. By choosing to keep your children’s lives less cluttered with possessions, your children will find it easier to stay organized, keeping their rooms and belongings more organized.
Family Calendar and Meeting time
Create a family meeting time to promote communication and enter calendar information. It is simply a weekly time set aside, during a meal time such a dinner, when your family comes together to share priorities and activities. Choose a night that will become a ritual for your family, uninterrupted by spiritual, athletic or other activities. With food, either a homemade family favorite or a purchased entrée or dessert, take the time to share each family members’ accomplishments that week. Purchase a large calendar that can be displayed prominently in your home, and go over each family member’s commitments for the week, and into the next week. You and your family are building connections and communicating, as well as adding a planning time for your family.
Family Communication Center
The school year brings homework, report cards to sign, and many more papers! Find an easy to access location for a family communication center. This is simply a small file area that will act as a “home” for these types of papers. You can purchase inexpensive in/out boxes, a small hanging folder file or be creative with stacking baskets. Label each box or file with the name of one family member, and then label additional boxes or files with “To Do,” “To Return” and “To File.” The communication center becomes the “home” for each person’s loose papers, and the additional files add a home for those other papers with actions required. Set aside a time each evening to file the daily papers, and you will never lose another permission slip again!
Set up routines that nurture education
Family routines add harmony and consistency to daily living. During a family meeting, discuss the daily routine with your children, and write out a list of daily expectations and routines. By establishing a time for even the most repetitive events as well as homework and “down” time, life runs more smoothly. Establish family routines for responsibilities in your home, having family members take part in laundry, meal preparation, and clean up in the evening.
Happy New School Year and Happy Organizing! Ellen
Ellen R. Delap
Personal Organization Solutions
for Home, School, Work and Life
Member/Past President of NAPO Houston
Member National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization