September arrives and we are overwhelmed with pizza day forms, extra-curricular sign-up dates, and grocery lists (where did that go anyway?!). Organization is your best fall accessory; bringing you function in a timely fashion.
Here are 5 ways to organize your family:
1. Family calendar. One communal calendar or family blackboard where you write down appointments (Katie to dentist at 10am), special days (like pizza day, because not having to make a school lunch is pretty special!), and extra-curricular activities (hockey practice: 6pm). It’s best to keep the family calendar in a general area (on the fridge, perhaps) so that everyone can see the schedule for the week or month.
2. School paperwork drop-zone. Designate a basket, magazine holder or plastic bin for each child’s school paperwork. Then, get your child into the routine of putting their agenda, forms, library books and other school-paper-based stuff in one spot. It is the easy answer to the “Mom, where’s my field trip form?” question.
3. E-grocery list. Save paper and your sanity by making an electronic grocery list. You can use the notepad option on your smartphone, an app on your tablet or just order your groceries online. The beauty of making an e-grocery list is that it becomes a template for future shopping trips. You can add full recipe lists, essentials or weekly meal plans.
4. Keys and more bowl. “Have you seen my keys? Phone? Access pass?” Tired of playing hide-and-seek for those pocket items you so desperately need every day? Designating a ‘keys and more’ bowl gives everyone a catch-all spot to rest their essential small items.
5. Tidy as you go. Often, we feel at our most disorganized when our homes look like they’ve been hit by a tsunami (cluttered home = cluttered mind). The whole family should get in the habit of tidying as they go, as it helps the home (and mind) remain organized. Finished breakfast? Put your dishes in the dishwasher. Played in the rec room? Clean up the toys before naptime. Worked on the computer? Log off. Had a shower? Hang your used towel to dry.
Include me-time in the family calendar: Don’t forget to schedule “me-time” into your busy family timetable. Not only do you deserve it, but time for you contributes to de-stressing and healthy living. Pencil in a weekly yoga class or a monthly date with your partner.
Caroline Fernandez shares family friendly activities and tips on her site Parent Club.