Please welcome my special guest poster today: Megan Brown, Co-founder of HatchedIT.com, an online family organizational platform. (She had me at "organized".)
How Stay Organized as the Kids Head Back to School
As another summer draws to a close and we begin to prepare our kids for the start of a new school year there are several tips we can follow to help stay energized, organized and on track.
1. Turn off the TV
Television time is ok but it should be designated. It is too easy to get sucked in and waste hours in front of the tube. Create a schedule with your kids on when they can watch TV and how much they can watch at a given time.
With sports, after school activities, homework, play dates and more scheduling can be one of the more stressful tasks during the school year. It is important to be on top of your scheduling by using calendars, online organizers, and reminders to help you keep track of your busy day.
Buy boxes and baskets to help store things around the house like toys and gadgets. Compartmentalizing is great for organization and de-cluttering! They are also the perfect way to help each child know where to put items specific to them like homework assignments, permission slips and after-school activity information. Kids are used to putting things into labeled bins at school – why not let them help you keep organized at home too!
“A place for everything and everything in its place” is a great motto to live by. Don’t let the cleaning work pile up; try and disperse chores through the week so that you aren’t overwhelmed.
Start preparing anything and everything that you can ahead of time. Some examples? Prep your outfit for work before you go to bed, prep dinner meals on the weekend, pack the kids’ lunches the night before and keep them in the fridge. This way everything is ready when you need it to be and you can start the day feeling prepared rather than discombobulated or rushed.
6. To Do Lists
To gain perspective on what needs to be done now and what can be held off - lists are always a great tool. However, sticky notes scattered across the walls of your home are not the best method for list making. Make one list at the start of your day and use it as you get things done throughout the day.
You may not realize it, but getting adequate rest and having a regular sleep schedule will help you to be more organized throughout your day. Both kids and parents should have a bedtime.
Coordinating is never going to work without communication. Talking it out is also important in any busy family.
9. Stop Buying Things
Seriously! Consider what you actually need versus what you want. Not only will you be saving money, but you will also have less to clean up.
10. Reward Yourselves
Give credit where credit is due! If the kids are doing their chores and helping, don't forget to reinforce their good behavior with compliments and rewards like going out for ice cream or renting a movie. And if the parents have had a great week, treat yourselves to a night out.
The most helpful hint of all- Don’t over stress the start of the school year. If the family supports and loves one another then being organized will happen naturally, especially if you remember to follow the tips!
About Megan Brown:
Megan Brown is the co-founder of HATCHEDit.com, the online organization and collaboration tool for families. She has over a decade’s worth of Wall Street experience spanning both sales trading and Asset Management Sales and Marketing.