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September is our annual signal it’s time for back to school organizing, and that includes moms as well. While getting kids organized for the start of a new school year, why not indulge in a little “back to school” cleanup of our own. Here are a few tips to help MOM get herself better organized for the coming months, as the (not so) lazy days of summer are drawing to a close.
Get Back To A Routine:
September is great for relaxing the rules and being spontaneous. And that doesn’t have to screech to a halt when the first leaf hits the ground. But fall is a great time to re-establish routines and put structure back into our week. One routine to establish is taking time on Sunday evening to plan out as much as possible for the week ahead. Some things to plan might be:
- dinner menus
- sack lunch menus; also, which days kids will be getting school lunches and which days will bring their lunch
- grocery lists
- chores for the week
- after school appointments and activities
One way might be to take a little time during the day (maybe even gather everyone together) and update everyone’s planner/calendar at the same time. Then everyone knows what is happening each day, and if there are conflicts with events they can be ironed out ahead of time.
Need ideas for using a family calendar to organize? Check out “Using A Calendar As A Family Organizer.”
If you prefer a more high tech approach, rather than a paper calendar or planner, a great tool for scheduling is the app Cozi. It syncs up with multiple phones for a streamlined family organization system. It includes color-coded calendars, to-do lists, and daily schedules you can access through a tablet or phone.
Organize and Declutter Devices:
Delete any unused or outdated apps to clear up space and streamline your computer and phone. Also, get rid of old photos, messages, etc. While you are deleting, create files for your devices to re-organize the remaining apps, photos, etc. Goal – get rid of the clutter and unnecessary, and organize what you need and truly want.
Try an app like Evernote or Dropbox to store files and images that you want to keep handy.
Create Reminders For Back To School:
Finally sidestep the usual hectic rush of back to school mornings by creating reminders, or set a series of reminder alarms on your phone. I already talked about setting up routines, and taking time on Sunday night to plan for the week ahead – one of those routines should be making reminders for yourself. Don’t miss that dentist appointment, early morning meeting, etc.
These can either be paper reminders, or digital. If you opt for paper, use sticky notes on the bathroom mirror, refrigerator, etc. Anywhere that you and your kids will be sure to see the reminder. If you want an automatic reminder each day, just set reminder alarms on your phone to quell back to school chaos. Or use a mixture of both!
Here are some ideas for reminder watches and clocks for you kids – to keep them on track!
Create You Own Work Zone:
If you don’t have one, create a work space of your own. Set up an area with good light, and a counter or table that you can use for paying bills, maintaining paperwork, etc. And make sure that you remove distractions from around your work area; i.e. not too close to the TV, etc. To minimize even more distractions, face the desk or table toward a wall or window instead of having it face the center of the room. In addition, you can create privacy with a folding screen or room divider, freestanding bookcase, etc.
To make bill paying less painful, check out “5 Tips for Easier Bill Paying.”
If you have trouble with organizing important papers, check out “6 Tips to End Paper Clutter.”
As a result of taking time now to address trouble areas, you will be able to work more efficiently all year. And you will be setting a great example for your kids. Seeing you stay organized will help them in staying on top of their own schedule. Because this is a skill they (and you) will use for the rest of their lives!