Parents have their hands full every day – from trying to remember schedules, to making sure they are eating healthy, brushing their teeth and getting enough sleep. Keeping the family organized can be a challenge, especially if you have children who regularly participate in extra-curricular activities.
Here are some tips on how to establish and maintain organization for the whole family:
- Keep important dates and information handy. Purchase a large whiteboard calendar or chalkboard and place it in the heart of your home, such as the kitchen. Use this to ensure important dates are documented, so the family remembers when the next parent-teacher meeting is or what time soccer practice is this week. You can also add corkboards or wall trays to store important papers that may need to be signed or that you don’t want to misplace. If you children are old enough, this is also a perfect area to display your child’s chores so they don’t forget what they are responsible for the week.
- Write things down. No matter how well we are at remembering things, something is bound to fall through the cracks when you’re juggling routines, dinner, bath time, and more. Keep a to-do list or notebook handy and write down things as they come to mind that way you’re not racking your brain later trying to remember the one thing you needed to get done before you went to bed.
- Prepare the night before. Families understand how hectic the mornings can get. Minimize forgetting things at home by ensuring the family gets ready for the following day the night before. This would include making sure your children have everything they need for school in their backpack, lunches and snacks are packed and they have what they would need for any afterschool activities. Make it part of your child’s bedtime routine to pick out their outfit for the next day. Have a designated place near the front door for their shoes, jackets, and backpacks to be kept, so time isn’t wasted in the morning looking for where they last left these items.
- Before you go grocery shopping, plan out your meals for the week. This will help shape your week and also save you time trying to figure out each day what you want to eat and possibly having to make multiple trips to the store throughout the week to pick up ingredients you don’t have.
- In your children’s room or play room, create organized areas for their toys with bins or cubbies to ensure their stuff is cleaned up after they are done playing with them. On the outside of the bins or cubbies, place photos of the types of items that belong there to help younger children remember where different items belong.
- Have a designated work space for activities that require concentration and focus such as homework, projects and crafts. Pick a room or a part of a room that your child can keep all his or her supplies for these activities ready. Use bins or storage containers to keep the supplies neat and organized. When you buy school supplies at the beginning of the school year, color code each subject – Math is blue, English is green, etc., and use the same color for to label books, folders and other materials that relate to each subject with the corresponding color throughout the year. This will make it easy for your child to quickly grab what they’re looking for without having to search through each folder or notebook.
How does your family best stay organized?