September is here and for most families this means back-to-school, routines, and busy days! Here are some things you can do around the house to cut down on the frantic mornings, stress and occasional chaos that this time of year typically brings.
1. Keep Track of The Paperwork
This time of year is overloaded with field trips, sports schedules, art projects and paperwork galore! Start the year off right by figuring out a way that will work for you to keep everything organized and accounted for. One approach that works for some would be to deal with the paperwork as soon as it comes in the house. Put important dates and appointments on the family calendar and scrap the pieces you no longer need. Another option is to create a file separated into weeks and each week you deal with its associated documents. Whichever way you decide to handle this, just be sure you do and you will avoid missed practices and unsigned permission slips.
2. Organize the Playroom
Anyone with kids knows that playrooms and rec rooms can very quickly become a dumping ground for unused toys, books and storage items. Rotate the toys! Kids tend to get bored of toys very quickly so why not put fewer toys out for shorter periods of time. This creates less clutter and entices the children to actually spend more time in said playroom. Chalkboards and whiteboards on the walls provide space to be artistic and keep the room less busy. One last thing to consider is having designated storage bins for each activity - this makes it easier for kids to find what they are looking for and keeps all the pieces together.
3. Clean Out and Organize the Closet
Go through your child’s closet with them and have them try on clothes they haven’t worn in a while. Donate or consign the old stuff to make room for the new. Fewer items are better as it’s well known that kids outgrow their clothing in a short period of time. Keep it simple! One idea to help keep the week running smoothly is to pick out five outfits on Sunday for the week. Either hang these clothes in one section of the closet with hangers labelled with each day of the week or have them organized on a separate shelf, ready and waiting. The kids know what they are wearing each day and if they are old enough can get themselves dressed.
Packing lunches has to be one of the most common problems parents have in keeping mornings on time and less stressful. One way to prepare ahead of time is to have lunch containers clean and organized near the fridge and if possible prepare the meals the night before. Shop ahead for the week and if you have staple items you use on a regular basis, store them together in the panty in clear containers so you know when you are running low. Leftovers are another option - an easy way to avoid having to make a separate meal.
It can feel overwhelming thinking about everything that comes along with fall and back-to-school. If you take a few minutes each day over the next few days, and take one small thing on at a time, you will find yourself getting where you want to be. If you are able to invest time in organizing now, you will find your mornings run more smoothly and you will have more time down the road to do other things.