You may recall that I shamelessly wrote a post on organization for new moms – despite the fact that I don’t have children. Well, this post has some tips for getting and keeping organized during the back-to-school season, and while I still don’t have any children, I can at least remember being one at back-to-school time.
The school year has the potential to introduce a lot of chaos into your life and home. You’re going to be deluged with schedules: school functions, after-school activities, music lessons, volunteer activities, things to get, menus, you name it. You can stop the chaos in its tracks with a master schedule.
One key to organization is to keep things as simple as possible and to keep like things together. There probably isn’t a better way to do this than by consolidating all of the family’s schedules in one place. You can do this is on a large calendar, but you might want to consider using an erasable calendar or white board because . . . things change. Keep the calendar easily accessible in a centralized place so it’s easy for everyone in the family to see and add to it when needed.
Tip: Assign each family member a different color for the calendar. It will make it easier for you to quickly see who is up to what, and it makes it more fun for kids to help keep things organized when they can introduce a little individuality into things.
When you select a place for your master schedule, consider a location that has room for an “action board,” too. Once school starts there are going to be a lot — probably a lot more — of things that “need action”: permission slips, lunch money, doctor’s notes, etc. Keeping all of these things together will save you time and – if everyone gets into the habit of checking and updating the board regularly – it can save you from some unpleasant surprises, as in “What do you mean you need two dozen cupcakes tomorrow?”
When you’re setting up these systems – and while your children are seeing what an inspirationally organized mother you are! – it may be a good time to get them started learning to organize their own routines. Help them understand how important it is to get in the habit of taking time to organize their day, their schoolwork, and their schedules and to plan their time so that they can get everything done that they need to. Organization can make your life so much easier and more productive, and there’s no better time to learn that than when you’re little.
What’s more important in organizing than lists? Not much, so in my next post, I’ll have some back-to-school lists for you.