For parents of school-age kids, back-to-school is the start of a very cramped calendar. Gone are the flipflop freedoms of the summer. It’s time for meetings, appointments, homework help, sports practices, and music lessons, not to mention the logistical nightmare of figuring out child care and carpools. Oh, and all the paperwork.
While your schedule won’t always go according to plan, there are steps you can take to tackle the calendar-induced anxiety that comes around this time of year. While this time can be stressful, there are some ways we can embrace the transition and look at it as a new start and a time for growth for ourselves as parents, as well as our children. Below are 5 key steps..
1. Family Meeting
Yes, I know you are not at the office. However, lots of the same practices applied at work are also great for your family. After all your family is a unit needs to be able to work together to be most efficient. Pick a date/time for your reoccurring meetings that would allow all members to be present. Our family meetings are on Sunday nights, we go through the weeks schedule together and talk through our successes, struggles, and solutions. Yes, everyone's family meetings will look a bit different and that is great. Just remember the purpose of a family meeting is to foster open communication among family members. It is a safe place where everyone is free to say what they think and feel as they cooperate to make decisions and solve problems. Check out more about Family Meetings- Link here
2. Establish Routines
While this time can be stressful, there are some ways we can embrace the transition and look at it as a new start and a time for growth for ourselves as parents, as well as our children.
Before and after school are typically the most stressful times for parents, and you can get some help from your kids by giving them more responsibility in the mornings. No matter how young your children, they can help to create a morning checklist with tasks your child checks off.
Below is an example of my daughter's morning & night routine. She is 5 and is proud of her routine! I have the routines laminated and easily available so the kidos don't need to memorize and they gain confidence by following. These work great because even if other caregivers are over the same routine can be followed.
Check out more about routines- Link here
3. Consolidate Calendars
At the beginning of the start of the school year, consolidate your school, work, extracurricular and family schedules. It's worthwhile to share Google Calendars with your partner, it’s helpful to also have a written family calendar in a common area in the house that has color-coding so each family member can easily scan for his or her obligations. We just got a DAKboard, this is a digital wall calendar. It supports calendar syncing with Google Calendar, iCloud Calendar, Facebook and other online calendar services! We can display our events on a full monthly calendar in our back-entry and it has been a great digital family calendar so far.
Even if you can only spare 5 minutes,taking some time to declutter and organize your physical space is a vital first step to alleviating stress that comes with a packed schedule. Just start with one room or one drawer, determine the purpose of the space, and then sort all items into 5 categories (Trash, Donate,Keep,Relocate,Recycle). Finalize by ensuring all items that are kept are placed in their new home and all other items are removed and placed in their new home (i.e. garbage/ recycle/donated or relocated to proper location).
Check out more about decluttering - Link Here
5. Paperwork Process
Daily items are brought into the home either from the mail or from your kidos backpack. Organize all those papers and memorabilia by creating a simple system that eliminates clutter why preserving your special memories. When new paper items are brought into your home ask your self, does it need action ( i.e. bill ,spelling test) , can I recycle/trash, or do I want to display (i.e. kids art work). Check out more about school paperwork - Link here
Action Items: Create a desk top/cabinet filing system for items needing action items (Bills/Spelling Test/Picture form): Give each person in the home a folder and schedule time to review items weekly. Empty backpack everyday and go through papers brought home. After all you don't want to miss wacky hair day or that field trip.
Trash/Recycle: Coupons you don't need or flyers for services you aren't interested put into bins even before letting them get into your house. If you are noticing you are getting lots of bills in the mail - opt to pay online. This will help save trees and paper clutter from creeping in your house overtime.
Display: Kids bring home lots of cool stuff from school. Have them pick there favorites and hang these for all to see. You can create a special place to display art work and route pieces out on a regular basis. This way your kids can show their stuff and feel special and you can limit the quantity.
While this time can be stressful, there are some ways we can embrace the transition and look at it as a new start and a time for growth for ourselves as parents, as well as our children. I hope the 5 above steps have inspired you to get started in organizing today. When you begin to organize the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.
Remember, you are your child’s first teacher! Modeling the skills of organizing and simplification are gifts that will last a lifetime.
Mindfully Minimized is here to help. Whether through our blog, or our personal services our holistic organizational solution company committed to helping you clear the clutter in your life so you can focus on what you love.
If you need personalized organizing support let's connect today - Link Here
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