6 Helpful tips for Fall Family Organization

08 October, 2013

Calendar central on a stainless fridgeHere we are. Fall has arrived, the kids are back in school and everything is in full gear. We’ve gotten past the first few weeks, so all family systems should be fit and organized, right? Well, reality often falls short of our aspirations of a well-oiled machine. Have no fear! We have scoured the web to find our favorite back to school tips to get you on track and put some order into your family’s beautiful chaos.

 

1. Establish a centralized calendar zone

While we are mostly managing by the digital schedules on our smartphones, having a physical location with published school calendars, printed sports schedules as well as simple weekly chore or pick-up schedules helps keep the family organized. The ubiquitous kitchen fridge is an ideal location to clip or stick up useful schedules.

2. Set up a dedicated homework station – For your kids and for yourself!

Establish a dedicated work-space that signals “time to accomplish stuff” for those who sit there. Not only does this instill a sense of work ethic and routine for your kids, but also keeps their paperwork, doodles, and projects in the station and off of the kitchen table. The same goes for your own workspace. You’ll be more likely to sit down and plan all that needs to be done (your kitchen table will thank you)!

 3. Set up weekly time to organize the chaos 

Sometimes the thing that needs reorganization is the organization itself. Take some dedicated time every week to process all the paper, pending messages and write out the unfinished tasks in your head and determine how to prioritize them in the upcoming week. Gather all the paper the kids (and their teachers) have produced that week for you to ensure nothing gets missed.

4. Don't trust your memory - write it down 

No matter how hard we try some things fall through the cracks. Keep a notebook or prominently placed pad handy and write down upcoming events, pick-ups, birthdays, and any thing you need to remember. Be sure to gather these notes during your weekly organization time and add key items to your calendars and action lists.

 5. Institute a regular "family project" day 

Pick one or two Saturdays of the month to get working on your house. Save the biggest or perhaps the most annoying jobs for this day. Don’t let the kids sit out either – have them work right along side with you. This way, you’re simultaneously cleaning the clutter and teaching them useful skills for their future. Celebrate the end of the day with a family fun night.

6. Be realistic with your time

If you’re deciding on picking up some new responsibilities, be realistic with what you can and cannot do. Every now and then we need a gentle reminder that we’re human. We can’t be the best team mom, most dependable car-pooler, and good spouse all at once. Do what you can but leave some time to enjoy the season!

Here's to colorful and fun organization!


Informative resources that inspired us for this post:

Organized Home – tips for getting organized for back to school as well as putting your paper in order.

Zen Habits – Simple ideas for habits that bring peace of mind and productivity; Inspired by David Allen’s Getting Things Done

DisneyFamily.com has great suggestions to keep family schedules on track

Words of wisdom from Sarah Smiley, author of the memoir Dinner With the Smiley’s

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