“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” -Confucius
You made a promise to yourself this wouldn’t happen again this school year. But you aren’t certain the kitchen counter is even there anymore because it is covered with school notes, art work, party invitations, doctor appointment reminders, permission notes, picture forms, meeting and club notices, junk mail, newspapers, and bills buried somewhere in piles.
And its dinnertime and you have no idea what dinner is going to be. At our house, it got so bad that I would leave my husband a note in case he came home first. “No, we weren’t robbed; I actually left the place like this.”
I am not going to get all Martha Stewart on you because it’s difficult to get to that degree of organization, but it can be better and in your control. It begins with simplicity.
Here are a few tips that might help:
- When papers come in, they all go in one in-basket; go through them only one time.
- Create file folders numbered 1 to 31 and separate folders labeled Jan to Dec. If papers have date such as party invitations, doctor appointments, bills that are due, etc. they do in the respective monthly folder.
- If the due date is the current month, the papers are filed in the appropriate day folder; 1 to 31. If you follow this process, you will never lose any papers.
- Art work can be placed in pizza boxes or rolled up in cardboard paper towel rolls. You can also add other folders such as gift ideas, receipts, or others that apply to you and your family.
- Keys are always put in the same place, a key holder near the door.
- Kids each get a place for shoes, sports gear and a basket with their name. If needed, have another basket for the stuff they are responsible for.
- They are in charge of emptying the baskets. Nothing gets dumped on the floor. For very young children, put their picture and name so they get started early and understand they are part of the household.
- Book bags are on hooks, and when the weather gets cooler, so are coats. Position the hooks low enough for the kids to reach them.
- Purchase or create a mom calendar with a different spots for each family member.
- Now for meals… Ask each family member to write down their favorite meal ideas; do this each season. Little kids can participate if you show them pictures of healthy foods.
Since each family member contributes to the chaos, they should contribute to crafting a solution to better organization. What ideas can you share?
Have a great week!
Tina Nocera, Founder