PHOENIX - Welcome back to another busy and crazy school year. If you are like our family, your calendar just filled up and will stay that way through May. So being as organized as possible is the best way to reduce stress and stay on top of things. I decided to put together a plan that would help to keep my busy family organized. Take a look at these ideas and let us know in the comments section if you have some helpful advice, too. Here is what has worked to keep our manic lives somewhat managed and organized.
*Organize Own Space. My daughter did not want to acknowledge the start of the new school year because she didn’t want summer to end. So, I waited until two weeks before school and then I helped her clean out her room from top to bottom. After we filled several big bags with donation items, we sat down in her cleaned out room and discussed what we could do to get her space organized. By discussing ideas together, she felt ownership for organizing her own space, so she is even more excited about what we came up with because she had a hand in the planning.
She told me that she wanted a new desk and a vanity. Not being able to afford both, we agreed on looking for a vanity that would double as a desk, too. I’m happy to report that IKEA has some terrific deals and we found a beautiful vanity. The Hemnes white dressing table with mirror comes with nice roomy drawers for $249. Since we had searched online for vanity tables before we went to IKEA, my daughter could appreciate the savings at IKEA because we had found similar sets that sold for over $800. So getting her room organized and decluttered was the first big step in getting her mind decluttered, cleared and ready to get back in the class room. See the segment to see how she got creative and added a canopy over the vanity. Visit www.ikea.com for more information about the items shown in the segment.
*Get a weekly calendar. I found some good Mom calendars at Office Max that are already working wonders for our busy family. The Family Agenda Calendar by Markings is small enough to fit on a fridge with a handy magnet on the back. And it is large enough to record the entire family’s individual schedules. See the segment to see what this cool calendar looks like. I prefer a weekly calendar because it helps us to take things one day at a time and one week at a time. When we used to view the monthly calendar, we all felt overwhelmed and tired. One week at a time reminds us to take it one day at a time and to work together.
*Schedule a weekly family meeting on Sunday nights. Your family may balk at this at first, but let them know that the meeting will be quick and do it in front of the fridge calendar. When everyone looks at the week ahead together, not only do we all double check that everyone's dates and times are recorded correctly, but we also catch any potential conflicts that can be resolved before we are deep in the week and find ourselves in a bind. Plus…and this is the best part…I have found that our family works better together and is more patient as the week progresses, because we understand that we are all busy, scheduled and tired. So we support each other more and even the kids seem to get this and are more patient with each other as the busy week wears on!
*Get a mom binder! I found a cool one that is helping me a lot! It is called Busy Moms K-12 School Organizer and it sells for $16.98 at Office Max. All aspects of the busy school year life are neatly organized in this helpful binder. There is an area for school contacts, medical information, after-school activities, grades and test scores, reports and awards plus a 3-pocket accordion file folder that can hold additional important papers. If you want to save the $17.00, watch the segment to see me show it and make one yourself. For me the cost was worth it because it has kept me super organized….so far anyway!
* More Cool Tools For Back-to-School Organization I found some additional helpful items that I also recommend to keep your family organized….
*Deflect-O DocuPocket Wall File Packet, a set of 3 sold at Office Max for $21.49--since this 3-pocket sturdy file system hangs on your wall, it gets papers off the counters and into a nice organized central filing system that works for the entire family.
*Stikki Clips reusable paper holders, packet of 20 sold at Lakeshore Learning for $3.99. Watch the segment to see what I do with this cool little invention.
*Classroom Carry-All sold at Lakeshore Learning for $19.95. Although it is made for a class art kit, I find that it works well as a homework supply station that can be easily transported from room to room.
*CelluWipes Tech-Safe Cleaning Wipes at Fry's Electronics or online at www.celluwipes.com. I keep these in the Classroom Carry-All to remind my family to wipe all of those icky germs off the cell phones, keyboards and more!
So, these are the cool school tools and get organized ideas that have helped us streamline our busy lives. And to see my family less stressed is absolutely priceless!
Share your best get organized ideas in the comments section and be sure to check my website at managedmoms.com for lots of great tips from busy women across the nation! Keep organized and less stressed everyone and have a successful busy school year!