August 28, 2009

5 Ways to Keep Cool During school

The new school year is here. Are you beginning to feel the stress of morning madness and the craziness of the after-school juggling act? Make this school year different. Implementing simple systems that family members make part of their daily routine can bring relief. Children of all ages may benefit from a few organization systems in their life, and the home is a great place to start. Children as well as parents have a need for order and consistency in their daily routine.

Here are five ideas or strategies to help you and your children have a successful school year.

  1. Plan your days and months with a calendar that is suited for your family's busy schedule and all activities.
    Whether you prefer a paper calendar, a dry-erase calendar or a computer calendar, there are many options to fit your style. Be sure that it's easy to get access to and that you look at it daily, so you can plan in advance. Involve your child with helping to keep his or her calendar up to date.
  2. Establish a place for your child to unload his or her backpack.
    For papers that need to be signed and returned to school, teach children to place them in a designated area, where they will be easily spotted. Children also need a place to put completed schoolwork and artwork, once removed from the backpack. This place may be temporary until a decision has been made as to what will be kept. Provide your child with an oversize, acid-free photo album that can be used to store the most treasured pieces from each school year.
  3. Establish a place to keep backpacks for the evening after they are emptied.
    A hook in an easily accessible location will help keep clutter off the floor.
  4. Make sure your child knows where to find supplies for doing homework.
    I have heard stories from adults who were challenged as a child trying to do homework because they could never find the scissors, tape, glue, pencils, crayons, etc., that were needed to get assignments done.
  5. When it comes to making a quick lunch, prepare what you can the evening before.
    Keep lunch-making items such as sacks, baggies, change, containers and grab-and-go foods in a place that allows you to quickly toss lunch together.


Laura Leist Laura Leist, CPO, is a speaker, productivity consultant and the best-selling author of Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home & Life. She founded the Seattle-based organizing services firm Eliminate Chaos in 2000 and is the President of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers). Laura is a frequent guest on TV, radio and has been published in several national newspapers and magazines.

Copyright Eliminate Chaos, reprinted with permission


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