Helping the Family Get Organized
The key to getting and staying organized is advanced planning and developing a routine.
A little planning, de-cluttering and re-organizing can the family stay focused and keep everyone’s stress levels low.
1. Have a family calendar. Keep the calendar in a high-traffic location in your home. Ask young children every morning to read to you what’s happening that day. Weekly family meetings are a great opportunity to put everyone’s activities on the calendar so there are no unpleasant logistical surprises.
2. Parents and older children should have their own day planner. This is a great opportunity to model good organizational skills yourself; show your child what kind of system you use to stay on track. Your child’s planner could have lists of homework and due dates, as well as a list of supplies needed to help with projects.
3. Keep all forms, dated materials, schedules in one place. Use designated folders for individual children, or for activities. Color-coded folders for each category can be helpful. Keep these in an accessible place so everyone knows where they are.
4. Dedicate time to de-clutter and organize each child’s living space. Do some sorting together and involve your child in the process. Have a designated weekly time to go through the backpack together and decide what stays at home, stays in the backpack, goes back to school, or goes in the trash. Getting children’s participation is key to developing independent organizational skills. Make de-cluttering easier by keeping a box handy for "giveaways.”
5. Begin each day the night before. Mornings are often a stressful time for families. Get children in the habit of packing their backpacks the night before and putting them by the front door. Have them select and lay out clothes in the evening to prevent meltdowns in the a.m.
For more information contact The Parenting Center at Children’s Hospital at 504-896-9591 or visit www.theparentingcenter.net.