by Jennifer Worthington Lower
As you can imagine, I’m sure, I love to read organization books and magazines to get ideas for my own life, to help others and to share with readers. I have been in spring cleaning mode which sends organization into overdrive and I like to organize, not only my home, but my life as well. With all of the time I spend trying to think ahead and multitask, I somehow run out of steam when it comes to a “night before” routine. I get to it sometimes, but I usually get involved in things after the kids go to bed and before I know it I’m up way past my bedtime.
Sleep is a huge priority and I am a much nicer person when I get adequate rest, so off to bed I will go.
I have been reading about various tips and systems to implement to make getting out the door in the morning easier and I thought I would share them with you here. Basically, you want to get anything done that can be done ahead of time- Lunches packed, clothes laid out, bags together and maybe even a breakfast table set up.
One system that has come back to me a few times is the daily bin or shelf idea. It is recommended to set up a series of bins (or whatever would work for you and your family) for each day of the week. This gives everything that comes through the door with a deadline a home. Soccer practice on Thursday? Cleats and shin guards are in the bin. Piano lessons on Tuesday? Books and sheet music are ready to go. Something that I am terrible at is unloading my own stuff and sorting it. I will make sure my husband and kids are set and then I will let just wing it when it comes to my things. I figure, at least everyone else is going to be fine, and it will be my own fault if I forget my own stuff. I should not feel that way, but it happens. If I were to implement the bin system, I would save myself the trouble and sore shoulder from lugging unneeded junk around with me everyday.
I have also heard that some families successfully use a folder system or pockets on the refrigerator to keep organized. One folder per family member contains their schedules, forms, assignments, etc…. Everything is in one central location so Mom and Dad can keep track while each child is ultimately responsible for their own things. This would work well for school aged children. Mine are young so we don’t have much paper accumulation yet, but we will. One last thing that I will mention is the master schedule. This can be a hardcopy, paper and pen type calendar or you online calendars synced on your computer and smart phone. Everyone’s assignments and appointments are written in one place and all birthdays, holidays and special events are recorded. I like to have an online and paper copy of this. I always have my phone with me and it would seem to be the most convenient, but I like to write things down. The act of writing it seems to stick with me better than typing it on a key pad. I try to keep my online calendars up to date with my hard copy so there are no mistakes and everyone has a copy at their disposal.
I hope this can inspire you to try something new to make your days run smoothly. What do you do already that helps you organize your life?