Parenting Resolutions – The Organized Family
When it comes to family organization it also overlaps with another very important and very common parenting resolution of becoming a more patient and more peaceful parent. For more tips on peaceful parenting, you can go back and listen to episode #8: Tips to Being a Peaceful Parent. Or you can also check out the 2 classes, Peaceful Parenting: Part I and Peaceful Parenting: Part II.
When we are organized, can find what we need when we need, have a schedule and stick to it, relatively well, (life will always throw curve balls, after all) but when things go smoothly most of the time because we are organized and prepared, we:
- Have less stress
- Save time
- Have more quality time with family
- Teach our kids how to be more organized with both their time and their things
So being an organized family is a positive cycle in all these ways. Also because we pass off that responsibility in age appropriate ways as kids age, from putting their own toys away at a very young age, to dressing and cleaning their rooms to keeping track of their own belongings such as sporting equipment and homework as they grow older, we again experience even less stress, and have more time for positive interactions. In addition, these are great life skills that greatly contribute to success.
There are a lot of areas to consider when getting and/or staying organized:
- Morning Routines
- Toys and Art/Craft Supplies
- Meal Planning and Prepping
- School Supplies and Homework Schedules
- Kitchen – counters, drawers, mail, coupons, receipts, menus, etc.
- Extracurricular Activities
- Kids Clothes – not just keeping laundry clean but sorting out old clothes that are too small. There’s not much that’s more aggravating than being in a hurry to get to school, with very few clothing options and the last two pairs of pants in the drawer are 2 sizes too small!
The list goes on and on. Parents have a lot of balls to keep in the air and things to keep track of and organized so I’ll talk about a few of these areas and share tips.
Minimizing Time Wasters
Let’s start by talking about some of the biggest time wasters if not properly organized and that is:
- Cell Phones
- Purses and Wallets
We can literally waste hours each week looking for these items. So for making sure we aren’t wasting time searching for these item:
- Find a place for each of these items
- Yet into the habit of always putting them there
The cell phone is another challenge since it doesn’t usually stay in one place! So there is a trick for both android and iphone, besides asking someone to call it, since that requires both that someone is home with you and that it’s not on silent or vibrate!
- Login to your gmail account associated with your phone
- Choose your phone from the list of devices associated with the account
- Click the ring button to make the phone ring so you can locate it!
The iphone process is very similar:
- Login to iCloud.com
- Click the Find iPhone icon
- At the top is says “All Devices” click and select your phone
- Click “Play Sound”
Morning routines are another big struggle for many families and actually I got a question about just this so I will answer the question in the process of discussing an overall strategy for mornings.
- Start from the arrival time and move backwards from there, so whether the arrival time is for the adult getting to work or the child getting to school, that is the time from which to start and move backwards. So as an example, for us, the kids need to be at school by 8. this means we are out the door by 7:40, 5 minutes for loading in the car, 5 minutes for driving and 5 minutes for walking over to the school, leaving a 5 minute cushion.
- Always leave a cushion. It cuts down on stress and if you arrive 5 minutes early, then no problem. But rushing is never fun. So a kid can’t find a shoe, the backpack spills open and everything falls out getting out of the car, you are covered and not panicked.
So we now move backwards from the 7:40 leave time, it means everyone needs to be at breakfast by 7:20 and actually one of our kids needs to be starting by 7:15 because she talks a lot and eats slow so she needs extra time! This means 7AM wakeup for her and a 7:10 wakeup for the other 2. So if they aren’t up on their own by their allotted times, I know by when I need to start getting them moving. If getting one or more children up in the morning is a constant battle, see our class on toddler sleep (even if your child is older than a toddler) There is a chapter on how to choose a proper bedtime based on the amount of sleep children need by age.
To hear more tips on morning routines and much more, listen to the latest podcast episode on Family Organization.