Do you find your mornings to be hectic when trying to get the kids out the door for school? Consider preparing the night before by laying out clothes, packing lunches, getting cereal dishes and cereal or breakfast bars out, packing backpacks, etc. Make sure any permission slips are signed and in the backpacks, homework is done and packed, and any special projects are included. There's nothing worse than already knowing you're running late then finding out you don't even have what you need packed! Take the frustration out of your mornings and plan ahead! No one should start the day off yelling at their kids because they are stressed out.
As parents, it's up to us to be organized and if we are organized, it sets a good example for the kids to follow. Keep your keys and your wallet/purse handy (close to the door) so you're not scrambling around looking for them as you're on your way out the door. If there is not a table near your door, consider hanging a basket or some hooks for your personal items.
Make being organized fun for the kids too - we can get the kids to help if we make things kid-friendly by bringing items down to their level. For instance, put the cereal and snacks down at their level in the pantry so they can get them themselves. Keep their lunch boxes low too, either on hooks in the pantry or in a low cupboard where they can access them (after they unpack them daily and to help repack them daily during the week). This will not only teach them to be responsible and helpful but will help you out as well.
Planning and writing things down are important parts of keeping life simple. Doing this can be as easy as using wipe off boards on the frig or setting alarms on your phone. Sometimes visuals are better because they are constant reminders (this is why I mention the wipe off board). Keeping up with school responsibilities in addition to any sports activities can sometimes be overwhelming. So if you keep a family calendar out and updated, it can help the whole family keep track of ongoing activities on a daily basis as well as allowing you to plan ahead.
Having a homework station and routine set up is crucial to keeping kids accountable. Don't only designate a time frame but also an area for homework to be done. If your children need your help, be sure and find a time you can focus on helping. Also, make sure you have gone through their backpack to see if there are any permission slips to sign and return or any important notes from the teacher. Most children have a planner that is signed each day by the teacher, also making any necessary comments a parent may need to read. Keeping up with and involving yourself with your children's schoolwork is important. The more involved and helpful you are, the more your children will enjoy school.
Placing hooks low near the door or inside the coat closet allows your kids to hang up their backpacks and coats themselves as well. Maybe add an extra hook with a tote bag for "Special" reminders such as gym clothes on gym day or projects. Hopefully these helpful hints will allow you to have an easier year this year....Good Luck!
Make things easy and convenient for everyone and that will reduce your stress and clutter!