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8 Routines of Organized Families

8 routines of organized families

 

Family routines make family life run smoothly.  It’s no secret there are lots of reasons to be an organized family.  It’s these 8 routines that make a difference and help your family be THAT organized family.

 

1.  Family meetings help everyone communicate, work together and know what is needed.

2.  Grocery shop on the same day or days each week. Never run out of milk, bread or other essentials.

3.  Your family calendar can be paper or digital.

4.  Completing laundry twice a week means everyone can find their jeans and underwear all the time.

5.  Have a landing strip where kids backpacks and your bags sit ready to go each morning.

6. Have a spot your mail comes to each day, open it over the recycling container and shred right away.

7. It could be just once a week, but having family dinner together makes for cohesiveness.

8.  Everyone needs a good bedtime.

 

 

Organized families keep up with habits and routines with charts, check lists and signs.  Organized families make time for organizing and prioritize working together to organize.  Organized families know the value of organizing.

 

More ideas for busy parents here!

 

 

 

Quick Start Back to School Routines

 

 

back to school routines

Your kids just got out of school and it is already time for Back To School.  It’s hard to get started, so I have created this series Quick Start Back to School to get everyone going!   The next post is about Back To School routines.

 

For many families the thought of Back to School routines strikes a negative chord.  For some families, they welcome back the thought of getting back into the structure of the school year.

 

Adding just a few times for routines makes a difference for all families.

 

Bedtime routines

 

Starting a week before school starts, inch back bedtime to just 3o minutes before school time bedtime.  Creating a consistent bedtime helps everyone get a better night’s sleep.  Start extra early to allow for conversation.  It may not be dark yet, so adding a soothing sound can help too.

 

Once school starts, have a routine that includes bath, reading and bed.  Eliminate all blue light devices at least an hour before bedtime.

 

Parents need a bedtime too during the school year. Be realistic about the amount of sleep you need.  Sleep procrastination for parents can be a real problem!

 

Homework routines

 

Homework should have a start and finish time.  Once your kids hit the door, have a snack and start by 4pm.  The early start means homework ends before dinner.  Use a timer to get your kids started and work in 15 or 20 minute intervals, with 5 minute breaks (known as the Pomodoro Technique) for best focus.

 

Homework ends when everything is tucked back in the backpack and by the landing strip.  This spot can be at the entry where you head to the car.  Your purse, laptop and any other items should be ready to go in the morning too.

 

Other family routines

 

Family meeting time is an important communication and team building time. It’s when everyone posts to the family calendar, talks about upcoming events and shares time together.  Be sure to decide when you will meet and you will truly be amazed at the benefits.

 

Grocery shopping makes it easier to prepare family meals, healthy snacks and lunches for school.  Set a weekly time to shop and decide on how you will create your list. A magnetic list is great and so is the app GroceryIQ.

 

If your family is struggling, create a check list on a dry erase board to help them keep on top of their responsibilities and routines.

 

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Tackle A Tiny Area: Laundry Room

Small steps lead to big accomplishments! Tackling a tiny area can make a difference in your home or office. This summer we are taking a tour of these projects and creating a plan for you. This project is the laundry room.

Laundry is an important process in our homes and for ourselves and our family. Having a well stocked, efficient space makes it easy to get this job done. 

Set your timer for one hour.  Eliminate trash first, then recycle plastic containers.  Pull out the items that are unused and donate these.  With the items that remain, group these together by categories, such as lightbulbs, cleaning, glue and tape,  pets, and laundry.  Decide if items truly belong in the garage and distribute these at the end of your hour.

Even a laundry room can be a place of beauty! Uniform, attractive containers make the difference.  Label the containers to help you and your family maintain order. Think about painting the walls a color you love too!

Laundry stuck in this room forever? Invite your family to the “laundry party” and purchase one laundry basket per person.  This way you can distribute laundry to each person’s room effortlessly, with each person putting away their own laundry.  If laundry is leaving and not getting put away in  your kid’s room, have them watch a movie, fold and put on hangers, and then set a timer for 5 minutes to put it away.  Give your family a deadline and a date to get this done every week. 

What ways are you tackling your laundry area?

Summer Routines start NOW!

summer routines

 

 

 

Here is it, the first week of summer vacation.  Its time to start a new routine for you and your family, transitioning to ways your family can make the most of summer.  Summer routines start now!

  • Have a family meeting where you talk about what summer means to each family member.  Talk about how you can be a team this summer and about each person’s growth.  It can be working together on a family project or fun activities. For individuals, it can be becoming a better reader, building more confidence with math (for parents this is balancing your checkbook), taking on a new challenging sport (I see moms who are becoming triathaletes), or just deciding you are going to have more family time together.
  • Write up a checklist for your kids to accomplish each day, including chores and their chosen challenge.  Decide on a completion time for the checklist, so without controversy and conversation it is done.
  • Establish a bedtime for parents and kids this summer, including curfews for older kids.

Starting your summer routine also requires commitment. If these routines do not go as planned, press the “reset button” and start again the next day.

What routines are you starting this summer?

Join me for summer fun!

Back to School Time Management

Back to school means getting back into schedules, activities and getting to school on time.  It is hard to do, especially after summer.   One of the most important parts of back to school is getting back or getting going on good routines.  Routines are the consistent, every day ways of getting things done that make life easier.  Try out these routines this fall, starting them the third week of August, so that by the first day of school you are already in the groove. 

  •  Have a set schedule for homework and other chores.  Designate a little time for down time, and then start on homework in the late afternoon. The later you start homework, the longer it takes.  Decide on what chores are done on what days and post a chart so everyone is on board with this plan. 
  • Use power periods to get homework done. Instead of 2 hours straight, break your homework time into 15,30 or 45 minutes of work and 5 minutes of walking around, getting a drink,texting friends or taking a very short break. Your kids will be more efficient if they know that the homework needs to be done in 45 minutes.
  • All kids and parents need planners and calendars.  Host a family meeting each week to write in on a month at a glance calendar what upcoming and regular events are going on. Include even the weekly activities, like ballet, football or other kids and parent activities.  You can use the google calendar or Cozi.com if you are a techie, and print the calendar to post too.  Kids bring their planners too to fill in so everyone is modeling and practicing how to use their planners.
  • Set a bed time for the kids and parents.   Well rested kids do better in school. Well rested parents are more productive.  Set alarm clocks for everyone to get up and get going. 

Take a good look at the big picture and what you want this year to be for your family.  At your family meeting, have everyone talk about this and share.  Also think through over scheduling.  Be realistic about what your kids participate in and your commitment.  Being involved is a positive, but being over involved can cause stress and frustration.

ADD and Routines

ADD and ADHD

 

For some of us, creating routines is natural and comfortable.  We love repetition and the sameness of routine.  However, some of us like spontaneity and the excitement of new and fresh!  Can there be a balance or a way to merge these two ideas?  With the challenges of ADHD, often there is a big void of routines.  It is unnatural and uncomfortable.   However, a few important small routines can make a difference.

  • Start with an awareness of how routines can make a difference for you. If you have ADD or ADHD,  think about how whether having one day established for a certain task might be helpful?  The time does not have to be rigid, but it should be compelling.   I suggest having one hour of administrative time once a week to catch up with tedious, required tasks.  Having a routine set for admin time, such as Sunday afternoon between nap and dinner, make certain that paper is acted on. A routine might be something that happens daily or weekly.  Laundry days can be every day in the morning or every Monday and Thursday.
  • Add on one simple, small step to an existing routine.  If you are already successful at a task, add on a related task as the next step in your routine.   It can be simply empty the trash in your car each time you get gas.  Toss the junk mail right after you put the kids to bed.
  • Add a partner to get a task finished.  You and your kids, spouse, or friend can fold and put away clothes, clean up the kitchen, or file and chat.
  • Give yourself permission and time to do a routine well.  If bill paying is the priority, that is all you need to accomplish in one day.   It is okay to accomplish one big job in a day.
  • Use a checklist to successfully begin a new routine.  Your checklist will prompt you visually with the steps in  your routine and you won’t have to rely on working memory. Your checklist will ensure completion too!  A checklist can be used at the beginning or end of the day and placed in a spot where you will see it regularly.
  • Don’t give up a routine easily.  It takes at least 3 weeks and up to 6 weeks to get a routine established.  Have tenacity and a compelling reason to keep your routine going.

What are routines that work well for you?  What is your “secret?”

Busy Moms’ Success Tips

busy moms' success tips

 

In the last month, while speaking to moms all over the greater Houston area, I have learned many success tips for families. Here are a few shared by moms of young children.

Write a list of 5 things you do every morning and do them before 9 am. This includes empty the dishwasher, start a load of wash, quick vaccum or whatever else is most important to get the day going.

Create an evening routine for you and your kids that includes bathtime, laying out all clothes including shoes, backpacks packed and breakfast table set.

Sort your toys into bins and label the bins. Your kids will not play with the tea set if the saucer is missing! Keep toys together that are played with together.

Play with your child first, then get your tasks complete.  Your kids will be happier and so will you if their needs are met, then you complete your other jobs.

Have your kids help with the laundry. Host the laundry party once a week, put on fun music, and get it all into baskets and back to their closets.  Have a laundry basket in each child’s room to take the laundry to the washer and bring it back from the dryer.

Using a command center for papers makes all the difference.   I have one place to look for paper this way.

Over and over I find that having a routine for my family makes the most difference.  Writing it out on a paper helps me remember what our routine is.

What are your busy mom’s success tips?