Two things about me: I like to get out the door without too much fuss and I like to travel light. When T was first born, neither of those things felt very doable. But, what started as a Mary Poppins’s-sized infant diaper bag has streamlined down to a small toddler backpack.
I have never liked having a lot of “stuff.” Don’t misunderstand me – I like plenty of things – things that are useful and/or bring me joy, and things that have a designated place to live. But things that fall outside of those parameters have always been ripe for the donation bin.
When I started my baby registry, I knew that things were going to have to change.
Over the past 17 months, I’ve had to expand my definitions of usefulness (let’s face it, there are lots of very useful kid products these days), joy (it may not bring me joy, but it brings the biggest smile to my daughter’s face…so, fine, it’s bringing me joy), and designated place to live (these places used to have stricter boundaries…now it’s more of a general corner or an overflowing basket at the end of the couch).
But when it comes to her clothing, I refuse to compromise my definitions. Sure, we only have a designated space of 6 dresser drawers, she has grown into and out of at least 5 sizes of clothing to this point, and there’s a stock of gifts where people “sized up” just waiting for wear. But, I’m happy to report that I have taken control of the clothing, and with a little vigilance, I can keep it that way.
Step 1: Empty the contents of the dresser and as you’re doing so, sort it into clothing categories that make sense for you. Weed out all the items of clothing that no longer fit. With kids, this is obviously an ongoing process – keep an open bin somewhere nearby to quickly toss things that don’t fit as you realize it. When I try to get a shirt on Tess and it won’t go over her head, it goes directly into that bin.
Preparing for a new baby can be very exciting – but it can also feel overwhelming. Hormones and anxieties aside, it’s hard to wrap your head around the growing to-do list and the seemingly endless amount of stuff you need for your baby-to-be. And how on earth is it all going to fit in your apartment?! Don’t beat yourself up if you’re feeling overwhelmed – even Professional Organizers can feel this way 😉
Never fear! Using your nesting instincts and these tips, you’ll be ready (and organized!) for the baby.
The start of the school year is a great time to adopt new, organized habits. Here are some ideas to help you keep tabs on your family’s whereabouts, allow you to see what arrangements need to be made, eliminate some of that morning pressure and to stay on top of school-generated paperwork.
Create a master calendar for your family.
So much of being organized is knowing what preparations you need to make in order to get organized. That’s why it’s so important to have a color-coded master calendar for your family. This calendar should include everything – family plans, after-school activities, field trips, vacation days, school assignments and Mom & Dad time. If you’re technologically savvy, you can create this in a calendar program like Outlook or iCal. If you prefer paper, choose a wall calendar large enough to accommodate all of your family’s activities – then assign each family member a different color. Display the calendar in a central location and hang colored markers from strings on the same hook. This way, family members can add new items (in their color) as they come up.
On a particularly hectic day, you should be able to look at the calendar and immediately know where everyone is and what they’re up to. Most important, you’ll be able to see what arrangements need to be made – booking a babysitter, arranging for a carpool or baking cupcakes for the PTA bake sale. Knowing these things ahead of time will allow you to take care of them when your schedule allows – rather than feeling the pressure at the last minute.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the approach of the school year. As a parent, there is a lot to juggle to get your child back into his regularly scheduled program – carpool coordination, school supply shopping and the reinstatement of pre-summer routines. As a student, it can feel just as overwhelming. Your preteen may be feeling anxious about a whole different set of responsibilities – in some cases, it’s the first time he’ll have a locker, the first time he’ll be changing classroom between subjects and the first time he’ll have to navigate a new school building. One way to help your child feel more in control is to encourage him to develop organizational skills through the proper use of a student planner.
Looking for ways to make your family’s morning routine a little easier?
Check out Chaos Theory’s tips on Parents.tv!
Hope you find them helpful!
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