back-to-school-jarsWow, I can hardly believe that school will start this week for many of our kids.  We hope that everyone had a wonderful summer.  As a working parent, we all know the importance of being organized.  As my kids get older and we move onto a different stage, being organized and efficient is extremely important to us and definitely for my own sanity. My daughters and I did a massive purging and redesigning of their rooms about a week ago.  A Target run for school supplies soon followed, several trips to the local malls for needed things, and of course my reconnecting with school tutors was a must!  I then had to work on and purge my own office space which is the control center in our house.  It’s amazing how disastrous drawers and cupboards can become by the end of the school year.  With a clean eraser board, I have started writing in everyone’s activities and have begun thinking about our Fall dinner schedule.  This may seem extreme to many, but when you’re a full-time working parent it really helps keep your home life peaceful.   My need for structure came about 6.5 years ago when I started running The Cinderella Co.  Working 5 days a week from 8:30-5 left me little time to get things done.  I found that as a parent, I was dropping the ball by forgetting to get certain things done.  I also found that I had little patience by the end of the work day because I was exhausted and our family meals were less than par.  And then there were the stressful mornings when someone couldn’t locate a needed item and that set off a chain reaction of everyone starting the day off in a bad mood which so not fun and counter productive.
 
So here are some of the things that have helped me.
 
*  Try to utilize space as best as possible.  I have a small house so this is very important for us.  
*  Label things:  My kids have plastic drawers and containers in their closets which are all labeled.
*  Draw dividers:  Separate things out.  Ex. Socks and underwear, tanks, scarves, etc
*  Maintain!  You need to purge the junk out.  Only keep what is important and get rid of the rest.  I know we tend to want to hold onto our kid’s work when they are young, but by the end of the year if you don’t sort through it you will have piles of this stuff on your hands.  Keep the important stuff.
*  Plan ahead.  When my girls were younger, I had them set their school clothes out the night before.
*  Laundry Day:  During the school year, I designate one day if not two for laundry and ironing so everything was ready to go by Monday.  If your kids go to a private school, no one wants a wrinkled uniform.
*  Lunch:  My kids always want to know what they’re having for lunch so we have a lunch schedule as well.
*  School Supplies:  My kids keep their schools supplies in their rooms and I have a backup in my office.  You can never have too many erasers, pencils or highlighters.
* School Binder.  Every year we get inundated with school papers and it drives me crazy because they just pile up and get lost. I find keeping a school binder in my office really helps by dividing things out.
* Plan your meals!  This is one of the greatest things that has helped my family.  You don’t have to follow it to the letter, but having a general idea of what you are going to serve on certain days will save you so much time and alleviate so much stress.  Ex.  On the days that kids have major activities, planning something quick and easy is the way to go.  Everyone in my house appreciates this because they know what to expect.  I also love using the crockpot in the fall and winter.
Office Calendar:  Not only do I highlight and record certain events on my desk calendar, but for certain events, I record it a month or two earlier.  Ex.  Birthdays, xmas photos, etc.  Time just creeps up on us and then we’re scrambling to get things done.
 
These are just some of the things to think about as we enter into the fall season.  Hope this helps.
 
Terri