Move over, summer--a new school year is coming! With the start of school, families face new organization challenges. School bells ring--and so do early-morning alarm clocks. Shorter autumn days bring a hectic round of sports, activities and events, and calendars fill with cryptic notes. Can the holidays be far behind? Get organized now for the best school year ever! Use these ideas to prepare your home and family for the busy days ahead:
Create Calendar Central
Each school year floats on a sea of schedules. School functions. Lunch menus. Scout meetings and music lessons. What do you do when you're drowning in paper? Nothing calms school year chaos like Calendar Central: a centralized site for all family calendars and schedules. You'll need a family event calendar to track after-school activities, school programs and volunteer work. Add specialized calendars and schedules, and you have it: a one-stop shop for family time management.
Form is less important than function. A paper calendar with large squares lets you enter information easily. Pre-printed white board calendars are easy to revise when necessary. Color-coding entries by family member helps keep busy lives straight. Planner users dedicate a planner section to serve as Calendar Central, while the tech-savvy store the info in a smart phone and sync with multiple computers. Choose a calendar format that works for your family.
Post the family event calendar in a public place near the telephone. Use magnets to attach the calendar to the refrigerator, or tack it to a bulletin board. Add other calendars to Calendar Central: school lunch menus, class assignment sheets, sports practice schedules. When the room mother calls for field trip volunteers, you'll know at a glance whether you're free to join the group on the bus that day.
Spiff up household systems
A new school year quickens the tempo of family life. Sports activities, music lessons, church programs and volunteer commitments tap parental time and put new mileage on the mini-van. Get organized! Spiff up your household systems to meet autumn's faster pace:
- Take a stab at speed cleaning and whip through household chores in record time.
- Cut time in the kitchen: create a menu plan and never again wonder "What's for dinner?"
- Try a session of freezer cooking and stock the freezer with prepared meals for stress-free dinners on sports nights
Happy New School Year! Time to swing into a new school year--from an organized home.