Each summer, we promise ourselves we will get more organized. As summer rushes on, we spend our days enjoying summer fruit, walks in the mountains, canning, gardening, vacations…and suddenly it is time to start all over again with a new school year!
We all crave better organizational skills, and this is magnified when we educate our kids at home. Suddenly, running a private school is added to running a home, cooking, cleaning, extracurricular activities and everything else you do.
Let’s break it down into some practical, bite sized chunks, with a smattering of fabulous tips for getting your home, kitchen, school, grades, activities and life in better order. No, you won't be organized in a day, but you will be challenged and equipped, whether you are a beginner or super organized!
Start with an honest evaluation
The first thing to consider, is your household managed well? What is working? What is not working? Yes, you will have to be still and really think about how your life and home are doing. First you may look around and see clutter and mess, and wonder how this will work out. But if you really step back, you can begin to realize what is working vs. what is not working.
Next evaluate time. Are you using time wisely? Are your kids using time wisely? Do you have time leaks in your day? Do you waste time? Do your kids waste time? One of the largest areas we do this is the computer (as I type in full conviction of the amount of time I spend too!)
Then evaluate activities, which can be a huge area where families struggle. Do you need to be doing everything you are doing? We say “Yes” to things that sound good at the moment, but often managing all of those activities is a huge strain. Winnowing out the best activities can be difficult, but it is worthwhile. We have had times where we do everything, and times were we let each child choose one thing.
Considering our lives, and really taking the time to think them through leads to making choices. Whether for a season, or permanently, these changes can give us more breathing room in our busy days as homeschooling parents.
So know that you have evaluated your household, time and activities, how about some resources to help you out!
1. Keep the main rooms clean in the house. The living room, dining room, kitchen and entry, try to keep them walk in ready.
2. Put all books and projects away as you go through each subject during the day.
3. Clutter must go! We waste the most time pulling clutter from one room to the next. Refine it, and get rid of it.
4. It is a process to declutter, go thru rooms one at a time
5. Each night, before bed, de-clutter “5 min room rescue” having the kids put everything away that they can.
Find a system that works for you and DO IT! Working a little each day brings great results.
Never forget, establishing routines are the secret to staying organized!
· Try www.Flylady.net for some great organizing tips.
· For help with meal planning try www.SavingDinner.com
· To save time, money and effort while going green, www.ThePrudentWife.com with tons of recipes, ideas on making your own cleansers and videos that show you how to make restaurant meals at home (this is my site!)
· Managers of Their Homes system at www.Titus2.com
· Free calendar at www.Cozi.com
· The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s Schoolhouse Planner at www.theoldschoohousestore.com
Whether you are a whiz and have a well organized homeschool, or just want to a few tips, you can work progressively toward organization this school year. Persevere! Keep going and try new things until you find a system that works for you!