Don’t let a quick glance at the calendar send you into panic mode as you realize the end of summer is approaching. Hard to imagine, but it’s nearly time to put away the flip flops, pool noodles and faded beach towels, but it’s also a chance for a fresh start for your family as a new school year approaches. Why not start with a clean, organized house that will help pave the way to a more calm and stress-free fall?
It’s no easy task to start the de-cluttering process. The urge to procrastinate is strong, because the task requires a lot of decision making that saps your energy from the start. There’s the emotional clutter of what to do with Aunt Betty’s china, the overwhelming mounds of too much paper in too many places, and the puzzle of how to get family members involved in the process. We’ve talked to some of our favorite East Valley Mommy Bloggers for the following tips, as well as their advice on how to insert a bit of fun into the process.
- Motivational Soundtrack: Put on some energetic music. Start with “Washing Dishes” by Jack Johnson, open up the dirty windows with “Unwritten” by Natasha Beddingfield, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” by Journey, “Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chili Peppers and finally, “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash. Set a timer to speed up the process.
- Create a “Drop it” Spot: Find a place by the front door or kitchen and use hooks, baskets and bins to provide a variety of ways the family can keep organized. There’s a reason the expression “A place for everything and everything in its place” has been around since the 17th century!
- Paper Organization: Create a file for important family documents such as immunization records, birth certificates, report cards, etc. A little preparation goes a long way and prevents frantic last-minute searches.
- – Sign permission slips and notices the day they come home.
- – Make files for insurance policies, bills, medical records and tax returns.
- – Try organizational apps for your phone—Key Ring, Cozi and Zip List are at the top of Real Simple’s list.
- Calendar Central: The family event calendar is an essential part of a home organization system. Here you’ll track school programs, sports schedules, holiday parties and more. Whether it’s a large paper calendar, a white board or smart phone apps, family members can be in sync and use color-coded entries to keep busy lives straight. Choose a calendar format that works for your family.
- Teen Room Reorganization: Use hooks, bins and baskets to organize. See-through bins and labels lessen the guess-work when searching for favorite shirts, socks or jewelry. To prepare for back-to-school clothes shopping, sort through old clothes, toss out or donate outgrown outfits and make a list. Take time to discuss the needs list and the family budget with your children before you shop and you’ll avoid in-the-store conflicts.
- Kid-Friendly Organization: Stick to a routine of when to pick up—for example, before dinner, after dinner, etc. Provide advance warning and break it down into small chunks. Trash first, toys next.
- Make Your Master Bedroom a Haven: Strive for a tranquil bedroom that promotes restful sleep and relaxation. Keep it simple with just the essentials: a comfy bed, a hamper, a chair and maybe a small bookcase. Perk up a side table with some simple flowers or a candle.
- One in, One Out policy: New sneakers? Toss out one old pair. New Book? Donate what you’ve already read.
For more tips on making your house feel like home, visit http://cadenceaz.com/contact/
Local blogger tips:
Many Hats of a Mom, Working Parent Morning Routine
Active Mom, 7 Tips for family organization
A Whimsicle Life, How to Teach Kids to Pack Lunch
Chandler Macaroni Kid, How to Organize your Home