Top 10 Organizing Tips For Parents
Today’s post is from parent and guest blogger, Melissa Schmalenberger.
I love giving talks to parents’ groups as I feel like I have been there done that. I had three babies in 5 1/2 years and the fact that I came through the experience only partially damaged has a lot to say about how great my husband is! Recently I was able to visit my MOPS group that I was a member of over 9 years ago…..where did the time go? Today instead of having a baby spit up on my shoulder, I was the presenter to this fine group of parents. I promised them I would share my outline as they were busy taking notes during my talk.
Here are some sanity savers that I have found over the years.
1. Set a Timer:
- Do 3 bursts of 5 minutes each and you will get it done so much faster.
- Set the timer for yourself and tell the kids that they cannot bother you until they hear the timer go off. This allows you to make dinner, take a nap, read a book, catch up on work, etc.
2. Lazy Susan:
- This is a great place to put all the first aid and daily medications on.
- Use those hard-to-reach areas for items you don’t want kids to get into.
3. Good Calendar:
- Keep track of milestones
- Schedule playdates
- Keep notes on when the last appointments were, yearly checkups, etc.
4. Use the tear test:
- If your child’s paper brings a tear to your eye, then keep it, if not toss it.
- When tossing children’s items please use black garbage bags so that a wandering eye doesn’t spy anything.
5. One in one out:
- This counts for toys and clothes.
- The 80/20 Rule – you use 20% of your stuff 80% of the time.
- Have kids help you go through their toys.
- Go through them before Christmas and pick out ones for Santa to take back up to the North Pole to fix and give out to other boys and girls next year.
6. Make time for your spouse:
- Your kids need to know that you make time for each other.
7. Family mealtime:
- If you are not having family mealtime 4 nights a week you or your children are probably over-scheduled.
- For instance, studies show the importance of family mealtime and keeping kids out of trouble.
- …..a basket where the items for getting ready in the morning are placed, hair combing and teeth brushing
- …..a basket where seasonal books are placed
- ……a basket where rotating toys are placed
- ……a basket that is assigned to each child for when you place an item in it, it is up to them to put it away where it goes
- In addition, place a laundry basket in each child’s bedroom and when it is laundry day, go around and collect each basket, or each child has a day where their laundry gets done
- …..errand basket
- …..a donation basket
- ……a first aid basket so that even the smallest members of the family can grab it when the time comes
9. Sharpie markers:
- Label the back of puzzle pieces so you know what piece goes with each puzzle.
- Similarly, label the tags on clothes.
10. Label maker
- help with pre-reading to place stickers.
In conclusion, I hope you can use some of these tips to keep your family organized.
To Joyful, Simplified Living,
MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger, can be found at http://www.mssimplicity.com/.
Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization.
She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client.
Janet is a Past Board Member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals and a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO were she has been named Organizer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.