I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing school buses everywhere! The school year is upon us and it is an excellent time to establish routines! While my post today will mostly apply to readers with school-aged children, you can apply the principles to any type of family situation. Routines are a key to running an organized home. They ensure homework is complete, the dog is fed, and dinner is on the table without much stress!
- What things need to be done in your home in the afternoon? Meal prep? Homework? Chores? After school activities? Make a list of what needs to be done. Next, establish the comings and goings of family members. How and when does everyone come home? Are all your family’s transportation for the afternoon established or do you need to come up with a plan? Do you have a back-up plan in case you are running late from work?
- Assign a place for everything when you come home – car keys, cell phones, backpacks, important papers, mail, etc. If you establish a routine for sorting and putting everything away immediately you will save time looking for those missing car keys or field trip permission slip at the last minute!
- Designate a place in your home to be the homework zone/quiet project zone. Let your kids have some downtime/snack as you see fit and then have them do their homework as soon as possible. Why? Do you really want to be practicing spelling words at 9pm when everyone is exhausted? No sense in dragging out the work until the last minute!
- Before the kids go out to play, have them repack their backpacks. They will be ready to go again in the morning and you won’t be scrambling out the door!
- Too many chores on your plate? Divide them up among the family members. I believe it is important for children to see themselves as a contributing member of the household. If Johnny and Suzy can fed the dog and unload the dishwasher, it gives you the gift of time so you are not struggling to throw dinner on the table. Sit down as a family and discuss what are the struggles and solutions to chores/meal prep. Your kids might surprise you with their suggestions.