Summer plans are winding down, college students are settling into their dorms and school age children have either started school or are getting ready to. While the parents may be breathing a sigh of relief to return to normalcy and back to schedule, they may also look at their surroundings and feel a bit of angst.

While we all love vacationing, long days at the pool and enjoying life at a slower pace, the truth is that we often overextend ourselves and get a little lax and don’t ‘keep up’ with the house quite as much. Take a look around at your own house; is the garage a little off kilter due to packing and unpacking and kids helping themselves to toys stored in the garage? I know mine is! Next, let’s take a look at the inside of our houses. For me, the entry from the garage has become a catch all and needs to be cleaned up. That means putting items where they belong instead of just sitting them someplace else. Moving right along, let’s look at food storage. With many people helping themselves at all hours of the day, does the pantry/cupboard need straightening up? I’m guessing the answer is YES! Next, let’s continue to take this imaginative tour of our homes and look at the closets and drawers. Everything probably just needs a little bit of attention. I challenge you to make a list of the areas that need attention and each day apply time to getting each area back in order. You’ll be done in no time!

The next thing that I want to talk about is setting yourself up for a successful school year. Now that the house is in order, it’s important to keep the school paperwork, mail and your household calendar up to date. An easy way to do this is to create a ‘command center’ in hour home. Think of it as the place where all information comes and goes in the home. It doesn’t have to be a large area, just a spot that you can display a wall calendar or dry erase board calendar along with a file system which could be a desktop file holder or something that mounts to your wall. In these files would be the following:

Spiral Notebook ‘Notes for Self’
This is a way to keep all of your reminders in one place
Spiral Notebook ‘Notes for Others’
This would be a place where each family member would have access to share information with each other

Specific file for each child – this is where could keep their school paperwork or projects (making a note of due dates on the calendar)

Mail: broken out into three sections
1. Act on
2. Discuss
3. File

When you have a mail center, I strongly suggest that you devote one day a week to address each file. It probably take less than an hour to address it.

Color code one color for each family member and a different color for family activities.

This would be the first place for anyone in the family to know what the comings and goings are for the family.

Do you use any of these practices in your home? Share with me what has worked best for your family. Feel free to ask questions and I’ll share my suggestions and thoughts!

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