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4 Practical Tips for Staying Organized with Kids

Submitted by on November 19, 2015 – 9:08 pmNo Comment

How to Stay Organized with Kids

As I write this blog I am sitting on a plane, reflecting on my recent week taking care of my grand kids, Kaley, 2 and Login, 1. It was a good week with playing, snacks, and runny noses, creating a lot of special memories.

My youngest is 18, so I have been out of the toddler scene for some time. Although I have not forgotten how much work it is, my life has become filled with activities that are not so easily done with little ones. The main reason the whole week went as well as it did was due to my organization. With kids, a little bit of planning can go a long way. As an example, Sunday morning I got myself ready first and then woke up the grand kids to get them fed and ready for church. As I loaded them into the car, I felt relaxed and had plenty of time to spare. When we arrived at church, I carried my granddaughter to her Sunday School class. Her teacher had not arrived yet, so I carried her outside and noticed that her bottom was a little bare. It seems that she had lost or taken off her diaper somewhere between our home and church. I had no clue when this happened, and I could not locate the missing diaper. Thank the Lord there was no evidence of any accidents. Life can get a little crazy, even for professional organizers.

So here are my four get organized tips to staying organized with kids:

1.  The best defense against chaos is preparation. It is so true that the more you plan ahead (days, weeks, and months), the better you can handle the unexpected. It is strange to me when I ask people about doing something months out and they reply, “I can’t plan that far out as I do not know what I am doing.” If nothing is currently on your calendar, then you are currently doing nothing and should be available. If something does come up that makes you unavailable, then you can alter your calendar at that time. This is especially helpful when dealing with kids. Merging schedules for all members of the family allows you to prepare for multiple events in advance. If you do not know the event or activity is coming, imagine the last minute chaos.Another easy preparation tip is pre-matching outfits for the next day or for the coming week. Each evening after the kids had a bath and were playing on the floor, I matched PJs and daily outfits including socks and diapers. This made getting them ready each morning and after bath time a breeze. If you do this with hanging clothes, you can use these days of the week garment dividers. If you prefer matching outfits by folding, try a small hanging sorterlike this one from IKEA. I do not suggest using large hanging sorters as they take up too much space.

2.  The biggest challenge for most families with children is food preparation. I did most of mine each morning, but this can be done for all members of your family including yourself once a week. Wash fruit, chop vegetables, precook meats, and bag snacks for grab and go each morning and after school. I would suggest two products for the kitchen that will help keep you organized. Reusable food labels and nested food storageare two of my favorites from The Container Store®.Preparation in the evening like getting your returns together, packing bags for school or after school activities, making grocery lists and finding coupons, etc. will only make the morning go more smoothly. Look at your calendar each evening to see what you are doing the next day and prepare for each activity or appointment.

3.  Another tip for staying organized with kids is keeping the clutter under control. With the addition of two small children in my household, there also came toys, sippy cups, piles of laundry, and diapers. Each time I passed through a room or headed up the stairs, I picked up an item that was out of place and made sure it found a home. If you find your hands are empty when you are leaving a space, look around and see if anything can go with you.

4.  My final tip is something everyone can do even in a home without kids. Keeping a schedule that allows for the unexpected is the perfect way to stay organized. We all know that things come up at the last minute. Appointments get cancelled, an extra practice is added to the calendar, a child gets sick, or guests arrive for a surprise visit. Keeping some open time each week on your schedule will allow you to prepare and organize for these last minute events.

Staying organized with kids requires preparation, keeping clutter at bay, and not allowing the unexpected to wreck your schedule. I would love to hear about your top three tips?

Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and founder and owner of Get Organized! Get Organized! is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. Get Organized! specializes in organizing and de-cluttering homes as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management. A popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas’ two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox, and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News, The North Texas Kids Magazine, SheKnows.com, and Daily Candy Kids. To get more information about Lorraine, visit www.GetOrganized.ws.  You can connect with Get Organized! on Facebook, follow Get Organized! on Twitter and connect with Lorraine Brock on LinkedIn.

 

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