Organization can end morning tug of war

Published 12:19 pm Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Does it ever feel like you do more before 7 a.m. than you do all day?

Who knew a lost sock, missing homework or sleepy eyes could cause so much stress? Here are some tips to get backpacks packed, teeth brushed and time for breakfast all squeezed in so we can say ‘Good Morning,’ and mean it!

Lay out clothes, socks and shoes the night before.

Have a separate bag for each activity and keep one backpack for school only.

Establish a Welcome Home Zone where all school materials land when walking in the door.

Have an inbox/outbox system for all papers.

Teach kids how to properly use a calendar/agenda. Write down all the activities and assignments.

Designate a set time for homework, baths and bedtime and stick to it.

Have a family meeting once a week to discuss the upcoming week’s activities.

Have dinner around the table. This is the best time to talk with your kids.

Take this precious time to ask questions about school, activities and friends – it will give you insight of areas they need your assistance in organizing.

Watch for key phrases like, “I didn’t have my cleats at practice today” or “I had to borrow a pencil.”

These statements show a need. It works better than just asking if they need something.

Setup a homework desk area with supplies – staplers, glue, markers, etc. Have on hand things like beads, yarn, hot glue, magazines (for ripping out project pictures), and of course, extra poster board!

Hold kids accountable – ask to see their homework and check for mistakes or incompletion.

As a parent, we never want our children to be unorganized; however they should also be allowed to fall when necessary, so consequences of ill-preparation are realized.

A good balance should be the goal. Be their safety net. Organizing skills provide a solid foundation for success in life at any age.

Kim Sumpter is a certified professional organizer and the owner of the organizaing firm, All Spaced Out, based in Pelham. She can be reached at 621–7717.