January is National Get Organized Month!
National Get Organized, Clean Up Your Computer, and Prioritize Your Goals Month
As any busy family knows, clutter piles up quickly! This new year, make organization a priority. Your Mantra: Everything has a home!
When I was little, my mother always told me, “Don’t touch something twice! If you used your energy to pick it up, then keep up the momentum by putting it away.” To this day, that’s good advice. Instead of picking something up and putting it by the stairs to take up later, simply carry the motion through and put it away!
As a busy mom of three boys under the age of 12, I know how hectic life can be. Balancing schedules, homework, and the endless amounts of mail that comes through the house (I seriously don’t understand how the Post Office can be in financial trouble – the mail alone at my house should keep them in business) is enough to drive anyone crazy. But, it doesn’t have to! Remember, organization is a skill. It needs to be taught. Here are some simple steps to help “teach” organization:
1.Schedule it! Yes, that’s right – if you schedule it, you will do it! Schedule weekly “clean up” hours and treat it like a priority!
2.Break it down. You can’t simply tell your child, “Go clean up your room”. Break down the steps and make your expectations clear. The first few times, you may have to supervise, but gradually, they’ll be able to handle more responsibility on their own.
3.Have a system. Even a toddler can put away dirty clothes in the hamper. Do you have a place for homework? For graded papers? For toys? A label maker can be your friend under these circumstances.
4.Get rid of it! If you aren’t using it, don’t plan on using it, or simply have outgrown it then get rid of it! Donation centers will love you. Institute a seasonal clean up day in your home and don’t be afraid to say goodbye! In fact, if you haven’t already cleaned out your child’s binder, there is no time like the present!
5.Make it Routine. The more routine that a child has, the more they can participate. Do you have a nightly routine of setting out clothes for the next day? Unpacking the bookbag from the day? Packing lunches? What about morning routines for getting ready? Write them down and follow-them. Organization can soon become a great habit for the entire family!
So what are you waiting for? How about setting a monthly goal and focus on one room, or item, in your house to organize! Since it is a “National” celebration, how about starting with organizing those random documents and files you have on your computer? Feeling extra motivated? Move on to the kitchen junk drawer. You may be surprised at all the good things you’ll find!