>September’s New Beginnings: Getting Organized

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For me, September resonates feelings similar to the beginning of a new year. Teachers and students return to school.  Both anticipate a successful school year; almost everyone starts out with  a clean slate.  It is a new chapter for college freshman as they plot their course in their new life away from home.   September brings about transition for many households.  One of the first indicators for me is when my favorite commercial comes on.  You know, the one where the mom joyfully skips through the aisles of the office supply store to the tune of  “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” And the kids look on in disgust. I love it!!

In about two weeks or so, the kids will be Back-to-school  and the race will begin.  Getting everyone out of the house on time,  helping with homework, deciding what’s for dinner, and getting to and from after school activities. Whew!  It can be draining, but by developing a plan and getting the family on board with the routine, and sticking to it, can make the days more pleasant.  In this post, I will share a few of my tips that help me to maintain my sanity during the school year.

To keep me organized and on track, one of my favorite tools is my Busybody Book.  I’ve been using it for five years now.  The one year that I thought I could get along with out it was a complete disaster!  It’s great to keep track of everybody schedule; doctor appointments, after school activities, bills, birthday’s, holiday shopping lists, and more. It’s great for high school and college students as well.  Although I do use the calendars on my computers and phones, this book brings everything together for me.

Professional organizers insist that everything should have a place and I completely agree with this idea. I”ll admit that I can be a little anal about this, but it saves me a great deal of time.  Designating a place for mail, book bags, permission slips, and more can make the process seem effortless and save you a great deal of time.

To get out of he house on time in the morning, bags are packed the night before.

During a hectic work ,deciding on what’s for dinner week can be tire-some and stressful; especially if you’re determined to provide healthy and balanced meals.  If you don’t already own one, investing in a crock-pot will make a positive impact on your life.  It’s so easy to toss everything in a pot, set the timer, walk away and know that later, a delightful meal will be ready to devour.

When it comes to washing dishes, my friend taught me that, when I have time restraints, to wash the dishes, but put them in the dishwasher to dry.  We don’t always have enough dishes to run the dishwasher everyday, so using it to dry dishes really works for me. 

My laundry day begins Thursday evening when I toss the larger loads in the washer and dry first.  The larger loads take longest to dry, so they can dry (Friday morning) while I’m at work.  Although it’s time consuming, on Friday, I wash, dry, iron, fold, and put everything away.  I prefer to do my ironing ahead of time, so that I don’t have to iron in the mornings and…   if my son has an accident in the morning, I can easily grab a clean shirt or pants that’s already ironed and still get out the door on time.

I cannot live without my to-do lists, which I keep in my busybody book.  I keep a list of items that I need to buy.  Typically as soon I know that I’m running low on an item, I write it down.  There are some really cool applications for the iPhone and other smart phones that can help maintaining your list easier.  There are applications where you can scan the bar code to determine who has the best price on a product.  Of course, there is also the coupon mom website that can help you save money on your grocery list. This year, I’m going to try something new.  I’m going to try Sam’s Club’s “click and pull” system to see if it saves me times.  A few other grocery store offers the same service, but unfortunately, none are close to me.  I will update you how the system works for me.

If you have school-aged children.  Buy extra pencils and on Sunday, have the kids sharpen the a dozen or so pencils so that during the week, plenty of pencils are sharpened and ready for the daily homework.

Start your online browsing or shopping now for the holiday season.  Even if you don’t plan on buying online, you can browse the websites of local stores to determine who has the best price for items on your shopping.  If buying online, wait for the “free shipping” periods to buy.

Four days are left of my vacation and then I will be back to the grind.  I am always looking for tips to save time and money, so if you have some, please take a few moments to post them.  Thank you!   

Additional Readings

http://www.hgtv.com/kids-rooms/back-to-school-organization/index.html

http://www.busybodybook.com/

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/09/technology/personaltech/09basics.html

http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cfocus/cfschool06/focus.htm

http://organizedhome.com/

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