With the kids back to school and summer almost over, it’s time to settle into new routines. For many, the start of a new school year is similar to the start of the “new year.” Why wait until January (which is National Get Organized Month) to start putting some new routines in place, or working on some home organizing projects that you put on the back burner so you could play this summer?
As much as I hate to bring up the holidays too early, I mention them so you can use them to your advantage. Will you be hosting Thanksgiving this year? Maybe you have relatives that will call your home, “home” during the Christmas holiday. What do you want to accomplish prior to one of these events? I find that I am much more motivated to complete projects in my own home if I know I will be hosting an event. For example, I used August 6th this summer as a deadline to finish building our deck for a family reunion. I’ll use the deadline of Thanksgiving to do some painting in our living and dining room before we host family for a Thanksgiving feast. And maybe if I plan accordingly, I’ll even be able to paint the staircase to the upstairs!
Because I need guidance with color selection, it meant some planning on my part, so I could get a designer to our home to help us select the perfect paint color – the first time around! Oh, how I hate 10 shades of paint in squares on the walls in order to find the best color. Trying to remain realistic, I know that projects take much longer than you think. In fact, this is probably one of the main reasons why our clients call us; because we can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to complete any organizing project. I knew that if I didn’t get some help early on in the fall, I would never get the painting done before the Turkey arrived. So what does this all have to do with organizing you might ask? In order to successfully complete any project; you need a few things:
A Completion Date
Every project should have a plan that includes your completion (goal) date. From this date, you can plan your time backwards to schedule your time to work on the project or schedule resources you need to help you with the project. It’s always a good idea to sit down in front of the calendar and see if your project goals are within reason during the timeframe that you have to complete your project. If not, this may mean that you give up a certain activity until it is done, or you delegate more house chores to others in your home. This is why I bring up routines. You don’t need to do it all, you just need to have a plan for how it’s all going to get done. For those that have a hard time “delegating” routine items off their plates around home because someone “can’t do it as good as I can” – remember that sometime “perfect” is necessary and that “done” is a great option.
I encourage you to sit down with family members in the near future – even over the dinner table will work – and talk about the routines your family needs to create to ensure you have enough time to accomplish the things you want to complete this fall. Here are some ideas of routines you can create with family members:
Unloading backpacks and putting papers, lunch leftovers and sports clothes in their proper place.
Establishing a time and a clutter-free location for kids to complete their homework.
Establishing a chore chart for items like emptying the trash, taking out the trash, doing the dishes, clearing the dinner table, cleaning the litter box or scooping poop! (I never liked when it was my week to scoop poop when I was a kid – but it was part of having animals).
Establishing a time of day or day of the week to have the kids pick up their toys and clothes in their rooms – and if the request is to “clean up your room” remember that children need a place to put their things which will make all the difference in helping to keep their rooms organized.
Scheduling everyone’s activities on one central calendar for all to access – you might want to check out www.cozi.com for this.
Whatever your plans are for the fall, a little up-front planning will certainly help ensure the success of what you desire to accomplish. If you’re not planning on hosting any events this fall to use as a bit of inspiration; perhaps you can just give yourself a deadline of the end of the year and decide what you want to complete before years end.
Good luck to you with your new routines and projects and may you have a beautiful fall.
Organizing with Laura Blog
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This one falls under the category of "why didn't I think of that?"
This one is for all the mom's and dad's that have the job of trying to figure out "how" to organize and better yet "store" all of those works of art your kids will generate this year. The solution is in your hands...literally with Artkive. It's an app that allows you to take a picture of the creation and then create a memory book or other items that showcase the Picasso in your life.
Check it out - and breath a sigh of relief this year that you won't have to make tough decisions on what to keep and what you may sneak to the trash - you'll know what I'm talking about if you watch their video!
Holiday Organizing and Decorating
I realize that Halloween has not yet arrived, but every year our clients call us earlier in the year to get "their date" on the calendar to decorate their homes for the holidays.
If you simply don't have time to decorate, or hate the thought of rounding up all of the decor and getting it organized for the holidays; why not give us a call and let us do it for you? While we'd love visit you in your homes around the country; currently we are only able to offer this service in the Greater Seattle area.
Give us a call at 425.670.2551 or 877.342.8592 to discuss your needs and see how we can put together a team to eliminate some of your stress during the holiday season.