Get Your Family Organized for Fall

iStock_000017569198XSmallFall is a great time to get organized! The weather is energizing, the routines are back to normal, and the holidays are not too far away. Establish easy routines and tackle problem areas to make your family life a little easier this season.

Eliminate School Lunch Chaos

This is an especially good tip if you have three or more school-age children at home. Pick up a clear plastic bin meant for your refrigerator and place it on a low shelf where the kids can reach. The night before, fill the bin with portioned out snacks, such as carrots, grapes, cheese and crackers, etc. Add in drink pouches or filled water bottles. You can make the main part of the lunch ahead of time, too. All of it goes in the bin, so you or your kids can simple reach into the fridge assemble the lunch bags in the morning with ease. No more chaos or running for the bus!

If you have to serve different items or portion sizes, simple assign each member of the family a different color of reusable containers, write names on baggies, or use colored tape to indicate what belongs to whom.

If your children purchase lunch at school, get into the habit of checking their lunch accounts once a week, adding in additional funds as needed.

Keep Everyone on Schedule

There is nothing more frustrating that having one person waiting at the front door, while another is practically still in bed. Getting everyone on schedule can be tough. The secret is to make it easy for everyone to know what they need to do and when.

Make sure all clocks, cell phones, and electronic devices are in sync. Use those handy alarm functions as needed, building in advanced time as needed, such as when you have to leave work early to pick up your son from soccer practice.

Keep a large family calendar in a prominent spot to keep track of everyone’s important events and appointment. Build in redundancy with a blackboard or white board placed near the exit of your home. List what everyone needs to know for that day, so family members can review it on the way out.

Set up Stations

Homework, important forms, bills, keys, they are all so easy to misplace. The consequences can range from spending an extra 15 minutes tearing your home apart looking for the missing item to incurring late fees or missed opportunities.

Use a kit to hang folders on the wall, one for each child, to catch any paperwork that comes home, from forms to long-term homework projects, this way both parents and students will know exactly where to look when they need something. Parents should review the folders each day and sign or address items as needed.

Having a backpack station, a place where backpacks can go, preferably on hooks, will keep them clean, available and not underfoot.

A station for keys, cell phones and other items that have to be grabbed on the way out is a good idea. Include hooks, shelves and clear containers in your grab it station.

Other organizing articles you might like:

Too Much Clutter? Why It Could Be Costing You

How to Organize Your Basement

Organize the Pantry for Savings

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for Families.com since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT verizon.net or visit her personal blog http://homeinawoods.wordpress.com

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