9 Tips for Chaos Control before School Starts
School is getting ready to start. This brings me both the excited feeling for the beginning of a new year but then fear for the chaos that will ensue.
This year, there are 5 different places that my family will be this year. Hubs at the high school, Sassy Pants at the middle school, the Animal starts kindergarten (hold me), Flash is in the 3 year old class, and Diva and I will be at home.
In other words, I have to get myself and this house together. So, I present to thee 9 tips for chaos control before school starts!
- Calendars – So, I have about four or five of these. But the key calendar is on the back door. This is like our control center, and it’s how we keep up with the major events happening. Soccer, dance, meetings, church events. It’s always a source of chaos control; and as the kids get older and more involved, it becomes more and more important.
- Plan the menu – This is a moment of preaching to the choir, but when I plan the menu my week is just so much simpler. Sassy Pants really gets in to making the list and helping figure out the ingredients for shopping. We are just about ready to get back in to this as life at home gets more regulated for schedules.
- Set time for homework – Sassy Pants is the oldest, so she’s set the precedent for homework time. We’ve always just sat down to work as soon as she walked in the door. Snack and homework and then there’s time to play and relax after. Now that the Animal is joining the school-aged crew, it’s time to set that routine for him as well.
- Night before lunches – I don’t do this religiously, but it is very helpful. It seems like it never failed that I would get up in the morning and have to rush to make lunches. But on days that I had them already created? Those extra 5 minutes make quite the difference!
- Backpack station – For a while, we just dropped backpacks wherever. It not only made a mess, but it also allowed for lost papers, misplaced books…you name it. Math Man had already created this “mud room” like area in our kitchen using a cool box that housed a wedding clock gift we received (it’s so cool!). So he added some hooks, and now we have a hook for each child. Recently, he added two additional hooks on each side so that I have a place for my purse, and he has a place for his hat or coat. It has really helped for each of the kids to know where his or her backpack belongs.
- Clean the clutter – I’m a fine one to talk on this one, but it really does help to clean up the basic clutter that’s sitting around. We are exceptionally awful about piling stuff on the counter in the kitchen. It’s our entry zone, so it becomes the collection spot. Heather over at Home Office Detox has great plans for eliminating this clutter with a Family Command Center and a simple 15 minute daily paper decluttering.
- Chore schedule – Now that more than 1 minion can really participate in chores, we’re working on a chore schedule. The Animal was actually really excited to have a list of tasks to complete daily. But we also have used the FlyLady method and worked on a daily and weekly chore schedule. It really does help to have a plan.
- Lay out clothes – When I was in high school, I did this thing where on Sunday afternoon, I planned my entire week’s outfits. I even added a post-it with accessories. I don’t go to this detail for my children, but I do try my best to pick out and make sure we have clean outfits for the week. Sundays are the best day to do it, and it really makes the morning move that much smoother.
- Nightly clean up – It seems like this is a no-brainer, but cleaning up after the kids go to bed clears the mess and makes me go, “Ahhhhhh.” But it’s not always so easy to get it done. By the time we’ve said goodnight to all four kids and wrestled the middle two back into the bed, we’re exhausted. We often find ourselves just collapsing on the couch and watching something on Netflix. We’ve made it a priority a couple of nights to have the kids help us with the quick cleanup, but we haven’t been as religious about it…and we need to be.
What do you do to control the chaos?
Now go look at what my bloggy friends have shared:
School Spirit Mini Cupcakes from Baking in a Tornado
Crazy Hat Days and More from Spatulas on Parade
Desk Organization with School Spirit from The Liebers
School Color Cookies from Eileen’s Perpetually Busy
School Spirit Wrap Bracelet from Southern Belle Charm
How do you choose the right elementary school? from Home on Deranged