With the plethora of valuable websites now a days, all one has to do it type “back to school tips” in the google search bar and your off and running. As a pediatric Psychologist who works in the homes of wonderful families with challenging children, I wish to help you clean out your home before school begins. WHAT? You may be saying, “I have clothing and supplies to purchase, back to school night and more.” But I promise you, if you take a day or two to get your home in order, your school year will go so much smoother! For more in-depth exploration of establishing a home environment in which your child can thrive check out #Bloom.
Start the year off with a fresh clean well-organized home. It’s quite difficult for children to clear the summer cobwebs out of their brains and dive into the school-year ready-to-learn if they live in a messy home. If your home is a mess there’s likely a good reason, it may be that you live in overwhelm with ADHD, you may resist throwing things away due to a touch of OCD or you may just have other things you’d rather do, like write parenting articles. Hmm, who’s like that?
Organizing the #Bloom Way ~ HERE WE GO!
Step 1: Visually scan your space. Right now, from where you are sitting simply look around. Where does it feel organized? What feels cluttered? Is your home a setting in which you feel your family finds peace and can thrive?
Step 2: Consider what changes you would like in the space. What do you see with your own eyes that you’d like to change? If you are doing the ten minute at a time method, that’s where you start. Each day. Super simple, eh?
Let’s consider planning for longer-term organization. When you think about improving the organization of your home, which rooms come to mind? Are you thinking kitchen, laundry room, and kid’s rooms? What about drawers, study areas and that old garage.
Step 3: Make a plan. Getting organized is about getting out of thinking, ruminating, worrying and procrastinating and into taking action. Consider www.listplanit.com to help you with your organizing needs.
- Make a list of areas you want to work on in priority order
- Start with the areas that bother you the most
- Write down exactly what you’d like to be better about the specific room
- List major areas of change for each room
- Draw out placement of large items
- Do a quick survey of storage items that you may wish to bring into your environment
- Write down which spaces you will work on which day
- Create a checklist for each room so that you’ll be able to monitor and celebrate your success
- Keep your notes in ONE binder
- Keep notes of all that you do, so you can maintain your success over time
Step 4: Engage the Tribe.
- Get help: Friends, family, neighbors, your kids
- Make it a family game or activity, assign one room to each kid, play “Trading Spaces”
- Designate family relationship rewards – When we finish a room we will go for a bike ride, or paint a picture or have a BAR-B-Q
- Take note of every 10-minute block you and your friends work to re-engineer your home (you’ll be amazed at what you can do!)
- Finish one project before starting another
Step 5: You have to discard stuff you don’t use to clear out the clutter. I know it’s hard.
HARD TO THROW IT AWAY? ASK YOURSELF:
- When did I use this last?
- When will I use it again?
- Do I really need more then one of certain items?
- Do I know someone who will get better use out of it?
- Does it work? Is it worth repairing?
- Does it fit RIGHT NOW?
- If I am going to keep it, does it belong where I found it?
- How hard would it be to replace it in the future if I needed it?
Step 6: Use storage items you already own to group by category and item.
- Use baby food jars for nuts, screws, paper clips, loose change, etc.
- Use film canisters for pins, buttons, tacks, etc.
- Use old Tupperware
- Use extra silverware trays
- Use hooks
- Use tape
- Use old shoe boxes
- Use clean pasta sauce jars
- Use hat boxes
- Use jewelry boxes
- Line bathroom drawers with hand towels for easy clean-up
Step 7: Enjoy newly organized spaces.
So happy to see you taking charge of your living space. You’ll love your newly organized home and your school year will be off to a much brighter start!
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