As seen in the Dayton Daily News on March 24, 2018.
My daughter surprised her younger sister by showing up at her soccer game. She came to visit from a warmer state, and was surprised by how chilly it was.
While I was in-route to the game, she called me to ask if she could borrow my jacket and blanket from the trunk of my car. She didn’t want to walk back to get her own. Her request made me smile. She moved away many years ago, yet she knew I would have a jacket and blanket in my trunk.
As I was raising our five children, I tried to set a good example for what it means to be organized and prepared. I have noticed over the years they have picked up some good habits, which makes life easier for me. Here are a few examples of what you might try.
First, I keep our house organized. This doesn’t mean everything is in its place at all times, but simply everything has a designated space in our home. For example, everyone knows we keep the batteries, duct tape and light bulbs in the laundry room. If they are preparing a meal or making cookies, they can easily find the cooking oil, foil and vegetable peeler.
Keeping your home organized makes it easier for your family to find things and put them back without asking for your help. This saves you a lot of time. Start this process by sorting like items together, donating any extras, and then labeling the bins or shelves where things are stored.
Next, we have routines in place to make our daily life run smoothly. Car keys get hung by the door. Lunch boxes get put on the corner of the kitchen counter so they can easily be seen as we leave in the morning. I always pack up the items I need for clients the night before my appointment so I don’t feel rushed and forget something when it’s time to leave. I notice my children have done the same with their school items.
If you’ve been forgetting things or you’re spending time looking for your belongings, see if you can put similar routines in place so you always have what you need.
Finally, introducing time-management techniques teaches children how to prevent fires instead of always putting them out. I have a couple sheets of poster board tucked away in case I’m away for the evening and they need to work on a school project. I also teach them to break their big projects up into small manageable chunks throughout the week instead of waiting until the night before the assignment is due. This reduces a lot of frustration and tears on everyone’s part.
If something is important to you, plan well in advance. My husband and I just filled Easter eggs for our traditional egg hunt, even though they are not needed for a few weeks. Having this chore done well in advance allows me to focus on meal preparation, and gives me a chance to relax that day.
Look for ways to get more organized so you feel more in control and less overwhelmed. Your children will benefit too by having more structure.
I recently visited my daughter in Nashville for a long weekend. As I opened her trunk to hide our shopping bags from view, I noticed she had a jacket and blanket tucked neatly in the corner. She made me smile again.