Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 2 of Organization ~ Start Here

Help! Where do I start? How did I end up with three copies of the same book? The last time I saw a pencil, it fell between the couch cushions! Does this sound like you?

Here are 7 simple (not necessarily easy) steps that will take you from harried to humming.

1. Purge. If you're a pack rat, this may be the hardest step, but one of the major problems that a lot of people have with organizing is that they just have too much stuff. First of all, make sure that you aren't hoarding actual trash. Second, evaluate whether you REALLY NEED that (whatever it is) RIGHT NOW. "But I might need it someday" is not a good reason to hang onto most things.
2. Make sure you have the proper tools. Repurpose clean soup cans or empty shoe boxes for storage (or purchase cutesy containers). Buy or make adequate shelves for the number of books you own. Be sure that each child has a designated space (desk, container, shelf, etc.) for her school things.
3. Keep like with like. Don't store paint in three different rooms of your house or glue sticks in every kid's sock drawer. Collect all of the markers and store them in one spot.
4. Label everything. I love, love, love my label maker, but you don't need one in order to get organized. A sharpie and some masking tape will do. Label containers so there's no excuse for anyone not to be able to return things to their proper homes. For younger children, put a picture on the container.
5. Make lists--and keep track of them! Attach the grocery list to the fridge with a magnet, have a notebook or file folder for curriculum lists. Make lists of books borrowed or lent.
6. Put it back. For some reason, that sounds easier than it is for some people. Studies have shown (no, I don't have documentation, but I remember reading it somewhere sometime) that it takes less time to put 1 book back as soon as you're done with it than it does to locate, pick up, and return 10 books to different spots on the shelf.
7. Train your kids to keep things picked up and tidy (my sympathies and complete understanding if you've got a messy teen; I have one, too!!). Teach them to put toys back in the right bins as soon as they're done playing with them. Teach them how to properly shelve a book.

These simple changes won't happen overnight, but you can make them happen. Do one step a day, or one step a week until you're well on your way to a more organized homeschool.

Remember the conference giveaway! Please be sure to visit the other blogs along the hop:

10 days of socialization for mom | The Homeschool Chick
10 days of classical education | Milk & Cookies
10 days of large families | Chocolate on My Cranium
10 days of special needs | Special Needs Homeschooling
10 days of struggling learners | Homeschooling the Chaotic Family
10 days of homeschooling girls | Homegrown Mom
10 days of homeschool enrichment | Confessions of a Homeschooler
10 days of building a spiritual legacy | Mommy Missions
10 days of frugal homeschooling |The Happy Housewife
10 days of Charlotte Mason | Our Journey Westward
10 days of unschooling | Homeschooling Belle
10 days of organization | Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom
10 days of getting started | Blog, She Wrote
10 days of homeschooling boys | The Tie That Binds Us
10 days of homeschooling Montessori |  Fruit in Season
10 days of preschool |  Delightful Learning

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