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The Broomfielder

Staying Organized, Does it Really Matter?

Aug 31, 2019 07:06AM
By Lisa Payne

September is a month that to me feels like summer is still hanging on, trying to get in those last
few outdoor gatherings, mixed with I’m not ready to Christmas shop but I can’t wait for my
pumpkin spice latte. Every year once school starts my mind goes directly to the fact that the
holidays are here. There used to be a nice fall gap; endless football gatherings and chili cookoffs
and playing in the leaves. As a kid every season felt long, especially summer. My kids don’t feel
like any season is long. That doesn’t seem right to me. Isn’t time supposed to move slowly for
kids? The years fly by and the four seasons feel like: kids back to school, Christmas morning, ski
season, and summer break.

With time passing so quickly, my biggest struggle is how to stay organized through back to
school season, with all of the increased activity and still the need to feed my family three meals a
day and go to work. I’ve always felt like others have it figured out and that it is an endless battle
over here. There are maybe three days a year where my house feels completely organized and
tidy. And that lasts ten minutes. The shoes and craft supplies and dishes and dog hair are always
on full display … and why does the floor and yard constitute as one big garbage can? Have you
ever looked in your couch cushions? It’s truly unbelievable what I find in there.
After years of worrying about organization at home, I’ve decided my solution is … not to worry
about it. Organizing is always a work in progress. I can have an organized home once the kids
are in college. Until then I’m keeping my stained couch and craft-stained kitchen table. I will
miss those someday. Laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and dusting can always wait. Connecting with
your family can’t.

After saying that, I will offer up a few easy things that keep us functioning during the school
year with four kids. Remember I’m all about keeping it simple, and you probably do these things
already. So thank you for reading this article anyway!

• Have your kids help! They are fully capable human beings who will
complain through all of it but will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in the end. It
teaches them responsibility and how to be a happy, healthy independent adult later in life.
So give them chores and be consistent. This alone takes a lot off your plate.
• Have them help pack their lunches and water bottles the night before
(lifesaver for me, and then they actually eat it!)
• Encourage kids to do homework at the same time each night. Screens off
an hour or two before bed. We put away iPads during the week.
• Organize backpacks and all sports/activity bags for the next day and keep
them in the same spot. Big time saver when running out the door.
• Have one family meal together a day and talk about ups and downs for the
day. Parents too. Emotional organization is also important!
• Last but not least schedule a family meeting once a week to check in and
connect with each other. If there has been a lot of sibling fighting, we also take turns
telling each person in the family what we love and appreciate most about them. It
immediately changes the energy. It’s like a living eulogy. Why say all the good stuff once
someone is gone?

More than anything, follow the 80/20 rule. Worry about the 20% that needs it and let the rest go.
I bet not one person on their death bed wished they had organized more and spent less time
connecting with others. Enjoy these unorganized, messy and wonderful years while you can.
Happy September!