As promised, I’m giving you some ideas/inspiration for a homework station. Remember that the idea is to give your kids an EASY place to put their papers when they arrive home and empty their backpacks. Then, after they’ve relaxed and had a little snack you can go through everything with them. Or, if it is a busy day of afterschool activities, the papers will all be waiting. You can color code, label or personalize the bins to make them more fun. Just remember to keep it easy to use! By using a system like this, you will be teaching your kids basic organizing skills; everything has a home, sorting, routine and taking ownership of a task.
It is that time when we need to start thinking about back to school. I’m slowly but surely completing little projects around the house that will help prepare the family for what lies ahead. It is a good time to stop and make certain your kids will have a place to put all of their homework and important papers when they run through the door. Please visit my post from January on creating a little homework center for the kids. I’ll be back on Friday with some Savvy Finds that will help support your homework center.
The start of the school year brings the onslaught of paperwork. I’m wishing for the day when I can complete all of the school paperwork online and be done with it. Until that day, I suggest using clipboards to make the process easier. I keep a clipboard for each for my girls and their various papers. I love the clipboards that can contain the papers and then function as a little desk space so that you can work on the papers anywhere. In fact, I have mine ready to go with me to dance class tonight. While my daughter works on her arabesques, I can complete all those pesky little forms.
As you’ve read from my previous posts, we recently returned from a three plus week vacation to Alaska and then to visit family. The thing I hate most about travel are the heavy suitcases. Under the guise of being prepared, I tend to over pack and over think what’s really needed for the trip. This time around I packed lightly. One duffel that both of my girls shared and one medium suitcase for me, (FYI my hubby packs for himself and he had his own suitcase).
I learned an amazing lesson on the trip. I can live with less. I had four outfits with me that I just rotated around and I was totally fine. Now I’m at home and looking at a relatively full closet and I’m wondering why I have most of it. I certainly don’t wear all of it. I need to spend the week seriously editing my closet. I’m in the right frame of mind and so now is the time to act.
What about you? Do you have more than you need? What are your thoughts on need vs. want?
It is that time of year again when we start thinking about heading back to school. Do yourself a favor and knock a couple of organizing projects out of the park before the year begins. Speaking of knocking it out of the park, let’s look at organizing sports equipment. I’ve got some great little helpers below to try to tame the clutter of all that gear. I also want you to consider how you will take the gear from car to home. I’ve included two ideas for you. Consider a tote bag for each member of the family. The x-large sizes are quite roomy. Everyone can toss their gear in after the game and you can tote it to the house for cleaning. After uniforms and equipment are cleaned and ready, pack them again for a trip to the car. The modular hauler is just plain handy. Use it for sports and summer travel. .
My very wise friend Karla made an observation while cleaning and organizing a few weeks ago. Her kids were letting go of their childhood toys and she was struck by the amount of seemingly wasted stuff she was tossing. The plastic toys that get played with once or twice, the stickers, superballs, Polly Pockets and such that accumulate all over the house. She wrote, “I felt like I was flushing thousands of dollars away. I wanted to go back and relive every $6.00 purchase and salt away that money for the things I’d really like to give them now; a bigger college fund, a teenage bedroom, private music lessons, hockey camp”.
Her comments have been running over and over in my head for the last couple of weeks. I wrestle with this in my own home and have tried to find a solution. The problem with just saying “no” at the store, is that a life lesson at the store level doesn’t really work with a kid. Kids can’t grasp the benefit of long-term savings. How can I teach my child responsible consumerism?
My (7-year-old) daughter Sophia and I are launching the Savvy Spenders Project and I’m encouraging all of you to try it at home. Savvy Spenders will apply to all “extra” purchases that are non-essential to running a home, (so groceries and other essentials are exempt). We sat down together and came up with the following guidelines;
When at the store and considering a purchase we will ask, IS THIS NECESSARY? If not, we will pass and record how much money we’ve saved. I’ll probably just use notes on my Blackberry or send myself an email with the amount so that I can record it.
At the end of three months we are going to see what we’ve saved by just NOT BUYING. Half of the savings can go toward a family purchase, (ice cream out or something fun) and the other half will go to charity. By the way, the charity idea was Sophia’s. She will help determine how we spend what was saved – I think this is key.
I’ll blog about it from time to time, including some Q&A with Sophia. If you plan to try something like this in your own home, I encourage you to keep it simple. Notice that we haven’t started out with a lot of rules around what we are trying to do. She’s 7 and I’m busy, so our process needs to be simple and easy to maintain.
As always, please send me your ideas, thoughts and comments. Happy Saving!
Please stop on over at LuLu’s Webtique to check out my Q&A on organizing. I’ll be back next week with a new post.