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Tips for Avoiding School Morning Madness

August 26, 2012 10:32 pm
Written by: Odile Fredericks
What's a typical school morning like in your house? Are your kids hunting for missing shoes and homework? Are they running behind schedule as you attempt to urge them on? Are lunch boxes sometimes forgotten in the haste of heading out? It all sounds very familiar to me.

But a local organizing professional suggests a little planning and some specific changes can help everyone in the family slip into routines that avoid such chaos on school days.

A key step to getting organized is creating different "zones" in the house for "landing" and "departure," says Janice Russell, president of Minding Your Matters®, in Cary. The zones offer kids specific places to "land" their stuff, when they return from school, thus avoiding a pile-up of shoes, backpacks and other items near the door, on the kitchen table and in other places. Russell offers these tips for landing:

  • *The zone should be convenient for each person to access.
  • * Each person should have his/her own space in that zone.
  • * You must create systems for what happens to stuff inside the bags. For example, papers that parents need to look at but don't need to return may have a different "final destination" than papers to which parents must respond.
  • * Papers and projects that will be kept long-term have a distinct "final destination" altogether.

Leaving home on time is no easy feat, Russell says, noting that punctuality is contingent on a lot of factors, from getting up on time to dressing and eating quickly, and having all your stuff ready to go. But she says these "departure" tips can help:

  • * Create a zone for "departure" will prevent those moments of lost permission slips, keys or other items needed to get out the door each day.
  • * There is no right or wrong way to select clothes. It's finding a routine that works for each member in your household. This may mean that some are "evening outfit" deciders and others prefer "first clean clothes I find in the morning."
  • * Discourage use of the "snooze" button, which can cause rushing.

Smart scheduling also helps ensure you're not rushing from one place to the next with little time in between, or worse, forgetting appointments. Find a system that works for you, and discover the latest family time management resources here.



What's a typical school morning like in your house? Are your kids hunting for missing shoes and homework? Are they running behind schedule as you attempt to urge them on? Are lunch boxes sometimes forgotten in the haste of heading out? It all sounds very familiar to me.

But a local organizing professional suggests a little planning and some specific changes can help everyone in the family slip into routines that avoid such chaos on school days.

A key step to getting organized is creating different "zones" in the house for "landing" and "departure," says Janice Russell, president of Minding Your Matters®, in Cary. The zones offer kids specific places to "land" their stuff, when they return from school, thus avoiding a pile-up of shoes, backpacks and other items near the door, on the kitchen table and in other places. Russell offers these tips for landing:

  • *The zone should be convenient for each person to access.
  • * Each person should have his/her own space in that zone.
  • * You must create systems for what happens to stuff inside the bags. For example, papers that parents need to look at but don't need to return may have a different "final destination" than papers to which parents must respond.
  • * Papers and projects that will be kept long-term have a distinct "final destination" altogether.

Leaving home on time is no easy feat, Russell says, noting that punctuality is contingent on a lot of factors, from getting up on time to dressing and eating quickly, and having all your stuff ready to go. But she says these "departure" tips can help:

  • * Create a zone for "departure" will prevent those moments of lost permission slips, keys or other items needed to get out the door each day.
  • * There is no right or wrong way to select clothes. It's finding a routine that works for each member in your household. This may mean that some are "evening outfit" deciders and others prefer "first clean clothes I find in the morning."
  • * Discourage use of the "snooze" button, which can cause rushing.

Smart scheduling also helps ensure you're not rushing from one place to the next with little time in between, or worse, forgetting appointments. Find a system that works for you, and discover the latest family time management resources here.


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