10/24/12

Staying Organized When You Feel Like You Are Never Home

Staying Organized With Bulletin Boards
      Walking in from the garage with a baby girl in one arm, my green Youth Specialties bag holding my laptop in the other, I head up the stairs. Two tired kiddos following me in with their backpacks on and dressed in their dirty school uniforms from a day of school work, art class, PE, recess, and lunch. Boo, our large happy dog with soft white fur and cute black ears wags her strong tail rapidly as she practically knocks all of us off the stairs as we walk up from the garage below. She is excited we are home and energetically circles us, waiting to be acknowledged. We are happy to see her and began to unload all our gear from a full day of work and school from our shoulders. Then it begins. Homework, housework, dinner, dishes, baths, diapers to change, trash to be taken out. A comfortable, familiar, repetitive and exhausting rhythmic flow to our weekdays. After all 3 kids are in bed, the dog walked, and coffee set for the next day, my husband and I high five each other and crash on the sofa for some TV time. Probably leaving a few chores undone for lack of time and energy.

     So, how do you stay organized as a full time working mom? Especially when it feels like you are never home? One idea I stole 2 years ago, after dropping my son off at his friend's home is utilizing family bulletin boards. I arrived with Josh to his pal Isaac's house and glanced around his home, and wow is Isaac's mama organized. His mom works for the same school as my husband. As an elementary school teacher with 3 kids of her own, she has to be. We introduced ourselves to each other. It was my son's first ever sleepover invite. On my way home, I stopped at Target and picked up 2 bulletin boards. We call them "J" boards. One for Josh. One for Jenna. Eventually Mom and Dad got bulletin boards too. The only person missing is Julia, the baby. She will get one as soon as she starts pre-school and has permission slips and schedules to keep track off.

     We display a bulletin board for each family member in the hallway near our kitchen area. If the kids come home with something I need to sign or fill out, they stick it on my Mom board. After I fill it out, I pin it back on their "J" board so they can grab it and put it away in their school homework folder. Lunch menu's, scholastic book order forms, and box tops for education get pinned on their boards. The white board section gives us an easy place to write each other reminders and to-do's. My bulletin board has my Jazzercise class schedule, receipts I need to turn in at church for reimbursement, my Weight Watchers monthly pass, and things that need my attention. My husband's board gets a few to-do's I need his help with. The kids write us reminders on our white boards too.

     I love our "J" boards and we use them often to stay organized. Especially when it feels like we are never home. I need to beg, borrow, and steal any organization tip I come across. So thank you Isaac's mama for the help! Just a few minutes in your home was such an inspiration to me. One of the best ways to get organization ideas, is simply to look around and see what your friends and your kid's friends families are doing. Pay attention and glean anything you can that works for your life.


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