Back To School: Routines Make Your Day Easier


Liz Jenkins


Planning is Key!

We’re heading back to school soon, and days can get chaotic. I was teaching a class about back to school organizing recently, and one of the participants said, “but it takes so much time to get organized”. Yeah, it can. But it sure pays off in the end, saving you not only time but money and frustration. So here’s some of my suggestions for back to school that, with a bit of planning, can make your school days a bit easier:

  1. First, write down all of the tasks that need to be done daily or weekly that relate to school and/or kids so you can get a full visual of what you are facing. This includes brushing teeth, packing lunches, gymnastics class, etc.
  2. Determine the best time of each day to accomplish each task, and create a schedule/routine. For example, if evenings are a scramble, then put homework and making lunches in the after school routine.
  3. Have a family calender to track all of the activities you and your kids are involved in – and post it in a place where all can see.
  4. Post tasks, and the responsible party, along with when they need to be accomplished. For example, a laminated check sheet that says “MORNING ROUTINE” with all of the tasks for each child. These are easy to make, or you can check out for some great lists of all sorts!
  5. Schedule your tasks so you are not scrambling at your less than ideal time of the day. For example, I’m not a morning person, so I make sure my daughter’s homework is checked, her backpack is packed and waiting by the door, and her lunch is made and in the fridge the night before so I can get some coffee and read the paper in the morning.
  6. Set tasks for the kids and give them responsibilities appropriate for their age level.
  7. Follow through with your jobs and with the jobs that are the responsibilities of the kids. AND, follow through with consequences if kids do not do their jobs.

Consistency is key – if you let the kids slide on their jobs – those jobs will become yours!