Thursday, October 25, 2007

Back to School Tips

Back to schoool time has come and gone but organization for the students, be they primary, elementary or high school, is an ongoing challenge. As the Wellrich Organizers website is undergoing a redesign, and the tips pages are being archived, I though I would republish some of the favourite tips from this fall.

Keep the Family Calendar Public
To help keep the family organized with schedules, a posted, public calendar is helpful. There are several wall/refrigerator calendars available from special Family Organizing ones to white boards. Whichever style suits your families needs, make sure it is posted where everyone can see it. Schedules are best not kept as a secret. Try using an alligator clip on a hook to keep all time sensitive information i.e. Birthday party invitations, curriculum night close at hand. If necessary, use binder dividers to separate the information by family member.

Label, Label, Label
Children are most likely to lose items that they don't recognize as their own - like all those new back to school clothes, binders and lunch bags. Label everything possible that doesn't normally stay attached to your child. Label lunch bags on the outside so that they can see their name clearly. Try to have the children wear their new clothes several times before school so that the items are very familiar to them. If you don't have access to iron on labels, a pen or laundry marker on the tag will serve the purpose.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Welcome to Wellrich Organizers Blog!

As we blast into the 21st Century, I am finally hitting the cyberspace community with my own blog. Congratulations to me! And you found it; Congratulations to you! It seems appropriate to start off an organizing blog with the most common question I hear:

Why is staying organized so difficult? I used to be organized, what happened?

Here is what I have come to understand. Western society is moving through an age of accumulation. We are bombarded each day by ads, through many different media, that encourage us to buy, buy, buy. If we were to believe them all, our lives are incomplete if not meaningless without one of each of the latest _____________ (fill in the blank). Add in a pinch of easy credit, a heavy helping of parents or grandparents who have lived through wars, depression and/or evacuation and are therefore reluctant to part with anything. Now bake in an environment where we expect our brains to move at the same speed as our laptop computers, information is available with a key stroke and the pressure on families to arm their children with multiple talent, skills, experience and extra curricular activities in order that the children can succeed, is greater than ever.

Clutter is a delayed decision. It doesn't matter whether it is clutter in your calendar, on your desk or in your garage. Most people's clutter reflects an inability to decide what to do with objects or an inability to part with them. Making decisions takes energy (emotional) and acting on those decisions takes energy (physical). If you are worn out from a day managing work, family life, traffic, news and cyberspace communication there is likely little else for managing the stuff or planning your time.

I am left to wonder, not why any of us might be disorganized, but how anyone stays on top of it all?