Top 5 Organization Tips to Support You and Your Kids (Executive Function Series #4)

Top 5 Organization Tips to Support  You and Your Kids  (Executive Function Series #4)





Organization is also about planning and time management, a bunch of executive function skills that overlap and play off each other.  Organization is reliant upon visual memory and spatial skills so things like color coding, labeling, checklists, schedules all supports that are prominent.  These tips are simply scratching the surface. Each area can dig deeper into personalization for person and setting. 


  • Everything has it's home: Where does the backpack or school bin live when not in use?  What should be in it? Create a list.  What shouldn’t be in it? Need to clear it out every time it gets parked. Within the backpack, a folder for physical homework that needs turning in so it doesn't get crumpled up and lost in the bottom.  

  • De-clutter! Get all the stuff out that isn’t meant to be in the drawers or on the surface.  Create a clear space with functional drawers and for some it is helpful to label the drawers so it’s clear what should be in them.  


  • I’ll drop in here that de-cluttering and organizing their bedrooms is important, they don’t know how to reign it in on their own.  “Clean your room!” won’t work here.  Help them to sort, categorize, and organize creating a home for everything. 

  • Don't ignore the digital clutter:  Seriously, I would love for you to all send me pics of your desktops...I would imagine many of us are guilty.  It’s so easy since it doesn’t take up much space, and most of the time nobody else sees it.     


  • Clearing the junk and setting up systems digitally is critical!  Use the Chrome Bookmark bar to save all the places they need to go in labeled folders so they can easily find them.  Take the time to unsubscribe from the junk mail.  There are services out there to help with this! 

  • Planners...I need two more blogs to really break down planners! Planners support working memory, kids should always have their planners handy so they can check in and stay on track.  Time management is another executive function skill that is supported with learning to break up the day into chunks and being present to how long tasks realistically take.  Create a system within the planner to capture assignments, manage homework, and time manage larger projects and studying for tests.


  • Digital planners are a preference for many, they can have them on their phones and their computers, can personalize them for what they need, and it’s a self contained tool.  Lots of cool options available. 


In our home we use Trello boards on the computer and phone.  I’ve created a course that instructs how to use the boards and includes prepared boards so you can jump right in and get started! I designed it with mamas in mind, to scaffold the entire family, not just the kids!  Learn more here!


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To read the first 3 parts of this series: 

"back to school" and executive function

Attention, Focus, Teens and School!









3 strategies for maintaining peace of mind while in the middle of home projects!






The shift has begun. It’s kinda like a giant Rubik’s cube…


During “stay at home” we made the choice to move my husband from his downtown office into our basement garden apartment.  It has been my office, an AirBnB, a guest space….and now it will be his full time office. 


It’s an all hands on deck gig- and we are chipping away at it a couple hours each day. It involves re-organizing 8 different rooms in our home!! 


Friends...my house looks like a tornado whipped through...shit is everywhere! 


I am a neat freak, I thrive on organization, on everything having a place and being there! I am WAY far out of my comfort zone…


3 strategies for maintaining peace of mind while in the middle of home projects:


  • Make a plan first!! Don’t just jump in and start moving things around! Talk it out with all involved. Take measurements. Layout spaces to make sure things will fit.

**We found out in our planning process that my oldest REALLY didn’t want to switch rooms and we needed to pivot and reconfigure the plan.

  • Map out the order of your plan. Take the time to figure out in what order things need to be done in order to successfully move things around.  And write it down! This is the step most people don’t think about.  

**Tomorrow I will purge and clean in the mud room and move everything out of the space where the cabinets will go.  The next day I will go through and empty out the cabinets so they are ready to move.  The next day my husband will move them to the mud room and we will clean up the space they are in so that all of his office file cabinets can reside there.” 

  • Stay Grounded This is the most difficult! Tensions are high, usually we are tired and hangry. (**Bonus tip: have lots of snacks around!!) I put on virtual blinders as I move through the house and keep envisioning how awesome it will be when all is done!

                     **Before I begin working on the project I grab a grounding oil, take some deep                          breaths and remind myself it is a slow and steady process and it won’t be                                forever!



don't need to keep it all together!

don't need to keep it all together!

this....so much this...

 

most days this being at home has been kinda sweet and productive. since we were already homeschooling and working from home, it wasn't super disruptive. 

 

the college student is miserable to be home. misses having own apartment- i get it

 

same college student also stays up until the wee hours and surfaces in the late afternoon. appear to get food. requesting a hug when they are present...quality, not quantity. 

 

when the teen is done with schoolwork they can be found socializing online, searching outside for insects or playing with their pet snake. they appear to be in the kitchen grazing for snacks throughout the day so I at least get to lay eyes on them. 

 

the house is a fucking mess. the living room is our crossfit gym. the kitchen stays clean for 5 minutes. there are containers of unidentified shit that nobody is brave enough open. the front porch is piled with boxes. the garden still hasn’t been prepped.  the laundry room is backed up with baskets of clean laundry waiting to be folded.  the dust bunnies are infringing upon the dog's space and he is resentful. 

 

so every couple weeks i lose my shit. i flip out and delegate cleaning chores. (ok- delegate is kind) i lecture them on "everything has a place. blah blah blah" (cuz really? -we know that's what they hear!) I declare that “things need to change” and “I’m not going to tolerate this anymore” and they all sweetly let me rant, stare at me blankly, do what they were asked and then resume normalcy. 

 

mostly I find peace in my little purple office next to the kitchen, across from the bathroom (these are important logistics!) I have lovely window views of the front and side of the house and I hear the chimes on the porch in the background.  this is my safe space.  space where I cry, cuss and in lieu of throwing things I use my dammit doll (fabric doll designed to be hit on things- thanks mom-best gift) then I take a few minutes to meditate, come back to center and resume badassery.

 

how are you holding up?


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Fresh Planner for 2020!!

Fresh Planner for 2020!!

New Year’s Resolutions are a funny thing...so cliche and I admit right here and now to pretty much never keeping them.  


I write goals all year round, checking in on them daily to hold myself accountable and monitor progress.  I write them as specific as I can and prefer to break them into baby steps so I feel accomplished 😉


I’m excited this year to be checking out a new planner that includes a morning and evening check-in as well as weekly and daily check-ins.  It’s the High Performance Planner by Brendan Burchard...anyone else using it?  Would love to connect! If not, what planner are you cracking open today?  


Are you a paper or digital planner person?  I love digital apps- especially checklists...but I also love the act of physically writing on paper, especially for goals and lists.  I admit to being a bit of a planner/list-making junkie! 😂 I love being organized!

One of my goals for 2020 is to focus on radical self care and a huge part of that for me is maintaining organization in my environment.  This is not an easy task with a partner, kids, and dog.  None of them have an innate sense of order in the way that I do!  It drives me mad ðŸĪŠ!  The dog is organized...I clean up all his toys and he methodically puts them back around the house within minutes.  

Seriously, checking off lists feeds my soul.  I love the feeling of getting shit done!