School’s Out…Now what?

School’s Out…Now what?

It’s summer and the kids are home! Great! Not so great? Well, maybe because it seems you are constantly after them to pick up their stuff and clean their room. Right? During the school year, they were busy with after school activities, homework, etc. Now they are home all day…..need I say more? There is hope!

Here are a few tips to make life easier and less stressful and the summer more fun.

  1. Set up a list of chores/duties…if you haven’t already. If you have, then this is the time to reinforce them as “we are all spending more time at home now”. Don’t forget to link a reward to their accomplishments. Even though we all know many duties in life do not reap rewards….it helps to inspire children. I know!
  2. This method is one I share with my adult classes and works very well with children. I call it the “Supermarket Sweep”. Provide each child with a laundry basket and assign them a room of the house (it could be their room) and put everything in the basket that does NOT belong in that room. Then use the basket to return those items to where they belong…their rightful home. Just as you see in the Supermarket when shoppers leave items where they do not belong and a store clerk is returning them to their proper locations. When family members practice this simple organizing technique, daily or even every other day….you will see a remarkable difference in the appearance of the kids’ rooms and the entire house. Bonus: Less nagging and less stress…for all! This is a good one to use when they lament, “Mom…I’m bored!” How is it that parents are rarely “bored?”
  3. Another favorite of mine, and one I use personally, is to set a timer for 5-15 minutes. Then challenge the kids and yourself to see how much can be accomplished in that amount of time. You will be amazed at what can be accomplished in a short period of time. With younger kids this could be an activity that warrants a trip to the park or library, etc,
    NOTE: Your teens may roll their eyes over this one, but link it to privileges or other activities and it may work. Try it…..can’t hurt!
  4. One of my favorites is to remind all family members to take “their
    stuff” with them on their way to bed each night. Including toys, magazines,
    books, shoes, snack dishes, etc. This simple organizing technique could become a habit and allow you to wake up to a tidy environment. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Choose one or all of these tips to help create a more pleasant environment this summer. September is a long way off or is it? Have a great summer.

Authored by: Ann Gambrell

Ann Gambrell is an organizational consultant, helping busy people to get organized since 1985. Ann is the originator of Creative Time-Plus, and conducts seminars, workshops and classes throughout the country. Ann is a founder and active member, of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. Her cassette tape and CD series relate to a variety of organizational topics including paperwork management, clutter control and kitchen organizing. View Ann's Profile on LinkedIn

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