Back To School: We’re off to a great… good… pretty decent start!

The calendar shows me we are already pretty much done with the first month of school.  My blog shows me the last time I wrote was the last day of my kids’ Summer vacation. My messy house shows me I haven’t had much time to do cleaning or organizing.  Looks like this school year is going to be a busy one! I realize there is no one to blame but myself.

I tried to prepare myself well for the tighter morning schedule and more complicated drop off/pick up routine and back-to-school busyness.  My head’s still spinning, so obviously I didn’t prepare very well.  What’s the saying? “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.” Yeah, well, I’m not failing per se, but I’m not entirely succeeding either.  “If you succeed to prepare but have three kids with minds and messes and emotions of their own, your house my still be chaotic.”  That sounds a little more accurate.

Let’s take a quick peak at a few of my preparation techniques and analyze their weak points.  I do this for you, my friends, so that you will not fall victim to these rookie mistakes. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

1. My Daily Routine:
I have an excel spreadsheet that has my Monday through Friday scheduled by every 30 minutes.  I was going to post it on here, but then got creeped out thinking all the world (since “all the world” reads this blog… riiiiiight) could know what I was doing every moment of every day.  Sorry, I’m not sharing it.  Okay, fine, I’ll share a generic version with you. Here you go:

Daily Routine (I changed some of my routine around so if you try to stalk me, it won’t work.)

ANYWAY, you can see my very detailed daily routine.  Every Sunday I update a copy of it with events that will be going on during the upcoming week: lunch with friends, playdates,  meetings, my husband being out-of-town, etc.  My reasoning behind this very detailed schedule was because my days were vanishing without me accomplishing anything.  I kept wondering what I did all day and how in the world I would ever find the time to do laundry, prep dinner, or, more importantly, actually hang out with my kids on purpose.

The Weaknesses:
* I often hit the snooze button on my phone so many times that I am actually getting up with the kids.
* The weekly “special events” are so many that I can’t find time to re-insert those daily tasks that are supposed to keep my life organized.
* I forgot to schedule in “socialize after school drop offs,” “socialize after the gym,” and “socialize while grocery shopping.” Apparently I talk a lot. This gets me off schedule.
* I forgot to schedule in “temper tantrum about not wanting quiet time,” “kids debating exactly how much cleaning they have to do,”  and “3-year-old story-telling when we are getting ready for quiet time which actually takes up the whole quiet time.” Alas, the children are not robots.
* That little asterisk is way too small for me to notice and I forget to switch the laundry several times each day.

Why do I keep doing it?
The Strength: 
* When I’m standing in the middle of my kitchen wondering what I should be doing, I at least know where to find that answer. (Please tell me other people find themselves standing in their kitchen thinking “I’m fairly certain I’m supposed to be doing something productive right now, and I’m fairly certain it is not checking Facebook, but that’s all I can think to do right now.”)

2. My Very Pinterest-y “Kids School Hub”:
Check this out:

My school organization center. (before school started)

My school organization center. (before school started)

Doesn’t that look Pinterest-worthy?! Each child gets a little station complete with a file folder (with a dry-erase sticker so I can note when they have Show-N-Tell or a field trip),  a double-hook for backpack and coat, and the frame now has their chore list. Bingo! Easy-peasy! Organizational awesomeness! Not really.

The Weaknesses:
* One of the hooks fell off (they were the sticky “won’t mess up your wall” hooks) a week after school started. (I don’t have it on my daily routine to do household organizational maintenance!)
* That shoe basket is overflowing with shoes!!! My rule is only one pair of shoes in the basket, yet is still ends up overflowing every day. Strangely, there are several pairs of Women’s size 7 in that basket. I’m so guilty.
* The amount of papers that come home from Pre-School, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade is INSANE.  There are reminders from teachers, monthly newsletters, scholastic book magazines, weekly readers, permission slips, pizza orders, drawings, homework packets that need to be done, homework packets that were completed and now sent back home. Those file folder bins are overflowing already. (Note to self: Must add “empty file folders” to my daily routine.)
* The lunch bags that land on the rug in front of the hooks do not miraculously empty themselves. Gross leftover lunches found the next morning.  (Note to self: Must also add “Empty lunch boxes” to kids’ chores list.)

The Strength:
* At least all the school stuff is located in one place! I have been able to find all the paperwork, backpacks, sweatshirts, lunch bags, and dirty lunch boxes every school morning. That is an improvement from last year!

3. ___________

Well, I was going to list another prep technique, but I have run out of time! Either I post this now or I won’t get a chance to post for another week or so.  (Note to self: 30 minutes of Writing Time, at the end of the day when I’m super tired, is not enough.)

I hope everyone else is enjoying the first few weeks of school!  If you have any techniques that help you stay organized and on task, I’d love to hear them!! In the meantime, I’ll just be…. well, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing in the meantime. Must go take a look at my excel spreadsheet.

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About blogheavenstobetsy

Me... a military wife (Go Navy!), a mom, and just me. Writing about the adventures our family has from the day-to-day to the amazing opportunities afforded us by my husband's career. Blessed beyond belief and trying to capture it all with words. View all posts by blogheavenstobetsy

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