Getting organised for the new school year #2

You’ve set a shining example and done your bit to get prepared for the new school term ( See  Getting organised for the new school year #1).  So what steps should you take to ease the students back into a proper and more productive routine?  Naturally, after the holidays, you may find some resistance from the kids  to your efforts but children do flourish with boundaries and expectations laid out.  Here are the key pointers to encourage an early start to less chaotic studies.

  1. Morning routines should include a consistent wake up time and a balanced (not sugary) meal.  Nutritionists say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so allow sufficient time.
  2. Determine during a practice week before school recommences which is the best wake up time for your family. Experiment with different or staggered alarm times to decide what works best in your household to avoid morning scrambles and frayed tempers.
  3. When they are old enough, start teaching the children to lay out their own uniforms and shoes the night beforehand.   This teaches them to check if anything is missing and saves time in the morning rush.   Do they need to prepare or pack water bottles or lunch?
  4. After school routines should include steps to unwind after a long day at school. Is there a designated spot for forms to be signed or reviewed? (If not make one of your action points the creation of a Command Post for all incoming paperwork and mail.)  Where is their homework done? How much TV or computer time are they allowed? Teaching kids to manage their own time and belongings can help ensure a clutter-free home and build a sense of responsibility.
  5. Night-time routines are just as important as the morning’s. Making sure there is ample time for dinner, homework, downtime and bath before bed makes for a happy student. Bedtime frustrations quickly dissolve when there is a consistent evening routine.
  6. Most importantly, explain your expectations and demonstrate. If you want your children to hang up their school bag, show them exactly where and how. You can’t discipline them if they haven’t been taught in the first place.
  7. If you employ a domestic helper, do involve her in the organisation learning process to make sure she doesn’t accidently finish everyone’s lessons for them. Make a labelled basket in the hall or living room for each person and have your helper place their belongings as she finds them throughout the day into their respective baskets. In this way, although your helper is still in charge of keeping the house clean, the onus lies with the respective owner to return the items to their correct place.  For toddlers, use a brightly coloured basket and make it a game of putting the toys to bed in their proper place each night.

The start of the new school term is an excellent time to teach your youngsters the life-long skills of organisation.  If they learn to plan ahead and make a place for all their belongings, they will soon discover they waste less time on homework or looking for belongings and have more time for play.     Here’s to the start of less stressed learning!


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Asian Professional Organisers is the first member in Singapore of the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers, serving clients in Singapore and Hong Kong. Georgina Wong started out as a professional event organiser before transferring her expertise to where it matters most - in the home and workplace. We offer all forms of organising from home staging of your property to workplace productivity and from wardrobe auditing to digital decluttering.