September 2007 – Happy New Year!

Back to school marks the beginning of a new year. My son Nathan started high school and my daughter Alexandra is finishing high school and will soon be applying to universities. I am starting my third year in business as an organizer. My husband Allan just started a new job this month. September has always been the start of a new year for me. Maybe because my birthday is in September or maybe because every since I can remember I started something new every year at this time; a new grade, a new school or even a new job.

Every August, I get the urge to shop for school supplies. I love shopping for school supplies! We usually do this in July or August but we were late this year because both kids were away. My daughter shopped with a friend as she and her friend are both driving now. I felt sad that she no longer needed me for this activity but also felt proud that she has grown into such an incredibly independent young woman. Well, I thought, I could still shop with my son. He ended up going away again and asked me to pick up his supplies and handed me a list. My husband and I went shopping together but it wasn’t the same without the kids. We could not get over how it seemed like yesterday they were just starting school and now our first born is in her last year of high school.

Summer time is more lax because we can sleep in and meal time is not as structured.
To me, the beginning of the school year means back to a routine for the whole family.
I encourage the kids to get to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day. I get them to have a healthy snack and get their homework done after school. My life is also more structured as I must plan lunches and dinners ahead of time.
Planning is really the key to success.

Schools provide agendas and encourage their use. What a great idea. I use an agenda and couldn’t live without one. I also use a calendar that hangs in the kitchen so the family can see all of our appointments. It helps keep us on track. I encourage my children to be early for things rather than late. Every day, I meet people who are totally overwhelmed. They have too many things to do and feel that they don’t have enough time in which to do them. I recommend planning ahead. Many of my clients resist this idea as they want to live spontaneously. I am not suggesting you plan out every aspect of your life. I am simply saying that if you don’t make time for de-cluttering, exercise etc. it may never happen. The most organized people I know tend to use agendas or PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants).

Organizing is a life skill and if you can learn it early on then life can be smoother. Teaching your children the benefits of being organized and showing them how to do it is part of our role as parents. “Do as I say not as I do” doesn’t work when it comes to organizing. . Leading by example is the key. If you are organized, your kids will have a better chance of picking up this life skill. No guarantees.