Monday, November 7, 2011

Keeping up with kids' stuff

When you have kids, the week can really fill up with activities, sports, art classes…. All those things that are supposed to be fun can end up being stressful, which is very UN-fun.

My motto is less stress, more fun. I don’t want my kids to think that a full life is stressful.

All the classes and activities usually have special clothes or shoes or something. Even if I'm careful about not over-scheduling, keeping up with the stuff can be more stressful than keeping up with the schedule. But you can eliminate a lot of the stress just by organizing the stuff.

I finally learned a simple trick that has really helped.

We have a bag for every activity (including school!), and that’s where we keep all the assorted stuff that goes with the activity.

When it’s time to get ready, we just grab the bag. We’re not late for soccer practice because we spent 15 minutes looking for a missing shin guard (but that doesn’t mean we’re always on time either!). When we get home, the stuff goes back into the bag, and I’m not tripping over soccer cleats all week.

Some of the bags live in the trunk of my car, so we always have them when we get where we’re going. The rest hang inside our coat closet, right by the front door. I put Command adhesive hooks (got to LOVE 3M!) along the closet wall, below the bottom edges of the coats. Easy to grab on the way out the door, and easy to put away when we get home!

I know this is not revolutionary stuff. I can’t believe that something so simple took me so long to figure out! In fact, it’s so simple that it seems like it wouldn’t make much of a difference—BUT IT DOES.

Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest.

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