By Jennifer Phelps of Organize, Design, Reinvent!

If you feel like it takes forever to get your pack of wildlings wrangled each morning since school started, you’re not alone. Eighty percent of people say it takes 20 minutes longer to get out the door! Here are my professional organizer’s tips to make your routines go smoothly, sync schedules, dig out from the blizzard of papers and teach kids skills to last a lifetime.

My number one tip is to communicate what you expect, set up simple systems and be consistent.  Post a daily routine where they can clearly see it to help your children establish routines for morning, homework and bedtime. Go to Pinterest for ideas

Teach them how time works. Use a good ol’ fashioned face clock with ticking arms, so kids can actually see how time passes and how long it takes them to accomplish each task.

Create a family center. Designate one spot for paper management and a big, easy-to-read monthly or year-at-a-glance calendar, so everyone sees what’s coming up. Color code and label for easy management. Write each person’s activities on the calendar with their favorite color and label everything.

Manage papers. Teach kids and yourself to put incoming and outgoing papers in the designated place.

Keep art fresh. Create a family art wall and let kids decide which masterpieces they want to display. Rotate monthly.

Use technology like Google Groups to sync the family’s devices. It’s made for work groups, so it helps your family work together.

What matters is that you communicate what you expect, make it clear, be consistent and don’t underestimate them! Teach kids the skills they’ll need for a lifetime. You’ll be rewarded with less chaotic days, more capable little ones and happier grownups too!

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