When homeschooling parents are asked about their biggest challenges, they frequently mention the following:
- General organization and house organization (Right now there’s a science project on the kitchen counter and art work drying above my bath tub. My house is a mess!”)
- Time management (“There just isn’t enough time to do it ALL!”)
Yep…“doing it ALL” – it’s kind of something homeschoolers are known for. But can I share a spoiler alert with you?
We don’t really “do it ALL” (much is left dangling at the end of the day). And the only super powers we have? Are the super powers of organization and time management. And really, we’ve honed those out of necessity!
When a home is used for multiple purposes, and there are numerous people living under one roof, clutter, disorganization, and chaos can become the norm rather than the exception (ugh!)
As you can imagine, this clutter, disorganization and chaos can really interfere with homeschooling endeavors. So how do you beat the mess, and improve overall efficiency at the same time?
You start by:
De-cluttering your home
When it comes to de-cluttering, prioritize and start with the areas that bother you the most.
If it’s overwhelming, take baby steps – tackle one closet – or one drawer per day. Before you know it, you’ll be done!
Personally, if I haven’t used an object in two years, I figure I don’t need it, and I donate or recycle it. Have I needed the donated object at some point, years down the road? Darn it – the answer is yes! Still, I appreciate the lack of clutter. It far outweighs any downside of wishing I had something decades after the fact.
Once things are de-cluttered, develop a system for keeping your house as neat and clean as possible.
Again, if it’s overwhelming, take baby steps – clean one room, or even one window per day. Again, you’ll be done before you know it.
Get the family to pitch in. They can do it! Maybe not to your high standards….but they can do it (you might have to relax your standards just a bit).
Find a place for everything
This is especially true for homeschooling items. I want all our pencils in one place, with the sharpener and paper nearby. Children searching for pencils? It’s wasted time….and it’s amazing how quickly their attention can get diverted. Sometimes it’s hard to get them back on track.
Develop a daily schedule or routine. Even if you don’t always stick to it, at least you have a plan.
Expect (and prepare) for the unexpected. Schedule a little leeway into your days/weeks/homeschool year, so when something unexpected comes up, it won’t throw you for a loop.
Determine what your priorities and goals are, and then focus your time on those. Does your present schedule work towards your goals? If not, what changes can you make, so it does?
Evaluate what you do during the day and simplify. Eliminate unnecessary busy work as well as things that just aren’t working for you – both in your personal life and in your homeschooling endeavors.
Make to-do lists with both short term and long term “to dos” included.
Do all the things you can’t delegate…and then delegate.
Break unwieldy tasks into small, manageable tasks and tackle them when you are fresh and motivated.
Do undesirable tasks first thing in the morning, so you can get them out of the way.
If you don’t have the time to do something, just say no. Go ahead – it’s liberating
I know – this is all great advice, but also advice that’s hard to implement.
But maybe you’ll find, that once you start implementing the above, everything else becomes a bit easier. That’s been my experience!