This school year, as we settled into the flow of our busy weeks, I tried my best to get our family organized. Any little thing I could do to have us in shape for chaotic morning routines and after school burnout - I did it. It had been a long summer of restless kids and a messy house, and ooooh my goodness was I ready for some order!
One of the huge things I did for myself, was taking care of this hot mess:
Groan. A desk should make our lives more operational, not more cluttered, right? And how about a hub for that massive influx of paperwork coming our way? Here's my suggestions:
1. Appoint a spot to be your school hub. If you don't have a desk or don't want it to be on yours, find a shelf, a cabinet, or anywhere else you deem worthy!
2. Clear all the clutter. Leave nothing that won't serve your paperwork needs!
3. Designate spots for little school things you'll need - like post its, envelopes, and excuse notes.
4. Create a system for storing paperwork that will need dealt with at various deadlines. Nothing drives me more crazy than papers you have to hang onto for 2 weeks but that have no home.
5. Organize a space for contact and school information like class lists, student directories, yearbooks, PTA forms, etc. If you're a room mom, a PTA volunteer, or are even just planning a get together for your child, having everything together is so useful!
6. Refresh your supplies - sharpen pencils, fill the stapler, throw away pens that don't work.
7. Decorate a little bit to make it feel fun and welcoming!
It is so nice to know that the kids can just grab pencils and scissors and knock out their homework, I can easily find what I need for the PTA and permission slips, and papers aren't piling up everywhere.
Another thing I did for myself is prepare for the back to school germ invasion. Nothing is more frustrating or exhausting as when you are trying to keep up with your kids' school needs, and you're stuck in bed with a cold or some other kid-caught illness. I volunteer in the school often, too, so I'm awfully exposed!
I support my immune system with things like essential oils, fruit and veggie packed smoothies, and vitamins. One of the vitamins I grabbed on a recent trip to Walmart was a box of Emergen-C (which is a yummy, drinkable vitamin supplement).
Especially during this time of year, when germs are everywhere, it's so simple to grab a glass of Emergen-C and give your immune system a little support. Emergen-C® is packed with B vitamins, antioxidants† , electrolytes plus more vitamin C than 10 oranges^. With over 20 flavors, you have plenty of delicious varieties to choose from.” † Zinc and Manganese ^Based on the USDA.gov nutrient database value for a large, raw orange.
It's so simple for us to live a healthy, happy life, and to make good choices for ourselves as we are going through the flow of our busy days. But as a mom, I sometimes can't help but think about children and their families that live in developing countries, such as Ethiopia, that don't have such simple solutions. They sometimes have to walk for hours just to bring clean water to their homes, in containers that can weight as much as they do! A full jerry can (a container used for transporting liquids) weighs about 40 pounds when full. I can't imagine my second grader or my kindergartner having to carry that every day!
That thought reminds me of something we dealt with recently.
A couple weeks ago, a huge water main break in our area left us without water for an evening. For the three days that followed, we had to boil water all day long, and use it to fill our glasses, to give to our animals, to make ice cubes out of (it was HOT out!), and to cook all of our meals with. It felt like an annoying chore, and I even joked that I felt like a "water chef" with the amount of water boiling I was doing.
In reality, three days of this was nothing compared to what so many people, including small children, have to deal with on a daily basis.
With the busy nature of the new school year, and the pull I feel to always remain grateful and caring, I wanted to share with you some details about the Emergen-C Charity Water The #40Pounds Challenge. It is an incredibly simple way that you can take a few minutes away from the chaos of the new school year (who couldn't use a quick breather right now?!), and also give something to these sweet children in need.
For every picture you post of yourself holding something that's approximately 40 pounds using the hashtag #40Pounds and tagging @emergenc, Emergen-C will donate $5 to charity:water.
That money goes towards helping communities gain access to clean water, as well as to the education of hygiene and sanitation. This not only vastly improves health, but opportunity. More kids (especially girls) can spend their time at school rather than on the hard and time consuming task of fetching clean water.
Here's me holding (and smooching) my 40 pounds:
So once you're done sprucing up your school-central hub, snap a picture of yourself holding something heavy and share it with #40pounds challenge - I'd love it if you tag me, too, so I can see!
Together, we can jump into this school year feeling organized, healthy, and happy in knowing that we're helping kids all over the world!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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