Small Ways to Organize Your Home – New Year, New You!

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

If you have set a goal to get organized this year, congratulations! Wanting to get organized is the first and most important step! 

To help you achieve this goal, I have collected some of my favorite quick and easy organizing hacks. These tips will transform the spaces in your home with small wins and provide a sense of accomplishment to encourage you further. As you organize your space, keep in mind that our homes should not be regarded as storage units. Try to keep what you use and save what you love, but there is no need to hold on to those items that you “may need someday…”

Begin with a drawer
Pick one. It can be any drawer in any room. You can even start with the silverware drawer. 

  • Take everything out and clean the space. 
  • Toss or donate anything you no longer need or do not use. I promise this is easier to do in small batches. Analyzing just one item at a time. 
  • Assess your drawer containers, if you have any. Does it keep items tidy and contained? If not, it may be time to look into an upgrade. Here is the one I use (affiliate link), also pictured above!

The Container Store offers a station in each store to measure out different containers in a simulated space. #genius  I recently redid my personal silverware drawer. My kids are 4 and 5, and we can finally part with the plastic utensils. (This is also a true testament to being done having more children – no tears are shed when I toss the baby stuff!) Look at the before and after images. This drawer only took me 10 minutes to upgrade with no additional cost, but what a difference!

Spruce up your fridge
It seems daunting, but it is not nearly as difficult as it looks! Focus on cleaning, and the organization will naturally follow. 

  • Take everything out and clean the space. Most fridge drawers are completely removable. I have even sent mine through the dishwasher but beware – this could cause it to warp. 
  • Toss or donate anything that you no longer need or do not use. 
  • Look at EVERY expiration date. These are not merely suggestions from the manufacturer; it is also an excellent indication of how long you have owned the item and whether or not you are still using it. 
  • As you toss expired items, make a list of those that you would like to replace at the grocery store. 
  • Assess your items and think about whether it could become a category. For example, we are a ‘sauce’ family! Everything that we eat comes with a sauce. To accommodate this, I created a separate area for condiments in our fridge. 
  • Add a turntable. This is my ultimate suggestion for the fridge. Turntables can be life-changing, and they will make it so much easier to access the back areas of your fridge. Here is a great option: iDesign Turntable with Handles (affiliate link)
  • Bonus points for labels! You can even use a chalk marker, like this set (affiliate link), to write temporary labels and re-write them as contents change. 

Linen Closet Upgrade
The most crucial tip for linen closets: toss, toss, toss! 
I can’t tell you how many clients have sheets that are over 10 years old. Even more have sheets that they do not use or sheets to beds that they no longer own (such as twin sheets, but the twin bed is long gone). 

  • Donate unused linens ASAP. Did you know that animal shelters use bedding for incoming animals? This can be an excellent, tax-deductible solution for your old bedding. 
  • Toss anything that is torn, stained, or old. Goodbye! Simply following this step can eliminate half of the items in your linen closet. 
  • Find a way to contain various linen sizes. I love using simple bins like these from The Container Store (affiliate link), but you can use almost anything. The number one suggestion is to add labels. If you don’t, it’s only a matter of time before the sizes are mixed together again. 

Good luck, friends! Be sure to tag me on your organizing journey #simplifywithsteph.

Reflections & Goal Setting As We Head Into 2021

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Can you believe it!? The longest year in history is finally coming to an end. Praise!! 2020, we are not sorry to see you go! 

I love to spend time in reflection. I strive to constantly improve and develop a better version of myself. I want to be the best mom, wife, organizer, and business owner, and reaching those goals takes work. It also is a direct result of my perfectionist personality. If you’re going to be something, why not strive to be the best!? Haha! 🤦‍♀️

Here are some of my thoughts on this past year, as well as some easy organizing goals to embrace in 2021. 

Reflections:

  1. We don’t know what we have until it’s gone. Isn’t that the truth? We are so blessed in so many ways, and I am forever grateful for that knowledge. We have our health, our family, a roof over our heads, and Amazon Prime. #blessed! I’m joking, but truly this year has been a huge lesson in gratitude. Never lose sight of what you’ve been given. Life is truly a gift. 
  2. You can do anything but you cannot do everything. I am able to do what I do because I have support. Lots of it. My husband, for one, is my entire world. I do not know how I would be able to do everything without his support and encouragement. This year, as I continue to grow my team, I am immensely in awe of them. It’s really crazy how much growth is possible when you allow yourself to think bigger and put your trust in people. 
  3. Self-care is vital for your health. This is something I continue to work on, but I have learned that I HAVE to build in time for breaks. I need to remember how I recharge and why it’s necessary to avoid burnout. 

Although these insights are specific to my year, I would bet that some or all of them resonate with you as well. 2020 has been a unique experience, and we have all grown together. I cannot stress this enough: Lean on each other. Love one another. Life is too short to be divided. 

After spending time in reflection, it’s time to look forward. Do you have goals for this year? 

If your goal for 2021 is to get organized, here are some tips from a pro:

  1. Set a timer and have a weekly goal. In my experience, most people are successful with setting a specific amount of time to organize weekly. Even if your goal is to organize for 30 minutes a week, it adds up. In fact, it adds up to 26 hours of organizing in a year. Set a timer and pick a space. Allow yourself to weed out what you don’t want or need anymore. The end result doesn’t need to be perfect, and the removal of unused items will be freeing!
  2. Purge 21 items. I recently read a wonderful book about organizing (never stop learning 🥰): “Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day(affiliate link). One of my favorite takeaways was her suggestion to purge with a goal of 21 items. The time limit is set by you, and whether you purge daily, weekly or monthly, you search your house to find 21 items to donate/sell/trash. I think this is genius! Giving yourself small goals can do wonders for your home. It breaks down the large job of reducing possessions into smaller, more manageable, tasks. This method can also be effective in homes with minimal clutter.
  3. Start small and pick one space at a time. When tackling organization, start with smaller spaces. Begin with a drawer first, and then move to bigger items and locations. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I offer personalized virtual consultations for only $50 a space! Based on a picture submitted by you, I will offer tips and provide links to products that would work for your space. Click here to book!

When selecting an organizing goal for your home, your process doesn’t need to be perfect. Remember, the most important goal is to start! 

Thank you all for being part of my organizing journey. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a fantastic 2021. 

Toy Organization – It’s time to go through those toys!

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Almost all of my clients are parents. Want to know why? Because children come with a ton of stuff! As they grow and learn, the items they need are in constant fluctuation. 

It is so easy to feel overwhelmed. . . especially when they enter the Lego phase. This is why it is necessary to get a handle on your child’s toy collection as soon as possible. 

Consignment and donation are two of the services I offer that get the biggest responses. In order to help achieve a more organized home, you have to be able to go through your children’s items and let some go. I promise you there are toys that they don’t want, toys that are broken and/or toys that are below their developmental stage. It’s okay to pass these toys to someone else! It’s okay to sell them! It’s also okay to box them up for your own future child. HOWEVER, no matter which method you choose to decrease the quantity of toys, it is incredibly important for you to do it. 

Why?!

Children play MORE with less! Too many toys can lead to overstimulation. A child might not be able to articulate this, but subconsciously they will feel it. Children also thrive in a minimal environment. Studies have shown that children’s play is more creative and will last for a longer time period when there are less toys available at a given time. Keep this in mind as a guide when you are sorting through toys.

If you have pre-k aged children or older, you can also encourage them to help sort toys. Here are some effective ways I get my own kids to cull through their possessions:

  • “It’s almost Christmas and we need to make room for all the new toys you will receive. What do you not like anymore?” Asking this question values the child’s opinions and allows them to like or dislike items as they choose what to remove.
  • My kids are both proud that they are “not a baby anymore.” I use this to my advantage by asking them to separate any “baby toys.” When labeled as such, children have a much easier time sorting through items to sell or donate. 
  • Select a donation recipient and specifically talk about that person. “We are going to give these toys to _________. They need them more than us and it is important to share with others. What can we give to them that you don’t play with anymore?”
  • Set a timer. Do not expect children to sort through their entire playroom. Give short and attainable goals, praising the child through their efforts.
  • Last but not least, get it outta there! I’m not joking. A trash bag of toys sitting in a toy room will surely be opened and re-examined by children in no time. After putting in the work to sort toys, move that bag into the trunk of your car and take it somewhere!
  • After clearing out toys, make sure that remaining items are organized intentionally. For inspiration, click here (affiliate link), or on any of the images in this article, to see products that I routinely use with toy organization.

I promise you will be both surprised and proud of your children in this process. Explaining things in a way that they can understand is vital to the process. 

If you need recommendations for great local consignment or donation locations, please message me. I do this for clients as an added service and I know the best resources to utilize. 

Good luck and do not be afraid to reach out if you need help! 

Gift Ideas from a Professional Organizer

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

You might think that as a Professional Organizer, I hate gifting and the accumulation of things. This could not be further from the truth. I LOVE gifting. In fact, it is one of my love languages. I show affection to family and friends through giving, and it is important to me to find useful and relevant gifts for those I care about. 

Almost everyone has seen The Home Edit‘s new show on Netflix, and the organizing bug is spreading like wildfire. If you and your family members have fallen under this spell, it would be fun to give the gift of organization this year! 

Here are my ideas for an organization centered gift:

1. Gift a few hours with a Pro!

I used to think it was a little taboo to gift time with a Professional Organizer. You may be thinking the same thing. Is this similar to giving someone a weight-loss tool?! Actually, it’s not remotely taboo; it’s a blessing. My services are often gifted to others, and their response is always ecstatic. Imagine giving the gift of finishing a to-do list! We all have areas in our homes or businesses that need a little more attention, and what better way to show you care than having someone complete the work for them. I promise, we are able help everyone! The best part is that the gift recipient can select which areas they would like assistance with. This gives them the power to prioritize, making professional organizing a personal and meaningful gift. To share the joy of professional organization with someone, online gift cards can be purchased here: 


2. Give my favorite label maker! 

My favorite organization tool is the P-Touch CUBE Plus label maker (affiliate link). It’s wireless, customizable, and connects to your phone. Plus you can order it online without going into a single store! #score. If you have someone on your list even remotely into organizing, this is the gift for them. *Disclaimer: next time you visit their home, be prepared to see E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G labeled. LOL! 


3. Organize a cabinet with The Spicy Shelf

I promise, this thing is incredible. The best part about The Spicy Shelf (affiliate link) is that you can use it everywhere. I have used them in bathrooms, kitchens, pantries, and medicine cabinets. The options are truly endless. I’ve even seen one used for a toy display! The Spicy Shelf is easy to put together, incredibly sturdy to use, and the price point is perfect! 


4. Cherish Memories with a Personalized Keepsake Box

This is great for the busy parent of school-age children. We make them custom to your preferences. You can select the font, color, and names to add to the box. It’s the perfect way to contain the special pieces made by their children. It also allows a guide to how much to keep. #organized


5. Give back while gifting a 4 Things Tote

I’m obsessed with these for a few reasons! If you know me, you know I LOVE the Bobby Bones Show. These bags are from a show member, Amy, who also happens to be an Aggie (whoop!). The bags are customizable (my favorite thing), and also benefit an orphanage in Haiti. They make the perfect gift, but are also multipurpose (an organizer’s favorite thing). 


This year has been quite a wild ride and I hope that you are doing well. From myself and the whole team at Simplify with Steph, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

~Steph

The Best Way To Organize

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I am often asked what are my top products or what is the best way to organize a specific location. Yes, I do have products that I love. You can learn more about those here: LikeItToKnowIt (affiliate link). Yes, I have a specific process that has been successful in most kitchens, playrooms, closets, offices, and more. You can see examples on my Instagram @simplify_with_steph.

But ultimately, I will let you in on a little secret to organizing homes and businesses…there is no secret! Every family, every space, every drawer has different needs. Do what works for you and your family. Do what makes you happy. Do what makes it easiest to live your best life.

When I meet with a new client, we not only talk about the physical features of a space, we discuss how it will be used. Organization is only effective when it meets the needs of the person using the space. 

You might need a small toy organizer in a home office to accommodate a child as you work from home. You might have unique sporting gear that needs to be stored indoors as opposed to the garage. You might have a preference for wire baskets over acrylic containers. These needs and preferences are the small details that have a place in your project. 

Choose products that you love and the best way to organize a space is, to put it simply, the way that works for you!

Fighting the Urge of Excess

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

This season of quarantine has brought out different sides in each of us. Sometimes I feel as if I have even gone through some sort of emotional episode. I’ve been on a roller coaster. We.all.have. The ups and downs, the unknown, life has been entirely too much. But let’s celebrate the success of life. We’ve made it (almost). Here in Texas, people are jumping at the bit to get back to our normal life. Well, everyone is, we are ready.

Before we do, I think we all need a reset.

Processed with VSCO with q7 preset

What we’ve gone through is nothing short of traumatic. Hoarding and overbuying are classic responses to stress. Gathering as much as you can without reason, is equivalent to becoming a packrat. It’s not healthy. One of the problems with overbuying is mainly that most of us cannot store the excess that we have purchased. 20+ rolls of paper towels sounded like a great idea until you brought it home and have no place to put it. Excess causes stress. Whether you keep your home in near perfect condition or don’t mind the “we live here” look when things start piling up, it creates significant stress.

Three tips to stop overbuying:

1-Make a list for the grocery store:
Be specific, and only buy what you need. Cancel the auto-ship of your grocery items until you actually need them again.

2-Be creative:
If you don’t try to use up what you’ve purchased, it’s going to expire and be such a waste. If you overbought rice or pasta, work those items into your weekly menu. Don’t just push it to the side. Be smart and think about the items you’ve already purchased; it will save your family some money and will help to get things back to normal at home.

3-Resist the urge to continue:
It’s easy to get sucked into buying excess. It becomes a way to feel ‘safe’ and feel like you have control over an uncontrollable situation. Did we buy extra toilet paper when all this started, yes, absolutely. Are we still buying it? Nooo! We all have enough toilet paper. Lol. I’ve started adding a “Do not buy” list on our shopping list for the week. I add items that we buy on impulse but don’t need it at the moment. “Don’t buy toilet paper, rice, great beans, etc” This may help you and your partner stay on track.

As you venture back to some semblance of everyday life or try to, take stock of your stuff. Are you overbuying? If so, why? Do you need to talk to someone about it? Handling your emotions is hard, but it is so worth it. Spend some time today taking care of you, and let’s all put an end to overbuying.

Love y’all!

~Steph

Clearing the Mental Clutter

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I’ve been reading this book, and it caused a significant epiphany this week. It’s called, “When Less Becomes More,(affiliate link) and the author talks about how simplifying your life is so much more than throwing your stuff away. We know this, obviously, but some of her points helped me pinpoint some areas of opportunity within my own life. I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic lately and wanted to share some insight.

What is mental clutter?
I believe mental clutter looks almost precisely like physical clutter. Your house gets “messy” when you are too busy to perform routine tasks, like picking up toys or staying on top of the laundry. When you are rushing from task to task or have too much piled on your already full plate, clutter starts to control your life. I believe it’s the same with your brain. When you have a thought or a mental task to complete, it stays at the forefront of your mind until you complete it. Thus it’s similar to the pile of laundry that needs to get done. Your brain reminds you to do it throughout the day, but you may be too tired or too busy to complete it.

Why does this matter?
It matters because when your mind is cluttered, it’s almost impossible to relax and unwind. I may be alone in this, but I am betting I’m not, and when you have an endless list of things that you need to get done, shutting that part off takes a toll on you whether you realize it or not.

So how do we deal with this mental clutter?

I believe the answer lies in analyzing what is causing the mental clutter and tackling it one by one.

Keyboard keys on gray surface.

Email:
There are two types of people in this world: people who like to have an empty inbox and people who are okay with having thousands of emails. lol 🙂 I see my email as a to-do list and clear it regularly throughout the day as I handle each incoming request. I have many friends who are completely fine with NOT doing this and would rather scroll through their inbox, looking for vital tasks only and leaving the rest unopened. I am not here to say one is right or wrong, but I do think both sides could benefit from clearing some of the excesses. I’ve been working on this all week and have made a considerable dent in my inbox. You know when you accidentally sign up for emails and don’t realize it? Like the time I bought something small off of Wayfair, and now they email me three times a day?!? Put an end to it! Unsubscribe from all of the promotional emails you delete daily or don’t need. It takes a little time, but it is so worth it! These emails, whether you read them or not, add to your mental clutter. Spend some time clearing it this week.

Subscriptions:
Many of us have been home, taking advantage of the free subscriptions available. I know we are as well…free Beachbody workout for 60 days? Sign me up! The problem is the “free” subscription will end. Lol And it will end probably right when you get to go back to work or resume your somewhat regular schedule. Put in an alarm or a calendar reminder to cancel the subscriptions before you get charged. Having a pending task like this adds clutter. When you handle the job, even if it’s by knowing it is something you will do later, it clears it from your current to-do list.

To-Do Lists:
Speaking of to-do lists. Let’s be real about them right now. There’s another excellent book called “Eat That Frog,(affiliate link) and the premise of the book instructs us to tackle the hardest task first. There’s a similar proverb: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” If you are a to-do list person, there’s likely a task or multiple that you don’t want to handle. In my case, sometimes, these items end up carried on from one day to the next (maybe even for multiple weeks)! Both the proverb and the book suggest tackling the hardest task first. Get it done and out of the way. The mental clutter caused by the big or unpleasant task outweighs the actual job. Are you and your kids struggling to get schoolwork accomplished? Try to do it first thing in the morning and see if that impacts your mood. It may not work for everything, but getting things done, clears your mind for rest and allows you to think more clearly about other tasks.

Screen time:
Lastly, I wanted to point out a major time suck. Screens. I went to a networking brunch earlier this year, and they suggested time blocking your screen time. I know it seems silly, and you may even think that you don’t spend much time scrolling, but ohhh, the time wasted on these little things. I can lose hours of my day on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. HOURS! I know that I am not alone in this. It’s so easy to get distracted. Here’s the problem: scrolling time is not rest. It’s adding more mental clutter. You are distracted by each post, and it fills your mind with information. In the book, “When Less Becomes More,” Emily Ley points out the power of our phones and how the distraction adds stress and comparison to our lives that is utterly unnecessary. Be true to yourself and spend some time thinking about your phone habits. If you put it down for a while, would it help you focus more on what is happening within your walls? Would it free up some time? These are questions I ask myself too.

I hope this helped you think about what mental clutter may exist in your space today. What can you do about it?

Message me if you need more suggestions!


With love always,
~Steph

Tips to handle the mail more efficiently!

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Handling the mail can be a huge issue. It can be even more significant if you don’t have a routine for how to process it. Here are a few simple tips to help you get a hold on how you handle this daily task. 

First of all, we are all different, and all process our mail in different ways, and that is 100% okay! I strongly suggest spending a moment thinking about the routine you already have in place. Is it working? Does it pile up in areas it shouldn’t? I can’t tell you how many bedrooms/bathrooms I’ve been in that have stacks of mail piled up. Your bills should never go into your bedroom. Think about how that could negatively impact your nighttime routine! Nobody needs to be thinking about bills while they are trying to wind down and rest. 

Here are some tips to help calm the mail burden. 

  • Have a routine. You don’t have to get the mail daily, but when you do, immediately process through it. 
  • Throw away the junk mail.
  • Keep only coupons that you KNOW you will use. 
  • If you pay bills once a month, create a space for the invoice. Label it: to do, bills, invoices, etc. 
  • Assess whether or not you need the actual paper invoice. If not, go online and sign up for paperless options. It helps to calm the paper storm and may make it easier for you to remember to handle the bills when they are due. 

My mail routine: 

I get the mail daily. On my short walk back to the house, I sort through and immediately throw out the junk. I then open the important items and update the balance due on my phone. I have a notes tab with each due date and amount and update it when I pay the bills. This system works for me because when the water bill comes; for example, I update the amount due and THROW AWAY the paper bill. I don’t need it anymore. 

Paper bills add clutter in your home and your mind. They represent todo list items that need your attention. Handling them and having a system, help clear your mind of the stress from the task. 

What are you keeping, and why? 

I have many clients who keep records of their bills, and I always ask why. Why do you need a copy of your bills? Spend a few moments looking up your records. Most credit card companies keep years worth of records. YEARS! The water bill is likely to be the same, and so is your mortgage company. Look up your bills and determine what you need to keep. You’ll probably be surprised at what you really don’t need to keep at all. 

Good luck tackling this task, and don’t be afraid to ask for help! I am here to answer questions!

~Steph

The Healing Power of Cleaning

A clean home is a happy home

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Everything is crazy right now. Daily tasks that used to seem so mundane are now restricted or illegal. We can’t spend time with friends and family. Even going to the grocery store is becoming taboo.

It’s eye-opening how much I took for granted. Do you feel the same way? If you spend too much time thinking about it, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and depressed. I’m guilty of this big time. I feel like I’m on an emotional roller coaster. Anyone else feel this way too? I have to apologize to my husband almost every other day because my moods are unpredictable and all-encompassing. I can be super positive and upbeat and literally an hour later, I am crying in the shower. What the heck? When will this be over?

One activity that has been my saving grace is cleaning. Hear me out, I can feel the eye-rolling happening even as I type this. There’s power in turning up some of your favorite music, silencing your mind and all your fears, and wiping things clean. You don’t have to clean everything. You can pick just one room or one activity each day. It’s become part of our daily to-do list. I’ll be honest, sometimes I dread it. That is…until I’m done. Looking around at a task completed…smelling the strong smell of cleaner…seeing the room sparkle because of something I DID, it’s powerful. I can’t help but smile and that is exactly what we all need to do right now–smile.

I decided to make a cleaning rotation because if I don’t, I will spend my time cleaning the same things over and over and nobody has time for that.

Here’s my schedule. Feel free to use it, edit it, or roll your eyes at the fact that I am enjoying cleaning. Whatever you decide to do, remember that your emotional well-being is just as important as your health. Find ways to bring a smile to your face even if it seems silly to others.

Monday: Vaccum and Windex
Tuesday: Counters
Wednesday: Bathrooms
Thursday: Tile (Sweep and Mop)
Friday: Sheets
Saturday: Laundry (Completly done)
Sunday: Rest

I should add that daily I pick up the house and wipe down counters in addition to doing the dishes. I’ve also been posting my five-minute organizing activity each day. Follow me (on socials) to get some easy tips on how to work from one small space to another. My personality is to always be moving. Even writing this blog is difficult because I have to sit and focus for more than one minute. lol. I am NOT good at sitting.

I hope this helps you. I hope you are staying healthy and sane through the mess of the world. If cleaning doesn’t do it for you, find something that does. Search for reasons to smile and stay positive. We will get through this, and I believe we will be stronger when it’s all said and done.

One day at a time, establishing a new normal.

Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Mommas, life just got hard. Really hard. Whether you are working from home now, suddenly diving into the role of a full-time teacher, or becoming a stay-at-home-mom for the first time EVER, I am here for you.

There’s so much information out there on how to do this the “right” way. Look, there is no right way. We are all in survival mode, so please stop trying to focus on how you can be the best at everything. It’s not possible, and I am an ultimate perfectionist (it pangs me to even write that). We need to change the things we have control over and accept the things we cannot change. I cannot change the fact that you became a 2nd-grade teacher overnight while also maintaining your full time job. I wish I could!!! I CAN help you create a space for this new normal. That’s what we’re talking about today.

Tip #1:
First up, create a space. Your home used to have one function: home. It doesn’t anymore. Now it is “work,” “school,” and “home.” It will make life easier to draw lines on these spaces and create some boundaries. Every homeschooling mom I’ve ever seen or talked to always has a space for where they “do school.” It’s so smart. It tells your brain to connect to that role. Create a space for each function of your day. When the kids are working on schoolwork, have them at the dinner table. Set up a place for your “work.” When you are at that desk or table, it will help the kids to also know what is happening.

Tip #2:
I think there is also something powerful to actually sitting at a desk. Maybe it’s all those years of my own education, but if I am seated behind a desk, work gets done. Trying to accomplish the same work on a couch or outside, it takes some intense effort. It can still get done, but it takes much longer. Think about where your kids are trying to get their work done. Are they in an area that is conducive to learning?

Tip #3:
Explain and set boundaries, “we are at the table doing our work for the next 30 minutes.” “Then we can do __.” Teachers do this all.the.time! Children are used to hearing the idea of performing an activity for a short time and then knowing what is coming next. Try it and see if your student responds well. I know this is a tad more complicated if you are also on a three-hour conference call. Do your best, sweet friend. That is all that you can do.

Please know that these are all suggestions, and revert to my original statement of survival. If something is not working, try something else. We will make it through this one way or another. Trying new tactics could possibly make your current world a little more manageable.