Do you spend 15 minutes frantically hunting for your car keys while fielding questions from the kids about where their homework is?
If your family is like most, a launch pad can mean the difference between spending a relaxing morning getting ready for work and school and a messy, stressful one.
Enter the launch pad.
Just as a rocket ship needs a solid structure to get off the ground, a busy family with work, school and other activities needs a support system to help launch them into their day.
What is a launch pad?
A launch pad is simply a place that’s set aside for the things that each member of the family needs to take to work or school with them every day.
For the best results, each family member should have their own particular space. But to simplify, everyone’s launch pad should be in the same area.
Launch pads might contain:
- – Permission slips
- – Lunch boxes
- – Homework
- – Library books
- – Science fair projects
- – Keys
- – Purses or bags
- – Videos that need to be returned
- – Dry cleaning
- – Snacks/lunches for work
- – Sports equipment
Essentially anything and everything that you need to take with you each day as you leave the house should be placed in the appropriate launch pad.
If you’d like to try this with your family, use the following guidelines to make organizing your launch pads a snap.
Contain the chaos
One way to avoid any lost or mixed up papers is to choose a different colored basket or plastic dishpan for each family member. These would be placed in a central location. (e.g. on a shelf in the entryway or hall closet)
The less chance your family has to toss their items somewhere else, the more likely they’ll use the launch pads you’ve created. So put them as close to the outside door as possible.
It does take time for everyone – you included – to get into the habit, but by placing the launch pads where they can’t be missed, you increase the chances they’ll be used!
Make it easy to use
Help everyone – including yourself – get into the habit of tossing their keys, mail, permission slips, etc. into their bins the minute they get home.
The easier it is for each person to put away their things, the more likely they’ll do it.
You don’t have to break the bank buying all new organization gadgets. Use what you have instead.
For example, you can clear off a shelf in the hall closet. Or make some space on or under an entryway table.
Another option could be to have each child use their backpack as a launch pad. Rather than let the backpacks pile up on the floor. However, put hooks or pegs along one wall that they can use to hang them.
Use a hanging chain with clips (the kind used for stuffed animals) to organize the countless pieces of artwork that are now plastered all over your refrigerator.
Your child will be pleased at the display of his hard work. And you’ll be pleased at the sight of your refrigerator door!
Adults should also have their own launch pads.
A key organizer hung on the wall by the door and some hooks or pegs, or even a hat rack for both backpacks and purses are all great ways to set up your launch pads.
Do I need a launch pad?
If you’re constantly hunting for your keys – or smartphone, if your kids are always asking, “Mom, where’s my…?”, or if you’re constantly paying late fees to the library, you probably need a launch pad for your home.
You don’t have to dedicate a huge amount of energy – or cost – to your launch pad. But you do need to think about what would help you and your family to enjoy a more calm and peaceful start to their day!