<p>(BPT) - It’s the time of year when family schedules change and their daily routines reset. From coordinating calendars to handling additional demands such as homework and extracurricular activities, it can be a challenging, if not daunting, time for even the most organized family.</p><p>The good news is advancements in technology can help organize busy families' schedules, streamline their routines and simplify their days - making sure everyone is in the right place at the right time. Today’s technology tools can also help eliminate the stress and worry of whether or not someone remembered to lock the door or adjust the temperature while the house is vacant for the day. Here are a few tips to help families get organized this season.</p><p>1. Connecting via social media: Family members can stay connected throughout the day by using private groups on social media platforms, allowing everyone in the family to post quick messages, send photos or ask questions. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, more than 60 percent of teens ages 13 to 17 have signed up for a profile on one social networking site, and many report they spend more than two hours a day using social media. With teenagers’ high social activities, parents can often receive responses and information from their children in a more timely and effective manner.</p><p>2. Protecting the family: October is National Crime Prevention Month, a time when families should take into account the importance of home security. With approximately one in nine children coming home to an empty house after school, according to U.S. Census data, advancements in home automation and security technology can help parents remotely safeguard their homes and families. ADT Pulse (<a href="http://www.adtpulse.com/" rel="nofollow">ADTPulse.com</a>) allows parents to receive email and text alerts when the kids arrive home after school, check in during the day with real-time video monitoring, and even lock and unlock doors if the kids arrive home before they do.</p><p>This same technology is also making it easier for parents to keep their homes organized - even in the morning rush. For example, families can also use ADT Pulse to switch off appliances such as the coffee pot, adjust the thermostat and shut off the lights. This can be especially helpful when trying to get the family out the door in time for school.</p><p>3. Sharing lists online: Shopping trips can take a lot of time during the week, but the process can be simplified by sharing lists via online spreadsheets and smartphone apps. Organize the lists by categories such as grocery, pharmacy or pets to ensure both parents conveniently have access to the list the next time they make a trip to the store. Not only does this save parents time, it’s also a great way to earn brownie points with their spouse. The tip also works for organizing the family chores. Create a to-do list assigning each family member a job, and have them check off the task when completed.</p><p>With a secure and efficient home and by staying connected to each other, families can settle into a smooth routine and enjoy the exciting activities of the fall season.</p>
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