It’s the last week of July and back to school season is in full swing. The Sunday paper is full of ads for the latest and great backpacks and trendy binders that your son or daughter can’t live without! In addition to getting your child’s school supplies organized before the first day of school, you need to get your home organized. Back to school brings a lot of changes to the family routine and planning now for those changes will help your household maintain organization.
Post the new schedule on the refrigerator or someplace visible for all family members. Try color coding – assign each member a different color – to keep track of who has to be where and when. Also make note on the schedule which parent is doing the pick up or drop off of specific activities…this way no child is left behind. To get organized look at the calendar/schedule each evening so you know what is coming in the day and the week ahead.
Set up a homework station so children have a designated home to do homework. Consider using the dining room table, a desk in their bedroom or a table in the corner of a living room. Choose a room where your child can concentrate and where you will be available to help them if needed with an assignment. Stock the homework station with pencils, pens, paper, etc. Setting a place to do homework not only communicates to your child that homework is important but also gives them the ability to focus better. Depending on the age of your child, get their opinion on where they want to do homework to give them ownership of the space.
Determine how you are going to organize your child’s papers he/she brings home. You can’t (or shouldn’t) save every piece of paper – it’s just too much. Keep only the papers that are important or memorable. Consider scanning school papers and saving them electronically to minimize clutter. Give yourself boundaries and rules; for example, determine now how much you’ll keep. Set a rule that you’ll only keep 20 pieces of paper from the ’10-11 school year. Store these school papers in a magazine box to sort at the end of each month or quarter. Other storage options include a 3-ring binder, a file folder in a drawer, a manila envelope, or a Ziploc® bag. Keep the papers together and sorted chronologically or by subject for ease of sorting later when you’re ready to purge the unwanted papers. School papers are a beast of their own, if you want more information on organizing your child’s papers…let me know. Ask your specific question below in the comment section or post a question on Facebook. I want to hear from you!
Build a routine that will help make the morning manageable. Set out your child’s clothes the night before (this includes socks and underwear). Be realistic about how long it takes you and your kids to get ready in the morning. If you’re not sure write down your start and stop time each day for a week to determine the total time it took each day. Then take the average of those days and you have an amount of time to work with. If you think it takes you 30 minutes to get ready but actually takes you 40, you’ll know and can plan accordingly.
School will be here before you know it, while you’re buying notebooks, pencils and new shoes, don’t forget to get your home needs organized too.