Getting Organized for Back to School
It’s that time of year again: Yellow buses are on the road, school supplies are on sale, and backpack-clad kids can be seen out and about early in the morning. That’s right, school’s in session once again. Moms and dads everywhere may be breathing a sigh of relief, but back-to-school is one time of the year when a lack of organization can catch up with you after a laid-back summer. It’s time for the kids to buckle down and get to work, and if you’ve fallen out of the habit of keeping tight control over your time and your belongings, it’s time for you to buckle down as well.
Here are a few tips for a successful back-to-school transition:
Get a Big Calendar
Traditionally, calendars are purchased at the beginning of the year, but there’s no law that says you can’t buy one in August in anticipation of the beginning of the school year. If you have several children in different grades, participating in different after-school activities, a calendar on which you can write everything down is helpful. If you’re juggling their activities with your own work and school schedule, then it’s a necessity! Assign each family member a different color pen, and make anyone old enough to write legibly responsible for marking down his own activities.
Take Control of After School Clutter
Kids come in with a lot of clutter. Between lunchboxes, backpacks, homework papers, sheets to be signed, textbooks, jackets, and whatever random treasures they’ve accumulated over the course of the day, your front hallway or kitchen might become a dumping ground for a lot of stuff. Find a way to corral it all: Assign jacket hooks, cubbies, a shelf in the hall closet or space in the mudroom to each child, and insist that these organizational areas are used. A little bit of training now will go a long way as the year progresses.
Streamline Your Morning Routine at Night
Part of getting your morning routine under control starts the evening before. Have each child lay out the clothing that he will be wearing the next day. Double check all backpacks to be sure that homework is accounted for and permission slips are signed. Make sure you know where your keys are. If a carpool for school or work is involved, check to see who’s driving. Set the table for breakfast, and pack lunches ahead of time if possible. Get everyone to bed at a decent hour to make wake-up time less painful. In short, do as much as you can the night before to make for smoother mornings.
Some school-year organizational hurdles will crop up as the year goes on. By setting up a foundation of good habits now, though, you’ll be ready to meet those challenges head-on.
What are some of your best organization tips for the new school year?
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