Back to School: Get Organized!
Back to school is always a mixed bag of emotions. We dread the preparation and the schedule. Can we actually find latex-free erasers or folders in that correct shade of periwinkle? We also love the idea of kids being in school. No more “I’m bored!” We feel a sense of freedom and release! Then the schedule and rigor of the year begins. The frustration of the morning, the remembering musical instruments and proper snacks, the disagreements about matching outfits. What’s the answer? These organizing tips. Read on and conquer the school year, my friends.
- Form habits: This is a tried and true tip that can be applied to any organizational endeavor. Confession time: I forgot my daughter's back pack on her first day of pre-school. I started to get a little annoyed with myself for the lack of organization. But then I realized that I had not established the habit of including the backpack in my usual out-the-door routine. Establishing a routine will help you and your child remember all the things that they need to take to school. This may take some time and extra thought until it becomes habit.
- Make a Launch Pad: Have a designated spot that all school-related items are kept, such as permission slips and other important papers. Set up the launch pad somewhere easily accessible, such as the kitchen. Use a bulletin board, some folders, or file trays to keep each child's important papers. Get in the habit of checking the launch pad to stay current on paperwork. For more information on creating your Launch Pad, click here.
- Get ready the night before: Again, this is another common tip. And I wasn't going to include it because it is so common. However, I just couldn't get around it. This is a sure-fire way to make sure that your kids have everything they need for the next day. It avoids a mad scramble in the morning. And, if something is forgotten the night before, there is time to grab it in the morning. Energy waning at night? Things can always be done in the morning, just as long as you allot enough time to gather everything without pressure.
- Paper taming: If you are the parent of a preschooler or grade schooler, you are aware of how much paper comes home with your child. There are countless ways to store and preserve these important papers. An easy and inexpensive storage system is a file box or shirt box. s. For more suggestions on keeping paper organized, read my article Organize Your School Papers.
- Involve your children: Whatever the age of your children, they can be involved in organization. Teach them where to hang up their backpacks. Show them how to sort their papers into the right spots. Demonstrate how to keep track of assignment due dates and basic project management. These skills are invaluable and can be used throughout a successful adult life.
Ready to go? This will be your most organized school year ever.
©2016 Robin Harisis
Robin Harisis is a former professional organizer, mother of two and Customer Care Representatative at KidsOutAndAbout in Rochester, NY. She loves laundry and understands how crazy that sounds. Find more organizational and productivity ideas from Robin here.