13 tips to get Organized for Back to School
After a fun summer, here are smart ways to get organized for fall. Going back to school (or work) after the lazy days of summer can be challenging even for the best of us.
Take time to transition
Don’t let the school year sneak up on you. When you’re scheduling your last summer vacation, use one of those days off work to get your house in order for what’s ahead.
Bump up bedtime
Beginning in early August, move your kids’ bedtimes by 15 minutes a night and wake them up earlier as well.
Set up a storage system
Clean your coat closet or streamline your mudroom to create space for the kids (not you) to store their backpacks, jackets, sports and music equipment, and other back-to-school gear. It’s important for everything to have its place.
Plan for the paperwork
Create one file per child to keep important papers as well as artwork. During holiday breaks, go through the folder with your child and keep what’s necessary. At the end of the year, put the file in a keepsake box with room for the years ahead.
Organize the school supplies/work station
Take inventory of last year’s school supplies to see what can be used for the upcoming school year. Recycle old notebooks but keep any unused pages as scratch paper. Then new and old supplies can be kept in a storage space near where the children do their homework.
Be a digital diva
Use today’s technology to your advantage. Input all important dates, sporting events and club meetings onto a compatible calendar (try Google Calendar, iCal or iCloud), and sync your phones and computers so everyone can see the same schedule. You may want to create a digital photo album for each child.
Communicate with the kids
To make sure everyone knows that day’s schedule, write it on a dry-erase board placed near the kids’ coats and gear.
Get the kids in the habit of hanging their coats, organizing their backpacks and homework, and putting stuff away. As parents we’re so in the mode of doing it for them, but it’s important for kids to take responsibility.
Enlist weekend help
Encourage responsibility into the weekend by making chores fun. Check out free interactive chore charts on goalforit website, or writing chores on Ping-Pong balls or Popsicle sticks and letting kids choose a ball or stick to determine their chore. Back to school is a great time to put new routines in place.
Wake up early
I always up by 6 a.m. and wake my seven-year-old daughter up by 6:30 a.m. if she’s not already awake. I also shower and my daughter bathes the night before so their mornings aren’t stressful. It’s relaxed and we never feel rushed.
I offer screen time or video games as a reward for getting ready in the morning. If there are too many problems getting out the door, those privileges are taken away.
Avoid wardrobe wars
Choose outfits, shoes and all, with your children the night before. I have brought by daughter a collection of jeans and tops that all work together so she can dress herself with ease.
Embrace the night-before plan for yourself. Select clothes, and pack work papers and healthy snacks before bed so you are ready to roll in the morning.
Leave a comment to let us know if these tips were helpful for getting off to a good school year.
Rozialyn is a professional home and office organizer and a clutter buster. She has a unique gift of “thinking outside the box, with organizing.” You can reach Rozialyn by viewing her organizingbysharozz website.
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