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Back To School: How to Get Organized for School

Home Inspector with Main Line Inspections, Inc.

How to Get Organized for School

Back-to-school time doesn't have to mean back-to-school clutter. Here are six tips for minimizing the mess. It's time to get organized for school.

Get organized for school.

1. Make closet space.
Before you go shopping for new school clothing, get rid of clothing that no longer fits. Install closet racks that have easy-to-reach bars for hanging clothing and bins for loose items such as socks and underwear.

Kid tip:
Help young children pick out their outfits for the week on Sunday, to prevent morning battles and speed up the dressing process. Older children who are groggy in the morning can set out their outfits the night before - that way, you avoid last-minute panic if a favorite shirt is in the laundry.

2. Start at the door.
Create an organizational center at the entryway. Have a hook for each child's coat and shelves for each child's shoes. Book bags can sit on top of the shelves or hang on the hook over the jacket (unless your kids are teens, in which case their backpacks might be heavy enough to bring the shelf down).

Kid tip:
Hang hooks low enough for your children to reach, to encourage them to hang up their own coats.

3. Track activities.
Put an erasable calendar someplace obvious - the kitchen is a good choice - to keep track of everyone's commitments. Use a different color erasable marker for each person in the family.

Kid tip:
Work with your children to enter their schedule on the calendar. It helps them remember dates and times and show them what everyone is doing. They might even learn to appreciate how much chauffeuring you do.

4. Take (and give) notes.
Have a basket just for school notes near your calendar and teach your children to put their notes in it as soon as they come home from school. Also, pre-mark some envelopes with your child's name and grade so that when you fill out and return a note, the teacher can easily see whose it is.

Kid tip:
Have an empty backpack rule - backpacks must be emptied when kids come home from school, so they (and you) can remove notes, banana peels, and excess clutter. Repack after homework time so you can get organized for school the next day.

5. Build a homework zone.
Use a plastic bin with an attached lid - art bins work well - for each child's homework supplies. Label each bin and invite your children to decorate their own. Keep the bins close to where your children do their homework in a place they can easily reach. Make it a rule that, once homework is done, your children must put away their bins and put their homework back in their backpack.

Kid tip:
Help your children label each pocket of a multi-pocket folder with the name of their classes. At the end of homework time, the homework goes into the designated pocket of the folder, and the folder goes into the backpack. That way, you don't find homework on the table after the bus leaves, and your kids can easily find their work in their backpack.

Keep your sports gear where your kids can get at it easily.

6. Sort the sports gear.
A sports organizer bench, with bins for sports equipment below and a place to sit above, keeps equipment accessible yet out of the way. During the off season, store sports equipment in labeled plastic bins in an easy-to-access place.

Kid tip:
Give each child two laundry hampers: one for regular clothing and one for dirty sports gear.

Comments (1)

Suzanne Strickler
Realty Mark Associates - Havertown, PA
School is never out for the Successful.

Joseph - these are good suggestions for me getting ready for work!

Aug 12, 2010 09:03 AM