Back to School Organizing is as Easy as 1-2-3 by Robyn Howard

01 Sep 2014 11:19 AM | Julie Riber, CPO®

The new school year is a wide open canvas-take advantage of this opportunity to put new systems in place for the school year as well as revisit  the tried and true ones that worked last year.  All you need is a plan and the commitment to follow through on the new ideas.

Establish new routines

Reduce morning chaos by taking care of some key tasks the night before.  Just a few minutes spent before heading off to bed can save everyone in your household time and frustration in the morning:

  • ·       Lay out clothes for the next day
  • ·       Pack lunches/lunch money
  • ·       Put backpacks with all homework and signed papers by the front door along with keys, shoes, and coats

A helpful after school routine can provide the same stress-free results

  • ·       Use hooks for hanging up back packs and coats-make sure they are at kids' eye level
  • ·       Assign a place to put all papers that need a signature or require effort by the parent
  • ·       Teach the kids to unload their backpacks every day-throw away trash, recycle paper, replenish supplies  and remove all important papers
  • Create a homework caddy 

A homework caddy is a container that holds all the supplies your child needs to complete homework assignments.  Items such as pencils, erasers, rulers, and scissors could be included in the caddy.  By having these supplies readily available, your child will be more independent, have better focus, and you will also save money.   Children will experience independence by completing homework assignments without having to ask you for supplies.  Having supplies handy will allow for greater concentration and more time on task.  Lastly, you will save money by knowing what supplies are on hand which prevents the purchase of duplicate items.

  • Develop a system to handle school papers
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  •  You will need to decide what to do with every paper that comes home from school.  Other than trash or shredding, here are three options to keep papers organized-take action, reference or  memorabilia. 
  • ·       Action items should be handled right away.  These consist of field trip forms, teacher letters, invitations, and anything that requires your signature.  Put them in a colored folder or on a special spot on your desk to remind you to do them.
  • ·       Reference items can be filed in a family binder that holds all your important school information such as teacher contact information, class lists, and schedules. 
  • ·       Memorabilia  can be tossed into a special box or bin and then sorted through periodically.  If your child makes a large item that will not fit into a box,  take a picture of your child with the item and then pick a time limit to keep the item on display.

Back to school routines and habits are essential to organizational success for you and your children.  The habits that you develop at home will carry over to your children's lives now and in the future.  Good luck with the new school year!