Back to School: The End of Chaos or the Start of Chaos?
By now most kids are back in school, or just getting ready to start. This is the time of year when organizational systems are put to the test. For my family, school started this past week and the deluge of papers and mail is amazing! I’m a professional organizer and it’s hard for me to keep up with it all, I can imagine what chaos must ensue when there aren’t systems in place. Here are some steps to keep the “flow” in your household:
Backpack/School Stuff Storage: Having a convenient place for kids to store backpacks, book bags and transient school stuff is a must. A closet shelf or cubby is best. Hooks for coats, bags etc. are also a necessity. If you want your entry to be functional, you must have places to store these items. In my last house, I had a small entryway with stairs to the basement right at the back door. Since there was no room right nearby, I created a “school stuff room” at the bottom of the stairs. It was complete with bench, hooks, bulletin board, shelving, even a homework table. Once the kids got in the habit of walking down the stairs to unpack, my back door was no longer a traffic jam.
School Year Files: Create a file at the start of each year for your child’s current grade. Keep all important papers in the file, adding new papers at the back of the folder. At the end of the year, sit with your child and go through the papers determining what to hold on to and what to get rid of. Then put the file in a bankers size keepsake box. Over time, you will have a nice organized keepsake box of each school year.
Family Calendar: This time of the year there’s a million dates to add to the calendar. Sports and clubs are starting and the school usually comes out with dates for the entire year. Spend some time inputting all of these dates into your family calendar (I use iCal and my iPhone, it’s awesome to be able to sync our phones and computers so everyone can see the same schedule, and be reminded of upcoming events).
Bulletin Board:A centrally placed bulletin board with important messages and events is also a great way to keep everyone in the household informed as to what the day’s activities are.
Now is the perfect time to get systems in place and routines created to have an organized year ahead!