Back-To-School Organizing: Supplies You Can't Live Without
The weeks leading up the first day of school are filled with excitement and anticipation. This is the perfect time to lay the groundwork for an orderly, clutter-free school year. Here are some organizing tips and products that will help get you there:
Use a Family Calendar
A centrally placed calendar is essential for keeping your whole family organized and getting your children involved in the planning process. The larger the better, so there is enough space to include everyone’s activities. The modular Daily System from Pottery Barn would look great in an entryway, as it includes a calendar, hooks for backpacks and hats, and small cubbies for supplies and gear. A simple vinyl calendar and to-do list, like this Wallies Large Family Organization Center, posted on your refrigerator will also do the trick. If you have more than one child you’ll appreciate this momAgenda Weekly Family Planner Pad, which includes distinct sections for each child’s schedule under your master schedule .
Do it Early
Preparing as much as possible in advance will help you avoid the crazed morning rush. These hanging shelves can be used to organize outfits for everyday of the week or to neatly corral items for afterschool activities. Preprinted activity and days of the week labels are included. Making lunch and packing the backpack the night before are two more great ways to save time in the morning.
Designate a Spot
An easy way to keep the kid clutter at bay and get out the door faster is to assign each child dedicated spots for their stuff by the entryway or in a coat closet. A hook placed low enough for your child to reach is a simple way to keep coats in the right place. (I love using decorative hooks from Anthropolgie or Land of Nod.) A drawer or a bin labeled with your child’s name is the perfect home for her hats, gloves, and other small items. Be prepared for the onslaught of important school documents by giving each child a personalized folder that you keep with your other household papers.
Parents can use a wreath hanger placed on the inside of the front door to the same effect. Pack your bag the night before and hang it there so it is ready to go in the morning.
Teach Good Habits
Once you have all of your organizing systems established, explain them to your children. Take the time to go over the tasks and the behaviors you expect. Show them exactly where to hang up their coats and where to put their papers. Be a good role model. Don’t assume your child is too young. My 2 year old knows to take off her shoes and put them in her bin when we get home.
Whenever possible make your kids part of the organizing process. Have them choose the color of their bins and folders or have them help you make lunch the night before. Getting them involved will give them a sense of responsibility and ownership, and will encourage them to keep everything in order. Good habits combined with the right organizing tools will make the transition from summertime to school time that much easier.