The end of summer will be here in the blink of an eye. As the school year begins, you need an organization strategy that will help keep you and your family on track–including the tools you need to handle school, after school activities, appointments, and more. Are you ready to get organized for back to school season? Try some of these important strategies to improve your overall organization both at the beginning of the school year and as it moves on.
Step One: Create a Calendar
The more children and family members you have, the more difficult it can be to juggle everyone’s activities–especially at the beginning of the school year, when the kids are trying out new clubs and activities and you’re still trying to figure out how your schedule really works. To help juggle all those important appointments, classes, and clubs, start by creating a calendar. Apps like FamCal can make it easy to coordinate schedules with every member of the family, including teens who have their own smart devices. Conversely, there’s something very pleasing about seeing your whole schedule laid out on a wall calendar or in a planner. Whatever you choose to use, however, make sure each family member gets in the habit of updating it early in the year.
Step Two: Set Aside a Space for Homework
Do your kids seem to end up doing homework wherever they land when they get home from school–often scrambling to dig out the materials they need for a simple book assignment, much less for a more complicated project? Take the time to set aside space for homework. If the kids work at the kitchen counter or table, fill a basket with all the tools they’ll need to successfully complete their assignments: markers, pencils, pens, crayons, and paper, along with any other supplies you know your child will need. Having a special space for homework can also make it easier for kids to focus and get the job done when the time for homework comes.
Step Three: Start Setting Out Items the Night Before
Each night, before you start the kids’ bedtime routine, take the time to consider what you will need the next day. Does one child have a practice or club after school? Are all the items your child needs to turn in for homework or a project packed in their backpack? What about clothing: is it set out for the next day? This simple step can save a ton of time and make it much easier to handle your routine in the morning–not to mention saving you a lot of stress as you hunt down that missing shoe.
Step Four: Color Code the Kids’ Stuff
If you have more than one child, you know how easy it can be for items to get mixed up. To help make things easier, try color coding important items. Designate a color for each child, and buy their water bottles, backpacks, and even notebooks for the school year in those colors. When you know which item belongs to which child, it’s easy to grab and go in a hurry–and easy to see whose item is missing.
Step Five: Design a System for Paperwork
Early in the school year, your child will likely come through the door with stacks of forms that have to be filled out–and that stack doesn’t get much shorter as the year goes on. Create a system for handling paperwork. Ideally, you only want to touch it once: fill out permission forms and attach payment as soon as your child comes home with them. Set aside a folder or file for paperwork that needs to be kept for later in the year.
Step Six: Meal Plan
Keeping healthy meals on the table on busy weeknights is a big challenge for many families during the school year. Starting to meal plan and even prep on the weekends, however, can make those tasks easier. Set aside time to prep your meals for the upcoming week so that you always know what you need to pull out of the freezer or throw in the slow cooker in the morning. As an added bonus, when you prep ahead, you can often streamline your grocery list and avoid unnecessary purchases.
Getting organized for the back to school season can feel like a big challenge, but you’re on top of it. Want to start this school year with your child in a more nurturing, personalized environment? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.