Hard to believe August is upon us! Still plenty of summer left but back to school (“BTS”) season is officially here! Rather than rush to prepare the night before school starts, it is always much easier to start getting ready over the course of the summer. “Resetting” before another long school year can help keep your family organized and make things run more smoothly. Here are a few tips to inspire you to start the process!
Back To School Closet Clean-Out
Rather than go BTS shopping blindly, I recommend taking a look at what your kids have first. A quick closet sort is great to kick-start the process of restocking their wardrobes. Start by going through and pulling out anything that is too small or worn out. After taking a look at what is left, you can decide what needs to be purchased. Planning out a list ahead of time allows your shopping trip to be much more efficient since you are focused on specific items. It also prevents your kids’ closets from getting too cluttered with items they aren’t wearing anyway! Need some ideas for getting the closet organized? Hop on over here to learn some great tips.
School Supplies: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
Sure, it might be easier to walk into Staples with your child’s school supply list and purchase every item listed. However, you might be contributing to more clutter in your home by repurchasing duplicate items. Something my kids always used to do was take a look around the house before deciding what needed to be purchased at Target or Staples. They often found that items such as scissors, colored pencils, rulers, and even pens and pencils were in great condition from previous years and didn’t need to be bought again. A few times, they even found unused notebooks that worked perfectly for their upcoming classes! And, if you haven’t purged last year’s backpacks, etc…go here for some inspiration and be sure to LIKE my Smartly Organized Facebook page. Thanks!
School Organization: Set Up a Command Center
The start of the school year brings permission slips, endless forms, new athletic schedules, and plenty of other information that can easily get jumbled up or forgotten. The quickest way to solve this problem is to create a “command center.” This could be a counter in the kitchen, a spot in the home office, or an area in the mudroom. An ideal family “command center” has access to the family calendar, a spot for kids to drop anything that needs to be signed, and everything else your family needs in order to function on a daily basis. Need some inspiration? Click here.
School Planner 101
One of the most valuable organizational skills that a kid can have is the ability to manage their time and use a planner. Most schools give out a planner or agenda on the first day of school, but without proper guidance, these agendas can find themselves shoved to the bottom of the school bag. Take a few minutes (or more!) to show your kids how to use the calendar and daily view sections of an agenda. Encourage them to write assignments down immediately after the teacher mentions them. Review the agenda on a daily basis and have them work backwards from the due date to plan the larger projects. Not only will they become more productive students, but they will also be able to use these skills in college and throughout their lives.
And, if your child happens to be heading off to college later this month be sure to grab my Smartly Organized College Packing List. Just enter your name and I’ll send it right off to you along with some other great moving tips.
Here’s to a great school year!