Thursday, July 24, 2014

Organizing For Back to School

My days of school organizing for little ones has long since passed...sadly.  But I still remember this time of year like it was yesterday.

The excitement of what the next school year was going to friends, classes, extra-curricullar activities.

How was I going to keep up with everything?

Will I be "that mom" that forgets to sign that permission slip that keeps little Susie from going on the field trip?  By the way, yup, I was that mom once or twice!

If only I could have had six arms (and maybe an extra pair of legs or two) to keep up with it all!

Today, I'm going to share a few tips and ideas that might keep you from that Octopus-like yearning that I seemed to desire long ago.

Let's get started!

  • Make a list of what happens on a "typical" school day for you.  Start with "your feet hitting the floor running".

  • Review the list and determine if anything can be eliminated or possibly done on the weekend.   For the remaining items, decide if any could be done more efficiently.

Here are some examples that I found that might help :

Choosing Outfits for the Week

This was a big one at my house.  Before mine went to a school that required uniforms, they went to daycare and preschool and loved to pick out their own outfits.  For some reason, if I let them choose them on the weekend, as opposed to that morning when time is of the essence, it usually went a lot smoother.

These printables take it even a step further by letting them choose the day of the week they want to wear it.

They are also available in pastel colors.

Filing Important Paper Work

This next one is one of my faves!  

If you are looking for a super-cool way to keep up with all of those important papers, report cards, etc.,  Jenny @ I Heart Organizing nailed it with this system!  If you haven't seen it already, it's definitely worth the time to go check it out!

Central Location for Daily Needs

I love this one from Desiree at The 36th Avenue.  She has made clipboards with checklists for them to complete daily tasks.  What a great habit she has taught them at an early age.

This free printable from Amy at Living Locurto is multi-user friendly for the entire family and could be placed at your school station.

School Lunches & After School Snacks

If you make your kids lunches for school you might want to consider keeping those items together in the fridge and pantry.  You could also have a "snack basket" for after school treats.

It may take a few minutes on the front end but you don't have to do it all in a day.  Just do what is going to work best for you and your family. Make it fun and let the kids participate.  They will be more likely to use the systems that you decide on if they feel they have some ownership in them.     

Like a lot of things, the best advice I can give you is to be consistent.  If you start the school year off with a great plan don't give up on it after a week or two.  Remember that it takes 21 days to form a habit.  You might even consider a reward system!

I'm sure this won't eliminate ALL of the stress when the school year starts, but if I could do that, I'm pretty sure I'd be on a best seller list!

Happy Organizing!


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