THIS AUTUMN, BACK-TO-SCHOOL will take on a whole new meaning. The COVID-19 pandemic sent students home months earlier than usual last March, ushering in e-learning and a less structured learning environment. As we approach this long-awaited return to the classroom, there are a few organization tips that will help with this transition. Creating organized spaces in the home will also lead to smoother mornings, which can feel like an unpracticed fire drill after our lazy summer days.
BEGIN BY DECLUTTERING
- Decluttering is the first step in any organization project.
- Start with the closet, removing clothes your children no longer wear and the items that do not fit. It streamlines the early morning what-to-wear process and spearheads the back-to school shopping list.
- Whether your kids work at their own desks or do homework elsewhere in the home, declutter these areas and create a clear, efficient workspace for them.
CREATE CHECKLISTS FOR KIDS
- Routines are incredibly important for kids. Creating customized checklists for each child’s needs will lay the groundwork for a smooth, successful day.
- Morning routine checklist items might include making beds, getting dressed, eating breakfast, and brushing teeth.
- An evening checklist is also helpful. One essential item is preparing backpacks, making sure they contain everything necessary for the next day—including homework, books, charged computers, and items for after-school activities.
- If possible, create a designated lunchbox drawer or cabinet for lunchboxes, reusable sandwich boxes, small snack containers, baggies, thermoses, and water bottles.
- Remove snack items from bulky packaging and place them in designated containers. This makes packing lunches easier for you and for your children.
- Some students prefer a designated space to get homework done, while others change this location from time to time. Often the homework spot is in an area of the home that is shared by the rest of the family. Creating a portable homework box that can be easily moved and stored helps maintain organization in the home. It also aids students in being prepared, efficient studiers.
- The files or folders within the homework box should labeled by subject. It can also store their notebooks and extra paper. Look for file boxes with storage areas for school supplies such a notecards, pens, pencils, and highlighters.
- Turntables with labeled compartments are also helpful for keeping school supplies at the ready.
- One of the biggest organizational issues that parents of school-aged children face is the influx of papers that come from their students’ schools and from the various activities in which they are involved. While the amount of paper has thankfully decreased with online systems in place, there is still a need to keep track of important information. Filing systems are the key to organization.
- Paper files are easily created. Label by school, activity, sport, club, lesson, and volunteering, for example.
As the pace of life gets busier this back-to-school season, decluttering will create organized, functional, and efficient spaces for your family. May these organization tips relieve the external chaos in your home and transform the internal chaos, as well, helping you move from clutter to calm.
To learn more about Lake Forest-based Happinest Organizing and the services it provides, visit [email protected].