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Home Organization: Stay Organized For The School Year
Home Organization Solutions
School is back in session! The crazy lazy days of summer have abruptly come to an end and now it is time to make some kind of order of the chaotic mess that comes from a school year packed with homework, sports, appointments and chores.
It's easy to get caught up in the busyness and become reactive to the daily stress. Being organized can help to reduce tension immensely. There are several ways to accomplish this.
Keep A Calendar: As you get dates for important school events or appointments, put them in one central calendar right away. If your school prints out a monthly or even yearly calendar with scheduled events, jot these dates down right away. This way there will be no surprises or conflicts when scheduling other appointments. You would hate to schedule a family party on a homecoming football night.
Keep A Large Bulletin Board: It's easy to lose important papers such as teacher contacts, class schedules, sports schedules, etc...If you have a central location such as a bulletin board or a refrigerator where these will always be, there won't be any confusion.
Organized Storage Space
It can be bad enough dealing with messy bedrooms, but if books, shoes, coats and papers never make it past the back door, you will have utter chaos.
Shoe Storage: A book box is a wonderful solution for shoe storage. However, if you don't have the room for a box, a shoe organizer at the bottom of a coat closet is a good solution. Boot trays are nice to have in the winter for wet boots that need drying out. If there is no room in the house for shoes, another solution would be to put a box or shoe storage unit in the garage just outside the entry door to the house. Having a designated spot is the key, scattered shoes is a nightmare.
Coat Storage: Closet space is nice but it can be very difficult to get a child to hang a coat in the closet. Apparently it is too much effort to open a door, grab a hangar, put the coat on the hangar - neatly, and then hang up the coat. Just way to many steps! Therefore, it can be a huge advantage to have hooks. Place the coat on the hook - one step and wa-la! Hooks or even a coat tree are also great for backpacks, umbrellas and hats.
Homework Storage: One thing you definitely don't want to lose is homework. Having a basket or tray for each child to keep their homework is a good idea. Ideally, each child would have a designated place to do homework, whether it be a desk in their room or counter space in the kitchen. Keeping the tray near that area is ideal.
A school planner will go a long way in keeping your child's school assignments organized. These work especially well for the middle and high school years where there are numerous classes to keep track of. Some schools will even give these out free to students. The key is getting your child to use them effectively.
Most of the school planners will have a page for each week, with a section designated for each day and each class. This is where your child should record any homework assignments or other important notes to refer to once at home. Trying to rely on memory alone is setting the child up for trouble.
Sometimes, even given all the right tools, your child may not want to use them. It can be extremely frustrating to find out that homework is not getting done because it is forgotten. If a problem like this arises, I found it is a good idea to have the teachers sign the planner each day. Having a teacher verify that all of the correct information is being recorded may be necessary for a while until your child can get into a good habit.
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Getting the right school supplies can go a long way in keeping your child organized. Here are a few supplies that will make organization easy:
- Trapper Keepers: A trapper keeper is basically a large three ring binder that holds several pocket folders and pads of notebook paper. It will flap shut to keep everything safely stored inside. Papers stay secure and there is less of a chance of losing them.
- Plastic Folders: I would recommend using plastic folders versus paper folders. They don't tear and so will last throughout the whole school year. One folder for each class will keep papers neat and organized and easy to find.
- Backpacks: A backpack with several pockets or sections will help with organization. A large compartment for a trapper keeper and books, another compartment for a lunch bag, and some smaller compartments for pencils, calculators, and cell phone.
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