With school being right around the corner (crazy to believe, but believe it), things are going to start to get busy, messy and unorganized! No matter who you are, it’ll take some prep work, but in the end we all need to find something that works for each of us for the new school year. So we–Carmen, GHBC’s interior designer and Cassy, GHBC’s marketing manager and mother of three–put together our ideas for an organized school year.
A Designated Location for Everything
Carmen: Teach each child that everything has a home. Backpacks need to be hung on the hooks, shoes should be put in the cubby holders, and when we get to outerwear, mittens have a predetermined home for storage and a place to dry out.
Have a designated area in the home where homework and school projects are done. If you are lucky enough to have an office room, use that room as the homework/school projects room. Have this room stocked with the common items needed–pencils, pens, tape, glue, paper, etc.–in little organized totes.
Cassy: Just make sure, however, you have it set up so that your permanent markers cannot easily fall into the hands of your younger children. It might be a rite of passage to catch your 2-year-old wielding a Sharpie, but that doesn’t mean we have to make it a habit!
Entry lockers are all over Pinterest these days, like this one from our friends at Country Cabinets. Have one? Great! Don’t? Me neither. I’d like to fit a bench in, but for now, all we have is a hook board in our garage entry. It does the trick.
Carmen: Have a tradition on Sunday nights after bath/shower time that outfits are selected for the week and placed in an empty drawer or on a shelf.
Keeping Track of All Those Papers
Carmen: Add an accordion folder for each child to your school supply list. You can then label them according to their needs: football schedule, reports due in one week, reports due in two weeks, Star of the Week, etc.
Cassy: Store them in an easy-to-access place near where paperwork is done, like a cubby or a shelf. They need to be accessible enough so papers don’t stack up before they make it to their proper place, but no one should be tripping over it. If they don’t have to be opened, even better. The fewer steps it takes to get paper into the folder, the more that will make it into the folder!
Don’t let papers sit. A conscience effort by everyone to use the accordion file for important school papers will keep things from getting lost in the shuffle.
Carmen: Have an “art wall” where the kids will hang their pictures made throughout the year, one or two pictures at a time. Once you update to a new picture, put the old one into a keepsake box immediately if you wish to keep it longer.
Cassy: Don’t use the refrigerator (like I do!) Papers always fall off when the door is opened.
At the start of every school year, we go to the local pizza parlor and get one large clean pizza box for each child. That’s their save box for the year. Everything that they want to save from each school year gets placed into the pizza box: it’s flat and easy to store and stack, and they can decorate it however they want.