Summer is winding down and it’s that time to start thinking about getting back into the groove of the school year! Instead of it being a hectic rush to get organized right before the first day, you can get organized and stay organized throughout the year with these tips and tricks – and it can be fun!
This part can be fun for you and your kids. Create a study space and decorate it with whatever your kids like, this part has potential for fun decor, a fun theme and letting their imaginations go. Also fill the study area with supplies that will help kids stay on track, like school materials, a good lamp, a chalk or white board and calendar. Paint your workspace, get a new desk, paint an old desk - this part of getting organized may get kids excited for the school year ahead!
Organization Material: There are so many ways to organize your belongings but for kids there are a few things that can really help them. Color coding can help kids remember what goes where and if you have multiple kids, you can designate a color to each of them and keep track of them this way - this can range from cereal bowls to toothbrushes, backpacks and binders. Along with color coding it is good for kids to have a designated section at home in a file, mailbox or folder) for things they need to hand in, or for to-do’s. Having a specific place for specific tasks helps them learn a routine. Accordion binders are great for separating papers, like completed homework, to-do homework, and to-hand-in papers. Getting kids to start using a planner will really help them see what they need to do as they will be writing down their tasks themselves.
For parents, you can have your own binder or folder for special school work and art that your kids have completed - this can be fun for you too and you can decorate the binder, chest or box! Also help everyone in the house stay organized by having cubbies or special places near the door for backpacks, keys and coats (Allison Perkins Professional Organizer).
The Routine: A couple weeks before school it’s beneficial to start kids in a routine of going to bed a little early so they can wake up earlier, like they will in the school year. Get lunches packed the night before, and outfits picked out the night before - or even for the upcoming week. You can get a hanging organizer for your closet and place each outfit in a cubby for each day of the week (Cathi Brese Doebler author of "Ditch the Joneses, Discover Your Family"). Have after school snacks packed, or organized in your pantry so kids will know where to look and so they won’t grab anything unhealthy. You can create a 'lunch list' with your child. This list of food your child likes to eat at lunch will take the guesswork out of making lunches and ensure that your kid isn't throwing away or trading their lunch! (Allison Perkins). If these tasks are done the night before it makes a great difference in the morning and allows time for you and your kids to eat a healthy breakfast and not be rushed out the door every morning!
Budgeting: Taking inventory before heading straight to the store for supplies is important. A lot of the previous years pens, pencils and highlighters are still usable, make it fun by letting them pick out a new pencil pouch. Same goes with clothes, find out what doesn’t fit them and what clothes they actually need. Also don’t wait last minute! Shop earlier for supplies before stores get picked over in the back-to-school rush.
Make it special: No matter what age, make starting a new school year special for them. Little things can go a long way, like encouraging notes, a journal for their memories of the year, or special treats in their lunch. Don’t forget to let them know you are always there!
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