Preparing for a new school year can be an overwhelming task, almost as overwhelming as staying organized throughout the school year. Here’s some ways to start out organized, and stay that way!
1. Create a filing system. Files aren’t just for offices – they’re also a great way to keep your home organized! Set aside a drawer to hold your files and buy some folders with cute patterns (it’s always easier to keep things organized if they look nice!). You can set aside one folder for each child in which to keep their school papers and medical forms, or you can organize the folders by month, or by category. If you keep the folders updated throughout the year, you’ll cut back on the time and stress spent looking for lost papers.
2. Update all medical information. Fill out any necessary medical forms and catch your kids up on all their immunizations. If your child has any allergies that may cause a problem while they’re at school, contact their teacher to discuss necessary precautions.
3. Clean out the closets. Before you go out and buy a whole new back-to-school wardrobe, go through your child’s closet with them and have them try on clothes they haven’t worn in a while. Take their outgrown clothes to a resale shop or donate them to a homeless shelter. This will make room for any new clothes and keep their closet from getting too cluttered throughout the year. Then take stock of what your child does have; this will give you an idea of what clothes you need to buy.A good rule you might want to implement is that any time you buy them a new article of clothing, they have to get rid of one in their closet.
4. Buy school supplies. You can get a list of needed school supplies from the school office or your child’s teacher. If they don’t provide one, make one yourself. Try to stick to the basics (backpack, pencils/pens, notebooks, etc.) until school starts, so you don’t end up with unneeded supplies. You can always go grab more later if needed.
5. Start your kids on a bedtime routine, that way when school starts they’ll be used to going to bed and waking up at the same time.If your kids have been staying up late and sleeping in late during the summer, you should gradually move up their bedtimes and wake-up times by about ten to twenty minutes each day starting a couple weeks before the end of summer. This will make bedtime easier on everyone once school starts. And once you’ve established a schedule, stick to it.
6. Plan out what to pack for lunch. Stock up on lunchbox basics ahead of time when you see them on sale. Make it fun by letting your kids be a part of the planning process; take them to the grocery store with you and let them pick out something special. Also, ahead of time, you can make notes to put in your child’s lunch box for the first week of school to let them know you’re thinking about them. When you have time you should also do this randomly throughout the school year!
7. Update your calendar. Manage your and your kids’ schedules more efficiently by adding school-related items to your calendar, like holidays and school events. Don’t forget to fill in extra-curricular activities too, like soccer games, music classes, or karate. Keep your organizer with you and make changes whenever something comes up. If you know what to expect, you’ll be much more capable of handling a busy schedule!
8. Set up a homework schedule. Get a special “homework” notebook for each child, and every day when they come home from school, have them write down their homework assignments for that day. Keep the notebooks laid out where everyone can see them, and when they finish each assignment have them cross it off the list. Make a rule that they can only watch TV or have free time when all the assignments are marked off! This is a good way for your kids to have visual proof of their progress, and for you to keep track of what they’re doing.
by Kati Raymer