As we quickly approach the start of another school year I thought I would share some tips that may help to keep families a bit more organized.
1. Back to school shopping. This is simple- only buy what they need for school. If they don't need a new backpack, shoes, or supplies why buy them? Those nonessential items can cause clutter and disorganization in your home quickly.
2. Calendar(s). I am a big fan of a monthly paper calendar for kids. This should be put in a spot where they can read it and mark off the completed days. Teachers will often send these home with most of the class events marked down so no need to reinvent the wheel. As emails, teacher notes, reminder apps, etc come in you can add to the calendar. Make sure the whole family is aware that this is the place you mark things down.
3. Loonie Jar. Many elementary schools have fundraisers throughout the school year that cost $1 or $2. A lot of people do not carry cash anymore. Consider going to the bank, getting a roll or two of loonies, put them in a jar along with some small ziplocks and a sharpie. You can store it in a cupboard in the kitchen. This idea may avoid a frantic morning running around looking for change ;)
4. School work. What to do with ALL that awesome school work your little buddies come home with. Here's a few tips for this. One, use two bins per child, one for you and one for them. As they bring work home decide together what you would like for your bin, they would like for theirs, and what will be recycled. At the end of the year you can go through the boxes and each pick a few special things to remember about that year. Label them with the grade, year, and child's name. It is fun to look through the boxes with your kids and might be something you do more frequently if it is not superabundant. The second tip is to take videos and photos with your kids and their work then recyle it. This is another fun way to preserve memories.
5. 10 min clean up. Take 10-15 mins everyday and deal with school emails, apps, planners, and backpacks. Try as best as you can to deal with all the communication as it comes to you. Get things marked on the calendars (step 2) so that it doesn't slip your mind. paperwork piles up you forget things (because it's buried in the pile somewhere) and it becomes a big job that no one wants to deal with.
6. Prep. After the 10 min clean up take a few mins to prep for the next day. Check the calendar(s), what's going on tomorrow or this week? Prep work the night before allows for a smother morning the next day.
7. Don't overload schedules. Be mindful as your signing up for activites, volunteer positions, weekend plans. These are all fun and important things but not when everyone is burnt out.
Some of these may seem very basic but it can sometimes be just a matter of making them hibits.
When all else fails a glass of wine and a good vent to a friend can help too ;)
I hope you find these helpful.