Contributed by Monika Kristofferson, Professional Organizer
Most of us have good intentions to get our kids off to school with a healthy breakfast, two matching shoes and a friendly wave as the school bus pulls away. How is it that more frequently it starts with a struggle to get everyone out of bed, a scramble to find lunch money and a hunt for one missing shoe? By the time you are done running to the bus stop with kids in tow, youíre feeling frazzled and the goodbye wave is a bit lackluster.
Tomorrow will be a better day, right?
How can you stay on track and stay organized throughout the school year? Follow these steps to ease stress and organize your home now:
Give belongings a home: Help your kids succeed in finding what they need by giving their belongings a well-defined storage space. What types of homes should you set up?
Itís important to remember that even when you set up a good system for your kids to store their belongings, there will still be times that they kick their shoes off in front of the TV and throw their backpacks on the floor. Itís really just not as important to kids as it is to you to stay organized. Stick with it, be consistent and remember that you are teaching your kids a valuable life lesson.
- Hooks your kids can reach for coats and backpacks.
- Racks, baskets or cubbies for shoes next to the door.
- Baskets or plastic organizers with drawers for hats, scarves and gloves.
- A separate stacker for each childís homework.
- An art caddy to keep homework supplies together such as pens, pencils, scissors and glue.
Be sure to set up storage systems where your children naturally gravitate. For example, if they enter the house through the garage then set up hooks and shoe racks in the garage by the door. Donít expect kids to go all the way upstairs to their rooms to take off shoes and coats. Make it easy for them to succeed.
Think ahead: No one likes that last minute scramble in the morning, prepare for the next day as much as you can the evening before in the following ways:
Suggested reading: A great book to read to help you and your student tackle homework organization is ďThe Organized StudentĒ by Donna Goldberg.
- Count out lunch money or use the school districtís prepay program.
- Make a sack lunch that just has to be placed in the backpack in the morning.
- Have your child pick out one or two outfits to choose from in the morning.
- Have your child pack library books, homework and permission slips in their backpack.
- You know the coats are on newly installed hooks by the door next to the new shoe rack-done!
May you begin your days with less stress, no missing shoes and may your goodbye wave at the school bus stop be filled with enthusiasm!