3 Tips to Stay Organized During Back to School Time

Can you believe we're heading back to school? With a new schedule, incoming papers and afterschool activities, it can be a time with lots of change and new systems to set up. Check out the strategies below to stay organized.

1 - Create your command central.

Identify a space in your home that can be your "command central" (like a NASA command center). Create a calendar that includes your family's activities and appointments. If you keep your family calendar electronically, consider creating a white board with today's schedule so all family members, even those without smartphones, can see what's on tap for the day. As part of the command central, add lunch menus, activity information and create "To School" and "From School" boxes so kiddos know where to put things that need your attention and what needs to go back to school. Make it fun and consider letting the kids decorate!

2 - Create a launching station.

A launching station can often help keep the clutter from backpacks, shoes, lunch boxes, etc. manageable and in-check. Your launching station is the place where backpacks can be unloaded after school and reloaded the next morning, and a place to keep everything needed to get out the door smoothly and on time. Also consider creating a homework station to keep supplies, paper and assignments organized and in their own area.

3 - Take control of the artwork and projects.

Consider creating a place to display art and projects after it comes home for a certain amount of time (like 2 weeks). Write the date on the art or project so you know how long its been on display. Once the display period is over, keep the art in a bin or box (maybe under the bed) until you go through it (schedule time once or twice a year - like winter and summer breaks). Have the kiddos help go through the art and projects and decide which ones they'd like to keep. Set a limit on the number of pieces saved (maybe 10 each year). When making decisions about what is kept, ask questions so they can share and tell you about their work. This type of processing often helps them (and us) make decisions about what to keep and what to toss. Archive the art that is saved - either the real thing (in a box or bin under the bed) or take a photo and keep it digitally.