It’s That Time of Year!
Teach Your Children Lifelong Organizing Lessons While Helping to Make Your Life Saner!
As you gear up for back to school, I wanted to share a few ideas to help you and children have an organized start to the new school year. I designed these tips to help you gain control of all that paperwork, make your lives easier and to teach your children organizing skills that will contribute to their success in life…
- Homework Station: To get your children in the habit of managing schoolwork with ease, set up a desk or designated workspace just for them. Stock drawers, clear storage boxes or a tool caddy (see photo) with basic supplies such as paper, pens, pencils, scissors, glue, Post-it notes, etc.
- Routines: Help younger children empty their school bags every afternoon and allow them to make decisions about which papers to keep and which to toss. This will get them in the habit of dealing with paperwork regularly and saving only those things that are important to them-a lifelong lesson.
- If your child comes home with papers that need to be read, signed, or require payment, adopt a simple “in/out box” concept straight from corporate America. Label 2 trays, clipboards or wall mounted magnetic pockets (see photo) as the in and out boxes. Store conveniently in the kitchen. Instruct children to place papers that need parents’ attention in the in box. Parents should check this box each evening and place completed paperwork in the out box for the kids to retrieve. This eliminates mad-dash mornings and develops accountability and responsibility in kids.
- Papers that need to be referenced daily or weekly (lunch menus, calendars, sports schedules) might work well attached to a kitchen bulletin board or cork tiles mounted inside a cabinet (see photo). Another idea is to create a household reference binder and slide papers into sheet protectors within the binder. Use divider tabs-one for each child or category. Teach kids where to access this info if they are old enough to do so on their own.
- Choose a rotating art display area to help your kids feel pride in their work- the fridge, a corkboard in the playroom? Switch out artwork regularly and decide if the art can be recycled or if it’s special enough to save. Place saved artwork in an art project box for each child like an underbed storage box (labeled with child’s name and year). At yearend, select with your child the top five (or ten) to save. This decision making process helps them develop the skills needed to edit their possessions and live clutter free lives where the emphasis is on people and activities not stuff!
****And as always, if you need help setting up these routines and systems or organizing any area of your home, contact me to discuss how I can help!***