Friday, August 15, 2014

Back to School Organization Tips

It's back to school time! This year, try sharing the planning and tasks with the kids. You'll instill and nurture organization skills in them, and they'll appreciate having a voice in the decisions. Why not include Dad, too? 

Planning 101
Together, create a chart listing the average day's activities with times, from waking, eating, and departing to after-school activities, homework, and bedtimes. Make it fun; include artwork, color, and stickers. Assign any individual responsibilities such as helping with lunches, assisting younger kids, and be specific as possible.  If they take lunches, plan a week or two of menus with their input.  You may even choose to use an organizational calendar, like these ones found at More Than Paper! 

Determine and identify your functional areas in your home.  You'll need an information center, an area for take-to-school items, and homework space. Organize these areas with space for each person. Plan to use personalized labels and storage boxes or bins, message boards, and envelopes. Here are some helpful recommended products found at More Than Paper

Personalized ID Tags & Waterproof Labels (Back to School)

Personalized Pencil Case

Personalized Three Ring Binder

With the kids, create two lists of clothing and supplies, what's necessary and what's desired. It's a good idea to delay buying clothes for late-fall and winter; popular trends will emerge in school and the kids can grow a lot in a few months.  

Most schools supply a list, but here are some basics:
·        Pencils (24 pack)
·        Pens (12 pack)
·        Notebook paper (2-3 packs with reinforced holes)
·        1 or 2 3-ring binders
·        2 composition notebooks
·        12-pack of Crayons or markers
·        Pencil box (to hold pens, pencils, crayons/markers)
·        Backpack
·        Lunchbox
·        Hand sanitizer
·        Tissues

Then, before you make your final shopping list:

1. Take inventory of what you have.
2. Determine a budget.
3. Compare the cost of "need it" items with the budget, and decide what "want it" items to include.

Putting the plan into action
Go shopping and involve the kids in decisions based on need and budget.

In the Information Center, hang the activity chart, the message board with sections for each person, and a calendar for the month's activities and responsibilities color coded by individual.

In a closet, hallway bench, or entryway, place personalized boxes to hold backpacks, lunches, envelopes with money or permission slips, etc. Designate hangers or hooks for each person in the closet for outerwear.

Make the homework area comfortable and conducive to productivity. Check the lighting, the chair and table heights, and remove any distractions. Create computer-use schedules. 

Then , hold a dress rehearsal. Run through the morning activities, from wake-up to departure, as if they were really going to school. Review and fix any snags. Then reward everyone for all the hard work. Do something special and fun for the kids and yourselves before summer is over!

Happy Back to School season from More Than Paper, start shopping all of our great organizational and personalized products


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