Welcome to the October Issue!

Back-to-School Strategies by Krista Colvin

Make this the year you get the kids up and out the door on time with all their school belongings in tow. You can help your children become more organized and in turn alleviate the morning chaos that plagues all too many homes. With some simple planning your transition from summer back to the classroom will go smoothly.

Take control over the morning chaos. Three easy steps can eliminate most of the morning stress. 1. Pack backpacks the night before. 2. Layout clothing for the next day, including coats and gloves. 3. Set the breakfast table. A simple and effective idea is to make a checklist with the tasks that need to be accomplished at night and in the morning. Place your checklist on the inside of the coat closet or near your exit door. Now you can just point to the list and have your children take action. If your child is too young to read, use photos of them completing each task. They will love to be part of the solution!

Carpool or Bus.  Most children have difficulties telling time and often don’t heed the warning “only five minutes until the bus comes.”   Have two clocks, one with the current time and one without batteries that is set for departure time. This is a wonderful visual reminder and will help get your child out the door on time!  If carpooling, try placing all backpacks in the trunk the night before so that load up is quick and no items get taken out and left in the car.

“I don’t have anything to wear.” When taking your children’s clothes out of the dryer why not hang or fold them as an outfit.  Try placing a hanging bag in the laundry room and fill up each slot with a clean outfit!  It’s easy to take a pair of pants, t-shirt, socks, and underwear and fold them together.  Then return the week’s worth of outfits to their closet!  Girls may prefer to have their outfits hanging a la boutique style with matching accessories and shoes placed in the sweater bag.  Try doing this Sunday evening and it can double as a review for the week’s upcoming events and activities. Your child will have taken steps to save time and you will be able to get that soccer outfit clean by Wednesday!

Create a family hub.  Designate one place for all incoming mail and paper.  A simple desktop filing system should include files for school, invitations, bills, and each family member. A desktop calendar, viewed by all is easily taken with you to various meetings so that you won’t have to transfer information from notes to your calendar.  Baskets catch all those catalogs and magazines while a clipboard is ideal for items, which need action. Keep a shredder, recycling bin and trash can near by.   Use a family phone binder to house the phone lists you accumulate as well as take out menus and pizza coupons.  Sheet protectors will help protect your lists.

Make a form letter to be used for when your child misses school. Use letterhead with your pertinent family information such as, name, address, numbers and email.  Devise a checklist of reasons why your child may be missing school or may be riding home with a neighbor.  It will only take you a few minutes to create your template and it will save you oodles of time throughout the school year.  Remember to sign the note so that the school can verify that it is legit!

All things art. Set up an area to catch all these papers before they spread out or pile up.  Find a location for displaying and storing artwork.   Create a gallery space in your home and hang the most current pieces.  Depending on the age of your student you may let them choose the keepers. The Schoolfolio is a fabulous solution for storing favorites. It is an oversized folio designed to accommodate large art pieces; it is UV–resistant and acid-free allowing for long-term storage.  Take photos of 3-D pieces and use a folder to store report cards and extra school pictures.  When you find that you may be saving too many creations, gently remind yourself that you are really saving all this for yourself as your soon to be grown child may not opt to take all that precious artwork with them to store in their own garage!

With some simple changes and tools, this year’s Back-to-School transition will go smoothly.  Give yourself the gift of a stress free morning from September to June!  You will notice the difference and your children will too.

For more information, visit www.organizeinstyle.com

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