I cannot believe how fast the summer is going. It seemed like just a moment ago school was getting out. Now it’s time to get the kids ready to start back and ourselves ready to transition into a busier and more scheduled daily routine.
I always take some time over the summer to go through and purge my son’s school papers from the previous year in order to keep just the best of the best of his work for the future. It’s a great time to look back over his progress and achievements.
Now that he’s older, this year I decided it was time he took responsibility for doing this himself. I would help, but the final decisions of what to keep would be his. I was resolved to keeping it all if that was what he chose to do. He had three choices to make with each paper. In addition to keep or toss, he had the option for extra special work to go into his 3rd grade binder. It was interesting to watch him let go of papers I would have thought he’d want to keep and keep papers I thought he would want to throw away. He knew which ones had special meaning for him and those were the ones he wanted to save. I was also surprised at the amount he was willing to let go of. I assumed it would be hard for him to decide and he’d want to keep everything. But not so!
Back to school is a great time to organize your kids and their rooms. Where possible, get them involved in the process. You may not be able to have them around as you organize their entire room, but you can give them little assignments as you go. You can set aside a box of toys or books for them to look through. Let them pull them out the ones they are done with and put in a box ready to be donated. They can help to separate their clothes into categories – socks, T-shirts, pants, skirts, etc. Decide together where they will go in the drawer or closet so they know where to find them and put them away. Have them help pick out school supplies or sit down together to set up their binders for school work.
Teaching kids how to organize themselves is time well spent. You may not be able to get things done as fast as you would doing it alone, but allowing them the opportunity to learn the skills and benefits of organization will serve them well into their adult years.
Check out my August tips for some more ways to get your kids ready for a great school year!
~ Jodie ~
6 Back To School Organizing Tips
Six things you can do to help make you child’s school year get off to a great start.
1) Sort clothes: Pull out and go through clothes category by category. Discard any that are old, torn or your kids have outgrown. Use shelves, drawers and hanging space that your child can reach easily. Keep underwear, socks, vests, etc in bins or drawers. Use drawer dividers to keep each category separate from the one next to it. T-shirts, sweaters & shorts can go on either shelves or in drawers. Hang long pants, skirts, dresses and coats. Place a low, horizontal shoe rack on the floor of their closet or a canvas shoe rack that can over the door of their closet to house their shoes, sneakers, etc.
2) Sort toys & games: Make it real simple for your kids to clean up after play time. Sort through and purge all toys that your child has outgrown, are broken, have missing pieces or your child just isn’t interested in anymore. Divide toys into categories such as: games, puzzles, dolls, actions figures, Lego, etc. Place each category of toy into a storage bin. Label the bins so your child will know what’s inside and can easily find what they are looking for.
3) Sort papers: Go through your child’s previous school year work. Keep the best and discard the rest. Create a binder to house the papers you are keeping. Make a front cover for the binder with your child’s name, school, year, etc. Use dividers to make sections for homework, artwork, certificates of recognition, awards, projects, etc. Keep papers inside sheet protectors so the work will stay in good condition. Take pictures of any larger artwork or projects they make and place the photo in the binder.
4) Sort schedules: Place a dry erase calendar where you and your child can see and reach it. With a marker write down all the upcoming school dates for the year – school breaks, events, field trips. As you go through the year, use the calendar to track project due dates and help your child to schedule in the days they will be working on long term homework assignments in order to complete them on time. Calendar can also include play-dates, parties, doctor’s appointments, and sports or dance lessons.
5) Sort supplies: Shop early for supplies that your kids will need such as backpacks, lunchboxes, binders, notepads, etc. Create an area for them to do homework and stock with paper, pens, pencils, erasers, glue sticks, calculator etc. Place a bin or basket close by to house completed homework & artwork as the year progresses. Supplies can also be kept in a portable tote, basket or bin if necessary.
6) Sort folders: As the school year gets underway you will start receiving a ton of paperwork for each child. Some of these can be discarded as you go. Have folders ready prepared for the ones you need to keep. In a file cabinet or file box, create a separate section for each of your children and label with their names. Create folders to go into these sections and label them. Labels can include categories such as School Information, Report Cards, Contacts & Emergency Info, Projects, Medical, Sports/Dance programs, etc.
Enjoy the rest of summer!
Contact Jodie Watson:
If you have any questions, would like to schedule a free professional organizing telephone consultation, or would like Jodie Watson to speak at your next corporate function, group meeting, social event, or retreat, call at (818) 590-7800. You can also contact Jodie on Facebook and Twitter or visit her website at Supreme Organization.