by Amy Peterson, Professional Organizer
Everyone talks about getting kids ready to go back to school. They get new backpacks, school supplies and maybe a new pair of tennis shoes. I think parents need back-to-school supplies to help them get organized for the school year, too! I have used many organization supplies and systems over the years, but some of my favorites are products created by Design Ideas. Here are my 6 essential tips for getting yourself organized for the school year.
1. Set Up a School Info Station
This is a space in your house where you can empty the backpacks & get all the paperwork sorted and filed away.
2. Designate a Spot for Incoming Papers
I set up and labeled magazine files for each of my children. When my kids were younger, I would empty their backpacks/folders and put the papers in the magazine files. As they got older and could empty their own backpacks, they put the papers in their own file box. I could then review the papers at my convenience without having papers laying on the middle of the kitchen table while I was trying to fix dinner. Make sure the mag files are placed in a convenient location (see #1 School Info Station). Buy Now: Frisco Magazine Files
3. Designate a Spot for Outgoing Papers
There are permission slips, school forms, teacher’s classroom rules, etc., that all need to be signed and returned to school. Sometimes it is not humanly possible to sign the papers and return immediately. If this is the case, you need to have a system so those papers don’t get buried or filed away. I have tried many things over the years. My favorite is clipping it to a board by my back door where I will see it. The only thing that goes on this board is stuff that needs to be signed and taken back to school. A lot of times these are papers that require more information, money, copy of a health insurance card, etc. Most bulletin boards are too big and too many papers get put on the board. For something that takes up less space try the Wyatt magnet board and put it by the door you go in and out of most frequently.
Buy Now: Wyatt magnet board
4. Designate a Spot for Reference Documents
This includes the school handbook, calendars, important numbers and newsletters with special information. You can use the Frisco File box and have file folders labeled for each school/child. This is where you can keep miscellaneous school information and have it available at your fingertips throughout the year.
Buy Now: Frisco File Box
5. Storing Larger Papers
Artwork is oftentimes on larger paper. I always tried to pick 1 favorite piece at the end of the school year and frame it or display it in our “craft area.” However, after having 3 kids who have created lot of art work over the years, I discovered the larger document boxes that hold larger pieces of paper. If you have a budding artist who does lots of art, I would recommend a Frisco document box (or four).
Buy Now: Frisco Document Box
6. Keep Supplies in Arm's Reach
Looking for a pen, highlighter or scissors can slow the process down. If you have a well-stocked pencil cup and desk organizer, you can be prepared at a moment's notice to sign slips, staple or paper clip papers together, even as you're heading out the door.
Buy Now: Mesh command center
Do you have additional tips for staying organized during the school year? Comment below - we'd love to hear them!
Amy Peterson is former co-owner of The Closet Guy, Inc. She currently lives in Springfield, IL with her husband Brooke and their three children, Marina, Bay and Porter.
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