Okay, you've figured it out by now, I'm sure. I'm all about back-to-school. It's like I'm obsessed or something, right? I guess I kind of am...not exactly sure why, but it's probably part my love of routine and schedule that school provides our otherwise crazypants life, and part jealousy that my child still gets to go to school. I love school. Always have, always will. If I won the lottery, I'd be a permanent student and just take classes all of the time. Right, I know, I'm obsessed.
The other thing I'm obsessed with? An organized home. I get this giddy feeling whenever I'm in The Container Store or the home organization aisles at Kmart, as if I'm surrounded by awesomeness and possibility. This obsession is a good thing, eh? The back-to-school schedule demands some much-needed organization to be sure we run on time (despite our aforementioned crazypants lives). What to tackle to get organized? Here's my list:
-- Tackle the drop area. You know the place I'm talking about...that part of your home where everyone drops things: backpacks, coats, shoes, gloves, soccer balls, keys, everything. There are many ways to do this, but I've found that giving everyone their set area is golden. A hook or two and a cubby for each kid (and adult) can save some precious minutes when looking for a missing scarf or pair of cleats or your car keys. Right by the door, I affixed a strip of metal and then just added some magnet hooks to keep all of our keys at the ready.
-- Tackle the calendar. Tennis lessons, swim meets, doctor's appointments, sleepovers...you name it, it needs to be on the calendar. Sometimes you need to know what you need to do that week, other times, you may need to know what everyone is doing. Place a white board at each person's Drop Area that has a calendar with just their info and then create a space with a master family calendar so everyone is on track.
-- Tackle the homework. Part of homework success is making sure the kiddos have all of the stuff they need to do it and that they know where that stuff is. A set homework station stocked with all of the necessary homework stuff (paper, rulers, extra pencils, sharpeners, you get the idea) is perfect for this. It could be anything from drawers where her desk is to a portable cubby or tote if she does her homework in the kitchen.
-- Tackle the responsibility. In the mornings, you want the kiddos to get dressed and brush their teeth without telling them five times to do it. Afterschool, it would be helpful if they put their lunchboxes in the kitchen and give you any papers from school. What they need is a checklist for this stuff (I mean, we all need reminders, eh?). In that same Drop Area, next to their calendar, have a checklist they can refer to before and after school, as well as a handing folder or area to put forms and other papers from school.
Are you ready for back-to-school? Share pictures of how you are organzing your family -- the Drop Area, charts, calendars, homework areas -- inspire us!