A new school year, new classrooms and all-new activities means a lot more stuff coming into your home. How do you keep from getting overrun?
Here are five no-nonsense tips to staying organized and staying sane.
No. 1 – Designate Workspaces
First make sure the entire family is committed to organizing. You can’t do it alone. Next, designate storage and workspaces throughout the house. There should be a place for backpacks and shoes as soon as they come in the door. Make sure you have a space for incoming paperwork and homework that needs to go back. Important notes and forms that need to be returned should be located in plain sight so you don’t miss a date or a deadline.
No. 2 – Use Containers, Baskets and Bins
You don’t need to go to a container store to find storage accessories that will change the way your home functions and maybe even your whole life. A few bins, small containers and file folders will make all the difference. They’re also very helpful in keeping your home tidy and eliminating the unruly and unsightly overflow of stuff. Bonus: use labels to personalize containers and storage bins for each member of the household so they can be responsible for their own things.
No. 3 – Keep Sporting Equipment Together
Sports pose a challenge to any home and it’s not just the kids. With all the balls, bats, knee pads, bikes and helmets, a house can get out of sorts quickly. Ideally, you’ll want most of this out in the garage or in an outdoor space but inevitably, it filters into your house. Do your best to keep designated spaces just for sports gear like big tubs in the back of the coat closet or the laundry room.
No. 4 – Triage Paperwork and Artwork
The more work they do at school, the more it comes home and seems to explode out of their backpacks. Don’t wait to the end of the year to determine what you’ll want to keep and save in a memory book. Let the kids select their favorite work and art and either hang it immediately or put in a folder for safe keeping. The rest goes in the recycle bin. Then at the end of the year, you can take their very best work and have it bound at your local copy or print shop for permanent memories.
No. 5 – Give Yourself a Break
Keeping a clean and organized household is difficult even beyond the bustle of a new school year. Remember that a little clutter and disorganization is normal for most families. Spend your time on the important things like asking about their day or spending their afternoons after school outside enjoying the last rays of summer.