The summer is over, and school has started up again. And that means getting organized for back to school and that your days of relaxation are over. You are back to running around in the mornings to get your kids ready for school on time, while also hopefully having time to grab a bite to eat before you head out to work.
It also means keeping track of school-related events, making sure your kids are getting their homework done, trying to remember afterschool activities and so on. It can get incredibly hectic, and if you don’t have a good organization system in place, also quite chaotic. Here are five ways you can get organized to keep your family running like a well-oiled machine.
Family Calendars and Bulletin Boards
sometimes, the school year seems to be all about schedules. You have school functions, afterschool activities, scout meetings, and so much more. Then there the lunch menus, school programs, and even volunteer work. It can definitely get overwhelming, which is why you want to put up a family calendar and bulletin board where everyone can see it.
You can use a paper calendar with large squares on which you can easily write the information. Paper calendars are also great because you can use calendar stickers on them to make them even more fun and attractive.
Another option is to use a whiteboard. You can either purchase a whiteboard with a preprinted calendar, which will be a little more expensive, or you can make your own whiteboard and draw on squares. The latter option is more cost-effective and certainly more flexible.
You might be tempted to stick to apps that you can synchronize across everyone’s devices. While this is, of course, a great idea and something you should do, it’s still better to display the calendar where everyone can see it, serving as another important reminder.
Alongside your calendar, make sure to have a bulletin board where you can display other important reminders, but also in your kids’ achievements.
Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail
If mornings in your home resemble a stampede of wild animals crossed with World War III, then you need to take some time to do a little planning.
Spend a few minutes every evening planning the following morning. Consider what you can do in the evening to save a little time in the morning. For example, you can lay out your kids’ clothing, make sure their backpacks are ready, and ensure that everything they need is ready to go.
And this goes for you too. You will be much more relaxed when you’re not trying to hunt down a specific shirt, or can’t seem to find your tablet.
If you’re having trouble getting your kids to stick to a schedule, bribery is definitely an option. Some cool stickers provided in exchange for being on time is a great way to keep your kids organized. And to really take advantage, make sure those stickers include educational, yet fun, messages.
Create a Launchpad
You can make mornings even more manageable by creating a launchpad. Set aside a corner where you can store everything that your kids need for school. You can dedicate, for example, a large plastic storage box for each of your kids, and above each put a small whiteboard with a checklist of items. Make it your children’s responsibility to make sure that everything is in the box and checked off the list.
When everything is in one, easy to access spots, you’ll find that morning are much more relaxed because no one will be running around screaming that they can’t find that all essential notebook.
Get Your Paperwork in Order
The start of the school year often requires a lot of documentation, including the previous year’s report cards, immunization records, proof of medical exams, and more. Instead of technically searching for everything at the last minute, make sure to get your paperwork in order and in one place.
Better yet, set up a centralized spot where you can keep all the important paperwork, ensuring that you’re not running around trying to find that all-important slip of paper that seems to have just disappeared.
Create a Homework Station to Keep Your Kids Focused
Most children have a hard time focusing, which is normal because they are young. However, when it’s time for homework, helping them avoid distractions is essential. So, create a homework station to keep your kids focused.
One option is to use a trifold display board too, essentially, make sure your child doesn’t see anything else that could distract them from their homework. The advantage is that these boards can be used and small living spaces where children might have to share with one workspace. They’ll separate them and keep them focused on their own work.
And if you get a little creative, you can turn them into organization stations. Add a sheet of chalkboard paper or used chalkboard paint so they can make notes on them, include binder clips to attach any important printables, calendars, quotes and so on, and, of course, allow your children to decorate these boards as they see fit. Stickers are a great way for them to do that cost-effectively while allowing them to express their creativity.
Many parents dreaded when school starts up again because it can become exhausting, frustrating, and is often hectic and chaotic. However, if you take a little time to do some planning in advance, you can get your family out the door in the mornings like a well-oiled machine.
You can also make sure that the rest of your day is just as well organized and all it takes is a little creativity. Family calendars and bulletin boards will make sure you don’t forget anything important, planning in advance will keep everything running smoothly and save you time, a launchpad will ensure that you don’t have any tears in the evening because your kid forgot their history report, having your paperwork in order will ensure you’re not pulling your hair out because you can find that important slip, and keeping your kids focused on their homework with a homework station will make life so much easier.