Getting organized before going back to school
Is anyone else panicking like I am over the state of my closets and junk drawers before school even starts? Heck, I still have a full backpack that came home on the last day of school that hasn't been opened since. That's my resolution this week: purge, purge and purge some more. Then I need to think about setting up some organizing principles (that I will likely be ignoring before the Halloween pumpkin is even out).
This interview I did a few years ago with Mom Central founder Stacy DeBroff had a lot of tips on good habits that help you stay on top of things. Some of the best:
- Assign a home for everything. The backpack, once loaded for the day, should have a place by the door. Everything in the backpack should have a designated home too, so those books, binders and signed permission slips are easier to find.
- Make it a habit: Sort through the backpack every day as part of your routine. Sign permission forms and mark events on the calendar right then and there. No putting it on a pile to be done later because you know what happens then... it never gets done.
- A prominent calendar: This is especially important for middle school age and above, when activities compete with school for time, and long-term school projects are more frequent. DeBroff color-codes hers with pink highlighter for her daughter's deadlines and green for her son's.
- Color-code it: The easiest way to get a head start on filing and finding things later is to color-code everything from the start. Make English yellow and science blue and then use that for all folders, files and notebooks.
- Get yourself a notebook, too: Start off the school year with a binder of your own in the house for all the school papers, fliers, Web site passwords and carpool information in one neat notebook.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne