Carrying too many heavy books in to school may not be smart. When your child uses an overweight backpack or doesn’t carry it correctly, it can cause damage to their back and shoulders, and create long-term health issues.
The new year is a great time to assess opportunities to get organized and kick off the year in a positive and efficient way. Being organized can positively affect almost every other aspect of your and your child’s life, in addition to making daily living less stressful. Eliminating clutter makes life more manageable, creates space for pursuing goals and dreams, and allows you to spend more time with those you love. Tackle the below tips all at once, or perhaps just one every month. Either will ensure you are making strides to a more organized and efficient New Year!
Start the year strong with these top 12 organizing tips for parents and families:
The Two-Minute Rule for Organizing
If it takes two minutes or less, just do it! It’s not worth the time or mental energy to write it on your To Do List and track it.
Make A Home for Everything
Group related items together, find appropriate containers to hold the items, and place the things you use most frequently in the most accessible spaces. Store items close to their place of use. Label where everything goes so everyone in the family can return things to the places they belong. Teach your kids to do this also so that they know that all of their belongings have a home.
Establish the 10-Minute Pick-Up
Set a timer for 10 minutes every night, or choose 10 minutes’ worth of songs to play, and make it part of your family’s nightly routine to clean up together by putting objects back where they belong. When everyone works together, organizing can be fast and fun!
Employ the One In, One Out Rule
For every new object (e.g., a toy or piece of clothing) that is brought into the house, choose one to go out. We tend to use 20% of what we have 80% of the time, so find something that is no longer useful, loved, or enriching to your life, and give it to someone who can use it.
Designate a Space for Outgoing Items
Have family members place items that need to be returned or dropped off in an accessible place that is designated specifically for that purpose. A bin in the mudroom or a basket by the front door both work well. Every time you go out, take as many items as you can to drop off.
Have Kids Help with Household Chores
Create a chart or list of each child’s responsibilities along with when each task needs to be done. Remember, your child’s idea of a clean room may be different from yours, so be specific with your expectations.
Use a Family Calendar
Keep a large, centrally located calendar that lists each family member’s extracurricular activities as well as major events at school and home. Use a different color for each member of the family. Have one person be in charge of the calendar and check in with everyone each night to confirm the next day’s schedule.
Encourage Your Kids to Use a Planner
Have your kids record relevant activities from the family calendar into their planner. This is a great to-do item for Sunday evening family meetings.
Kids should use their planners for organizing all activities, not just homework. This helps them see the bigger picture and manage their time better.
Contain the Legos & Small Toys
Place Lego set contents into gallon-size Ziploc bags and label with the Lego set’s name and number. When your child is ready to build the set, pour the contents onto a tray or cookie sheet. Hang an over-the-door shoe organizer on the front or back side of a closet door to hold other small toys, stuffed animals, etc.
Make Computerized Checklists
Make a checklists for groceries and other necessities on your computer. Print them out and keep them handy so that family members can check off an item that’s needed. Take the list with you when you go shopping.
Partner with Your Child on School Work
Whether your child is in elementary, middle or high school, they can always use a guiding hand in organizing projects, papers, and tools.
Manage Your Mornings
The best time to get ready for the day is the night before. Assist your child with planned outfits, prepare for after-school activities, and pack lunches during evening hours. Organizing in advance goes a long way in making chaotic mornings more manageable.
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“Getting organized” is more than eliminating clutter and creating neat storage systems. One of the most important areas of organizing is task management. It’s never too early (or too late) to teach kids how to get and stay organized with schoolwork. The skills they learn now will carry over into high school, college, and ultimately, their careers and home management as adults. (more…)
Having a study space that is both comfortable and fully equipped with school supplies can make doing homework more efficient and fun.
Start by deciding where you like to do your homework. Some students prefer to study in a quiet, private environment while others prefer to be in a centrally located space (like the dining room or family room) around other family members. (more…)
I’ve had some students come to my office with backpacks that weigh as much as they do! Well, perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit, but in all seriousness, backpacks should not weigh more than 10 to 15% of a child’s body weight.
So, how can you help your children keep ‘em light and pack ‘em right this school year? (more…)
Now that school has just ended, are you wondering what to do with all of the masterpieces your children brought home during the school year? If you don’t have a system for organizing them, they can quickly take over both horizontal and vertical spaces. You may be relieved to know that you don’t have to save every single project your child makes!
Here are a few tips to help you hold on to memories while saving space: (more…)