Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back to School Organization

Back to school time is when things start to get hectic around here, but every year I'm newly inspired and full of enthusiasm about getting organized. I love the excitement of brand new school supplies and fresh starts.  It's a great time to establish new routines and habits.

A month or so before school starts is the best time to begin, but if school is right around the corner for you as it is for our family, that's OK too.  Just start where you are.

 A Month Before School Begins (if possible):
Checkups with the doctor and dentist.
Arrange car pool.
Try on clothes and shoes to see what still fits and make a list of needed items.
Get list of needed school supplies (our schools have them on the district website).
Start shopping for clothes and supplies.
Gradually start introducing an earlier bedtime.

A Week Before School Starts:
Consolidate all the supplies you have so far.  List what is still needed and finish shopping.
Designate a drop zone for backpacks, lunch boxes, band instruments, sports equipment and homework - hooks and baskets will help.
Designate a homework area, preferably quiet and away from the action of the house.
Plan and shop for meals.  Make sure to include lunchbox items and after school snacks.
Start a "school binder" to keep paperwork and handouts organized.  Use dividers for each child.
Make checklists for school nights and for school mornings and hang them up where the kids can see them.  (I actually made spreadsheets for you to print, but I couldn't get them to upload to Google docs.  I'm not sure why it won't work.)  If you laminate them, you can use them for the entire school year.

The Night Before School Starts: 
Fill out any forms that need to be turned in on the first day.
Go through school night checklist and review morning routine.
Set table for breakfast and get as much of it prepared as possible.
Make sure your camera and/or video camera are charged and ready to go.
Get a good night's sleep! :)

Have a fantastic school year!