Alas, it's that time of year again when teachers start detoxing, kids get tricked into thinking they're about to start something new and exciting, and parents can't wait to have their lives back. Was this the quickest summer ever or what?
Since a new school year marks a new beginning, it's a key time to take on some great habits that will keep your household streamlined until it's beach time again! Remember that milestones are prime time for clean slates. That being said, here are some ways to get organized and stay organized for school:
1) Create a set menu for the week. There's no reason to complicate lunches and snacks so stick to a repeating schedule throughout the year (or quarterly, if you want to be more exciting). Ask your child what foods they like most or choose a few different frozen options at the grocery store. Then fill up those lunch boxes without even thinking twice. For example, fish sticks and carrots on Mondays, sandwiches and chips on Wednesdays, you know the drill.
2) Empty out bags daily. Take a minute at the end of each day to take any trash or completed projects out of your child's bag (if they can do it themselves, even better!). There's no reason for your kid to be lugging unnecessary items to and from school and backpacks can quickly fill up and become dumping grounds. "Empty pockets at the end of the day will keep the Messy Monster away."
3) Add a carabiner. Great for hooking lunch boxes or water bottles, attach a small carabiner to your child's backpack and embrace the versatility. It'll keep everything together and steer you clear of items gone astray or forgotten belongings.
4) Set out clothing the night before. Get into the habit of choosing tomorrow's outfit today so you can save precious time in the morning. If your child chooses his or her own clothing, create a checklist that they can follow to assure they're got it all prepared before heading to bed.
5) Create a system for incoming projects and artwork. Since it can be daily that your mini Picasso Hemingway comes home with a work of art or written essay, set up a routine for dealing with it properly. Display projects on a bulletin board or fridge door for a week, allowing your child to boast and beam, and then kindly send them to the trash. Store the most special projects in a sentimental box but make sure to keep the quantity manageable.
6) Write a family calendar that everyone can see. Keeping track of after school activities, play dates and school events can get hectic, so write down all of the plans on a dry erase or paper calendar and hang it somewhere overt. It'll keep all of your household members in the loop.