With the start of school just a few weeks away, now is the time set up and organize your home for the new year. If you have school-aged members in your household, you know that the key to their success requires more than just the right supplies. Organizing your home for the school year may seem like a Herculean effort, but by creating a plan now, your life will be much easier in the coming weeks and months. While organizing can seem like a big task, there are really just three main areas to tackle: a “drop zone” for backpacks, lunch bags, coats, and shoes; a system for papers and important documents; and an area for your children to comfortably complete their homework in peace. Let’s look at each point in more detail.
A Drop Zone
This time of year, your mudroom becomes the MVP of your home team. Whether you have open cubbies and hooks, or closed cabinets and closets, designate a place for each child to place their belongings. If your home does not include a mudroom, get creative and work with your given space. Maybe last year’s system wasn’t the best. Strategize and find a place close to your home’s entry where the kids can each have a three-prong hook. This way, there is dedicated space for a bookbag, lunch bag, and jacket. Mount each hook at a height that is accessible to its owner – be especially cognizant of younger children, as it’s easy for adults to mount a hook too high for their limited reach!
A Sea of Paper
Did you nearly drown in papers last school year? Did you lose one that was important and required? We’ve all been there! The paper trail from school to home can quickly become overwhelming leading to those missed signatures and lost documents. Whether it’s a stacking tray on a desk or counter, a wall-mounted file folder, or even a basket, assign a receptacle to each child and one for yourself. Teach the kids to empty out their papers every day, filing away in his or her basket or bin what needs to be kept, and to place whatever requires parental reading or signing into yours.
A Study Space
You don’t need to dedicate an entire room of your home as a homework zone to promote your child’s success, but you should think carefully about the spot you designate for this purpose. It needs to be well-supplied and free of distractions. And once again, organization is key – if you have a desk or computer station for your students, make sure it is stocked neatly with pens, pencils, loose leaf paper, and anything else they may need easily at hand. One good tip to follow: ask your kids where they would feel most comfortable doing their homework and work within their preferences. Comfort is just as important for success as being organized!
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