School Supplies
Every year it’s the same. The kids start school with new notebooks, pencils and binders, all neatly arranged and ready to go. But as the year goes on, these carefully selected back-to-school essentials give way to crumpled papers stuffed in the bottom of backpacks. This year, break the cycle with these six tips for getting – and keeping – your kids organized.

1.      Separate Spaces

A child’s bedroom is often used for rest, play and schoolwork. Separate these areas within the room to create order. Use bins and baskets to contain toys and clothes, keeping them separate from workspace. Provide separate areas within that workspace for completed assignments and ongoing projects.

2.      Weekend Cleanings

Each weekend, go through your child’s book bag with them. Remove graded assignments and other papers that are no longer needed and refill supplies that were used or lost, such as extra pencils. Committing to this process every week prevents build-up.

3.      Lighten the Load

Kids carry more than supplies to school. Look for backpacks with enough slots and compartments for subway passes, cell phones, house keys and anything else your student needs in addition to books. Lighten the load by helping eliminate unnecessary or distracting items.

4.      Think Training Wheels

Organization, like riding a bike, is a skill that must be taught. Hectic evenings make it tempting to make sure homework is in the homework folder and call it good, but this won’t teach organizational skills. Let your child keep his own calendar or planner and show him how to use it to meet deadlines.

5.      Slow It Down

Know how much is too much. If you can’t keep up with soccer games, band practice, piano lessons and scout events, imagine how hard it must be for a kid! Sometimes the key to staying organized is having less to track. Extracurricular activities are important, but so is recognizing when your child may be getting too much of a good thing.

6.      Have Backups

Ask the school for extra copies of your child’s textbooks and know who to contact for access to forgotten assignments. Many schools make homework assignments available online. Having a backup plan helps kids stay on target when materials are forgotten, be it legitimately or conveniently.

Keeping kids organized throughout the school year is a challenge, but one that you can overcome with the right preparation before school starts and a good routine during the year.

Information credited to Quantum Storagechrome wire shelving.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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