Get Organized for Back to School Success (& Sanity!)
First 5 LA is pleased to welcome guest blogger and expert organizer, Kristin Borostyan, to share some tips on how to tackle the beginning of the school year … without feeling overwhelmed!
Like it or not, summer is coming to a close and the kids are heading back to school! Be prepared without feeling the stress. Here are some tried and true ways to help you kick off the school year with ease and confidence.
- Master the morning routine by preparing the night before and getting your kids up on time! Getting the morning started right will set the tone for the rest of theday. The night before, choose clothing, gather books and assignments, and put everything in a designated place. In general, it’s a good idea to decide how your child will wake up and to keep this pattern consistent. Do not let your kids sleep in! Use an alarm clock or wake them up. Make sure you are leaving enough time to get everyone out the door on time and, if your schedule allows, get your kids on the back-to-school morning schedule the week before school starts.
- Designate and create areas that are specific to each child, and use hooks and shelves that are low to the ground. This is where your child’s backpack, lunch, paperwork, shoes and coat will go. Remember that the right organizing items should make your life easier, not more difficult. Organizing your house in a kid-friendly way to avoid clutter will make routines easier.
- Get a large memory box where your kids can save art and projects they really love. If it’s full before the school year is up, work with your child to decide what to keep and what to donate or recycle. This is one of the best ways to manage the piles of paper that come home from school with your kids. Have your child pick out and or decorate the box. A large plastic bin is a sturdy and inexpensive option. They’ll learn how to prioritize what’s really meaningful — a skill that will come in handy for the rest of their lives.
- Plan your lunches a week ahead of time and have your kids pack weekly snacks. While you plan out your child’s weekly lunch schedule, set your child up with little storage bags and healthy snack items like carrots, fruit, pretzels, etc. and have them fill as many bags as they’ll need for the week. Set them aside in a designated area in the refrigerator or pantry. Then when it’s time to pack snacks, you or your child can just reach in, grab and go!
- Keep a back-up stash of kid gear in your car. It always helps to have back-up items in your car, such as a change of clothes, nonperishable snacks, a kid-friendly activity and, always, a first aid kit with sun block!
- Set up on Sunday for the week ahead. Spend some family time on Sunday to prepare for the week with your child. Talk about your week, go over your schedule, go through your child’s backpack and get snacks ready to go.
- Foster your child’s “sparks!” Kids are bursting with some of the best ideas. Allow your child some decision making for things that help them express individuality. Find ways to have your children help with any and all of the above tasks, and you will encourage self-reliance and independence.
The best thing you can do is be prepared! We know that, with kids, anything can happen, so be flexible and laugh when you can! Know that, while you are getting organized, you are also modeling and teaching your kids important life skills.
Kristin Borostyan is the mother of two daughters and specializes in transitioning kids and families for back-to-school. A former school counselor, Kristin became a professional organizer and established Straighten Up-Organize to Succeed because she loves to recreate the feeling you have on the first day of school when everything is organized and the possibilities are endless. For more information, click here.
Related Topics: Ready for School
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