Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Organized for Back to School

Every parent wants their children to start the school year off right, but for my crew it is even more of an endeavor. In order for us to start on track, and stay on track we needed some new tools, and to continue using some of our old ones.

We found this cool legal pad looking decal at Bed Bath and Beyond. It is a dry erase board where you can list out chores, or reminders of any sort. We got two; one for the fridge and one for the kids' bedroom mirrored closet door. In the kitchen are their chores. In the bedroom are their daily steps to get ready in the morning and to get ready for bed at night. 

We already had these assorted color magnets, and we are continuing to use them to highlight what chores have been done and which ones still need to be done. We use them on the fridge or on one of our dry erase boards. They don't work on the mirror, for obvious reasons, but I just thought I would clarify in case anyone was wondering.

We also already had this dry erase calendar from Target, and we have continued to use it to mark those special appointments, trips, days off from school, etc. It has been a great tool.

And since we have been doing the 'dry erase" thing for a while we had to stock up on new dry erase markers as well.

Another item I have been using for almost 2 years now are these great Mead Organizher fridge filer. The top bar is magnetized, and it has 3 plastic pockets with tabs which you can index/organize. I have 2, one for each kid. In them I put their school calendar, their classroom schedule, and any special paperwork their particular teacher may give me (like the list of classmates, and their parents). It has helped us enormously!! It is all within reach any time we need it, and even the kids know where to look for their school information.


Another tool in our arsenal is a large cork board. We use this to pin all those things that are a bit further in our schedule, like a flyer for an event at our local park, or the flyer for school picture day. They don't fit on our dry erase calendar yet, and the refrigerator is full enough as well, so these things get pinned in a separate spot to be checked the following month. It could also be a spot to put quick reference school tools, like multiplication tables, or grammar rules - the kids know to run and get them if their homework requires it.

And, of course, some push pins to pin stuff up. The clear ones are for regular stuff to pin, and the color ones are for those items that need special attention (like a birthday party invitation).

Our most recent addition is this lovely hall tree and storage bench. We have a coat hanger already, and we have some other storage around the house, but this one is specially assigned to school stuff. Everyone gets a double hook assigned; one for their backpack and one for their jacket. Larger jackets can be stored inside. Lunch bags are stored on the top shelf, along with other miscellaneous stuff, like swimming goggles (yes, random, but this summer it has helped to keep them handy). 

Our shoe rack is right next to it, so the bench is a good place to sit and put on your shoes, or sit to take them off and hang them back up.

These few and possibly uncommon tools and strategies have worked for us so far, and once school starts in a couple of days, will be tested further. It is up to us to stay constant and keep using them.

What organization tools and strategies do you use?

Rossana G-A

FTC Disclaimer: I am not compensated to write this post.

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