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Back-to-School Countdown for Parents: 10 Easy Ways to Get Organized

There’s a lot of information out there about getting ready for the annual trek back to school. Our favorite ideas involve organization—how families can streamline their daily routines so that everything runs smoothly, from getting dressed to handling homework and housework.

We’ve compiled 10 of our favorite tips for getting your family organized. They are all geared to parents just trying to keep it together between weekends.

  1. 1. Closet tuneups. Every family member needs to stage a thorough cleanup of their wardrobe closets. Get rid of unwanted/outgrown shoes and clothing, sort everything into its proper place, put summer clothing into storage bins. (See our tips for cleaning kids’ closets.)
  2. 2. Personalize the paperwork. Set up a folder for each child, to hold essential school information, event announcements and fundraiser order forms. Put them in a standup file on your home office desk and encourage your children to use them.
  3. 3. Homework helpers. Today’s kids respond to technology-based learning. Like flashcards? Check out Quizlet, which has millions of free digital templates and four different study methods to make learning customized and fun. Math Formulas organizes all of your student’s important algebra and trig formulas in easy-to-read listings.
  4. 4. Sports readiness. Keep a bin in the trunk of your car filled with clothing changes for all your children, including shoes, socks and underwear; extra balls and mitts; and a six-pack of bottled water. Keep a portable beach chair in there, too.
  5. 5. Snacks in advance. Make pre-bagged trail mix and cut vegetables and store them in your refrigerator for quick grabs all week.
  6. 6. Score the chores. Everyone in the family has set chores to do; but sometimes things get in the way of execution. At the end of the week, ask your children what they have completed and how much allowance they feel they’ve earned.
  7. 7. Backpack storage. To keep clutter off the couch, you need to create a place for kids to store their everyday baggage. Consider setting up a mudroom near the entry or in the garage; at the very least provide each family member with a sturdy hook and a shoe cubby.
  8. 8. Family time. Even if you can’t manage a family dinner every night, keep togetherness a priority. Studies show that family rituals—even a 15-minute game of Crazy Eights every Tuesday night—tightens bonds for life.
  9. 9. Passing notes. Keep a family notebook in a central location and encourage everyone to use it. Write notes to each other—reminders, messages of love, accomplishments and plans for the weekend.
  10. 10.  Keep Sundays free. Strongly encourage your children to finish their homework earlier in the weekend—Friday night or Saturday morning if possible. And that goes for your bill-paying too!
  11. Call us at (800) 838-7995 for a custom closet design and ease your back-to-school days.
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