School’s in! And that means it’s a time of transition for the family. Transitional times often lead to “situational disorganization”, when families or individuals struggle with temporary disorganization due to a life change.

Here are some quick tips to help you breeze through that transition and rock your family’s back to school experience.

#1 Use File Boxes to Corral Papers

Even in this electronic age, the start of the school year still brings a flood of paper into the home. You need a place to capture those papers.

This acrylic file box--what I like to call an "action box"--is very handy for parents and kids alike.

Parents can create hanging file folders for important papers such as school calendars/news, events, sports/activities.

Kids can have their own boxes where they create hanging file folders for each class. Then when Mom or Dad tells them to clean out their backpack, they’ll have a place for those “keeper” items to go.

(NOTE: You may have some schoolwork left over from last school year...this is a great time to sit down with each of your kids and help them purge through the sea of papers to preserve ONLY the “treasures” from the last school year).

#2 Clean Out The Closets

Has your pre-teen shot up six inches over the summer? This happens! Let’s avoid sending him off to school in highwaters because nothing fits anymore :).

Plan a couple hours to help your kids cull their closets and dressers of clothes that are too small or are never worn. This accomplishes three things:

  1. It gets them in the habit of regularly assessing their wardrobes.
  2. It teaches them about the practice of donating no-longer-needed possessions.
  3. It makes room for any new school clothes you’ve purchased.

Go to www.donatetogetherhawaii.com to schedule a pick-up of your clothes to be donated and you don’t even have to leave your house! :)

#3 Create a Backpack Station

Does the start of school mean your entry area or kitchen space explodes with backpacks and sports bags?

Create an area where backpacks can “live”. Whether they are kept in the individual child’s room using an over the door hook or they kept all together in a central area using wall hooks, designating a home for these daily items will keep them off the floor and the kitchen counter.

 

#4 Plan Weekly Meals and Shop Accordingly

Everyone loves Taco Tuesday...why not capitalize on that? Advance planning of meals for the week can streamline the dinner process at the end of a busy day.

For me, the challenge with meal planning has been the daunting thought of coming up with 4-6 meals. But if you have a few days of “set” meals (e.g. Taco Tuesday, Steak Night), you’ve already saved time and mental effort.

Consider the family schedule when plugging meals into the plan...sometimes by the end of the week the last thing you want to do is cook so Pizza Night may work well for your family on Friday.

 

#5 Set Out Clothes for the Week

Just like meal planning, outfit planning over the weekend takes the guesswork out of dressing every day the coming week. For little ones, this can be particularly helpful since waking up early and getting ready for school has not been their habit for the last few months.

Hanging shelf closet organizers like this one work great for storing an outfit for each day of the school week.

Oh yeah, and this work for adults too! Whatever we can do to streamline our morning processes helps to get us out the door on time and with less stress!