Tame the Back-to-School Clutter Explosion
If back-to-school is adding up to a clutter explosion in your home, you'll love our easy-as-ABC lessons for taming the chaos.
Designate a Drop Spot: Backpacks and sports gear can easily engulf a home; pick a convenient drop spot for off-loading when the kids arrive home. Make it easy to make it stick: a simple hall bench; set of cubbies or even wall hooks can do the trick. Offer simple rewards when all items are stowed away regularly.
Kitchen Command Center: Deputize a bulletin board or white board to track all family commitments, sports schedules and major tests and projects. When invites and event notices come in, log the date on the calendar, then toss the paper.
Homework Helper: Corral pens, pencils, glue sticks and other homework supplies in a portable homework caddy. Keeping study tools close at hand will prevent students from wandering off in search of needed items and individual items from migrating all over the house. Consider color coding your kids so you can tell which child is leaving supplies scattered around the house.
A Look Ahead: Model good organizational habits for your kids by spending the end of the day planning for the next morning. By taking just 15 minutes to round up school supplies, paperwork and special items such as snow boots or umbrellas, you can minimize stress during the morning rush.
Weekly Clean Ups: Keep chaos at bay with weekly clean-ups. Update the family command center calendar, restore missing items to their rightful place and restock school supplies that are running low. Revisit your children's personal planners or calendars and provide feedback on how they managed their schedules and workloads for the week. Praise successes and offer suggestions for improvement where necessary.