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6 Steps to Back to School Organization
By Rachel Webb Copyright 2001

From a relaxing summer with no definite schedule to tight schedules and time frames - often the whole back to school experience becomes a juggling act for both kids and parents.  In many households it all stems from un-organization.  Here are some preventative medicine and time saving tips that may help you avoid hearing "Mom, where is my homework?" during the morning rush.

1. Mark the Stuff!
Put your child's name on the back of everything...most of you probably figured this one out and already mark the backpack, books & jackets but what about their shoes? Last year my 7 year old daughter wore 4 different pairs of shoes home that were not hers and couldn't figure out why they didn't fit right! I gave up trying to figure out how that could possibly happen and just started writing her name on the bottom of the shoes! 

2. Notes from Home
A friend of mine who is an elementary school secretary, spends most of her morning sorting through a "ga-zillion" unmarked notes and wads of lunch money. She suggests that before the school year starts, pre-mark envelopes with your child's name and grade on it. You may want to get a rubber stamp made up or order personalized address labels. Get Free labels at http://www.FreeAddressLabels.com You can use them for lunch money envelopes, identifying books, returning fieldtrip permission slip's, etc.

3. Photocopy Parental Release Forms
How many times are you going to fill out the emergency medical form, you know, the one required by every school. One for every child. I have 4 children x 13 years of school = 52 times! What a waste of time! This tip was shared by Anita from Ohio she pointed out that It can be very tedious looking up address and phone number of the doctor, dentist, hospital, family friend to call in an emergency, etc. Do it once, and file photocopy's on hand for the next year.

4. Calendar of Events
As the kids bring home a note about an event, transfer the information to a central location like a fridge calendar or information binder where everyone in the household can see planned activities at a glance.

5. Pre-Pick Daily Clothes
90% of our school morning battles take place regarding what to wear. Laying out clothes the night before helps, but if that hasn't solved your problem try this idea from Tandy a mom of four. She bought a 5 compartment sweater hanger for the closet and helps the child choose the wardrobe for the whole week. Even socks and underwear get put in each days "cubby" Sunday Afternoon. Ok Moms, that creates your deadline for getting the laundry all caught up!

6. File System for School Papers
In preparing for the multitude of papers your kids will be bringing home keep a three tired wire basket by their bedroom door, or your kitchen counter. Teach your kids basic organizational skills by having them sort through their own backpacks and put papers that need "To Be Signed" by mom in the top basket, Another basket is for "Important Stuff Mom Needs" (PTA info., fund-raisers,school policies, etc.) and a basket for "Art & Awards" to be used as scrapbooking ideas and keepers. One mom has a Rule for the top basket, if it's not in the top basket by bedtime, it doesn't get signed that night. This eliminates the last minute papers waving in moms face as you rush out the door and gives you a chance to actually READ what you are signing!

About the Author:
Rachel Webb is a WAHM of 4 and designs write-on/wipe-off Magnetic Fridge Calendars perfect for back to school organization! Made entirely of flexible magnetic material, her organizational calendars are guaranteed not to slide off when the kids slam the fridge door! Visit her site: http://www.Note-Ables.com or E-Mail and ask for a $2 off coupon: Discount@Note-Ables.com

 

 

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