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Blog: The Simplified Home
Get an Organized Start to the New School Year

The lazy days of summer are behind us and we're now just days away from a new school year. It's once again time to handle the deluge of school papers that flow in and out of our homes. For students and parents alike, getting an ORGANIZED start to the new school year can make the difference between having a SUCCESSFUL school year or not. Follow these seven simple steps and you and your child will have the best year yet.
Establish family ground RULES relating to school year daily schedule, such as bedtime, homework completion, television watching, computer surfing, and socializing. Establishing these expectations at the beginning of the school year communicates the parent's PRIORITIES and commitment from the start. Children need and want these boundaries to feel safe and secure, whether they know it or not.
Establish a "Command Central" for children's PAPER -- incoming and outgoing. Put an end to the school paper chase by establishing a zone for processing school paper - incoming and outgoing. This area, I call Command Central, is where parents review and PROCESS action papers (permission slips, lunch money, homework sign-offs, etc.) for quick turnaround. Adopt a simple "In/Out box" where you will process paper (preferred location: in or near the kitchen) and instruct your children to place papers for mom's review in her Command Central In box. Completed paper is then given to children for return to school.
Establish a ZONE for the daily backpack pickup/drop close to the door where your child enters and exits each day. After mom has processed the papers that need to go back to school, she can then return them to this zone for the kids to return to their backpack. This simple strategy will greatly ease the morning rush.
Set up a desk or STUDY workspace that is conducive to concentration and focus. Considerations for setting up the child's workspace should include lighting, noise levels, space to spread out, privacy, availability of supplies and anything else that adds to the structure. Stock drawers with basic supplies your child needs, which will keep him/her.
Establish a system and tools to help your child be organized AT school as well. It is critically important for children to develop organizational skills at an early age. Accordion folders or binders with pocket folders labeled for each class can be an easy organizer system for your child to keep papers corralled at school as well as home. Once your child is old enough to use a locker at school, equip him/her with locker accessories that allow subjects to be separated by, perhaps, morning and afternoon classes.
Don't overload children with extra-curricular ACTIVITIES. Today's school children are overscheduled and stressed. A balance of academics, activities and down time is necessary for academic success and mental health. Make every effort to have dinner together as a family and avoid outside activities that distract from this important family ritual. Ask yourself what's more important, your kid's skills or their sanity?
Establish an age appropriate CHORE routine to keep your children engaged and accountable to the family unit. With every family member pitching in to help the household run smoothly, more time is freed up for fun family activities when the work is done. Establish these simple yet powerful routines and you and your children will be on the road to school year success.  My workbook and chore binder, 'Mom, Can I Help Around the House?' is a great system for getting every family member on board to contribute to home maintenance.  See  Mom, Can I Help Around the House? sold here on www.OnlineOrganizing.com

posted on: 8/11/2008 10:00:00 AM by Janet Nusbaum, The Organizing Genie
category: Homes

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Discuss This Post

by katherine on 2/9/2009 10:04:51 PM:

hey thanks for the tips

by stephan on 8/28/2009 5:34:21 PM:

I believe that it can help me

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The Simplified Home

by Janet Nusbaum, The Organizing Genie

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About Janet:

Janet Nusbaum creates calm out of chaos, and loves bringing serenity and order to overwhelmed households, cluttered offices, frazzled parents, and transitioning seniors and families. Janet, President of Simplified Spaces & The Simplified Home, is an Organizing Consultant, Senior Move Manager, Author and Speaker.

She is the author of "Mom, Can I Help Around the House?" A Simple, Step-by-Step System for Teaching Your Children Life-Long Skills for Pitching-In & Picking-up".

She is a proud member: National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) & National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD)

Visit our blog - www.TheOrganizingGenie.com, and sign-up to receive our special report "SHELF LIFE OF 75 COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. Use this report to decide what to keep and what to toss ... then TAKE ACTION!!

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