Top 10 Ways to Keep Your Kids Organized

Published Wednesday, August 24, 2011 1:28 PM

Back-to-school shopping catalogs are flooding the mailbox. Time to think about getting the kids organized for school and the fall sports season. Smart parents keep busy households organized with these top ten tips.

1.           Designate a Drop Spot: Backpacks and sports gear can easily engulf a home; designate a convenient drop spot for off-loading when the kids arrive home. Nothing fancy is needed: a simple hall bench, set of cubbies or even wall hooks can do the trick.

2.           Kitchen Command Center: Deputize a bulletin board or white board to track all family commitments, sports schedules and major tests and projects. The shared schedule lets all family members see major events at a glance.

3.           Calendar Smarts: Teach your children to maintain their own calendar to practice optimum time-management. Even the very youngest students can be taught how to chart tasks on a calendar. Talk about how to assess how long a task will take and allocating sufficient time for completion.

4.           Designate Study Time: Get your children in the study habit by designating a specific block of time for homework each day. Encourage children not to race through work, but instead to proceed slowly and methodically, leaving time for proofing.

5.           Checklists: Encourage your child to use checklists to prioritize tasks and keep track of each item's status. Crossing off items on a to-do list provides a sense of accomplishment.

6.           Quiet Zone: Find a quiet area for students to do their work. An interruption-free zone enhances focus and productivity.

7.           Homework Caddy: Set each child up with a portable homework caddy with must-have tools such as pencils, pens, erasers, stapler, etc. Keeping study tools close at hand will prevent students from wandering off in search of needed items.

8.           Backup Supplies: Keep a supply of notebooks, binders, report covers, poster board, glue and markers and crayons on hand during the school year. You'll be glad to have a ready supply when a child inevitably announces late in the evening they are missing X item for a project due tomorrow.

9.           A Look Ahead: Get in the habit of 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 rain boots and umbrellas, you can stave off the stress that often adds to the morning rush.

10.        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.


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