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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back to School Organizing Tips by Jacquie Ross

During the school year, do you find yourself running out the door each morning feeling disorganized and stressed due to the morning rush? If this sounds familiar, I have some tips that will help your mornings run a whole lot smoother. A lot of things that need to be done before your children leave for school can easily be done the night before, or sometimes even earlier. If you follow just a few of these suggestions you will be surprised at how much more time you have in the morning.

Wake Up Earlier!:
Seems obvious, but this is one of the easiest ways to eliminate the morning rush and also the most under utilized! Waking up just 10 or 15 minutes earlier can make a big difference to your morning. Combine this with some of the following tips and you’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed your mornings will become.Quick Tip: Set your alarm clock 10-15 minutes earlier or retire to bed 10-15 minutes earlier.

Get Dressed Faster:
Select up to 5 outfits for each day of the week for each child. Consider the upcoming forecast when choosing the outfits and you may even include your child in the process. This is a task that you can do on weekends. If your weekend is extremely busy, don’t throw your hands up in the air and give up -just pick another day of the week. It doesn’t matter if it’s Wednesday. Just do enough for the next few school days. Place all the outfits in the closet and have your child select which outfit they would like to wear the next day.
Quick Tip: For the first few weeks, make a note in your planner to remind yourself to select your child’s outfits. Soon it will become a habit and will be one less thing to worry about each school day.

Breakfast Prep:
1. Set the breakfast table the night before and involve your children in the process. Consider setting up a rotating schedule for your children and have it be their job to set the breakfast table each evening
.2. Take breakfast orders the night before and post the orders on the refrigerator.

Quick Tip: Make it fun. Have your children take the orders the night before. They can pretend to be “Chef of the Night”!

Packed Lunches: If your child brings in a packed lunch to school, you can prepare it the night before. Sandwiches can be made ahead of time and sealed in plastic wrap or sandwich bags. If you are making the sandwich more than one day ahead, double bag it into a zippered bag before refrigerating. Some sandwiches can even be frozen, which would allow you to prepare several days of sandwiches ahead of time.

Calm the After School Chaos: If your children go home immediately after school, have some snacks ready. Healthy snacks are best. To save money, try to make some things at home to avoid pricey pre-packaged items. The internet is a great resource for a variety of snack ideas.

Quick Tip: Running out of lunch or snack ideas? Do an internet search for packed lunch and snack ideas, or look for books at your local library.

Homework/School Papers:

1. Have each child place completed homework assignments into their backpacks.

2. Check to see if you have any forms to sign and give to your child to place into their backpack.

Quick Tip: Create a check-list of things that you or your children need to do before bed and post it in a convenient place.

By taking care of routine tasks the night before, you will have more energy the next day and will begin the day feeling relaxed instead of stressed.

Article Source:

Jacquie Ross is a Professional Organizer, speaker and award winning small business owner in Maryland. Jacquie owns CastAway the Clutter! and Halo Organizers, and serves clients in Maryland. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and is on the Board of the NAPO-Baltimore Chapter. Sign up for her free monthly organizing tips at CastAway the Clutter!

Jacquie also has a website for purchasing organization products.


Anonymous August 18, 2009 at 1:45 PM  

A good useful article. Some of these things I can use for myself for back to work ( I work for a teacher Sept - June) I have a totally sleep late summer scedule. It is so important to get kids in school mind before it happens. I have started doing that with my summer kids. Thanks for the great article again! Jenn owner

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