Sunday, October 2, 2011

Back to School

I know.  You've been back for a month now.  But the thing is, sometimes you have to live in a situation to really figure out what your needs are.   So take some time and think on those minutes when the kids arrive's it working?  When the paperwork gets unloaded does it have a place to go?  Are you finding you have to keep walking back and forth to collect items you are using?  Do you have a spot to keep track of your schedule?

Let's look at a few ideas.

 Darla's 3 girls are all in school.  She uses these file boxes on her wall to keep each child's paperwork straight and the family calendar is right there too so that noting dates is easy and convenient.

Each girl has a folder.  Papers that you would never need to remove get hole punched and put in.  For example, the class list.  Papers that you will need to hand in eventually get tucked in the inside a monthly reading log.  Any paper that needs to be dealt with and handed back within the week would go in the box in front of the folder.

Every item that might be handy is kept in the same box...scissors, tape, envelopes, paper clips, sticky notes, and of course, the cheque book!  

Everything is labelled. 

Mike and Darla have a box of their own so that they can keep themselves as organized as the kids.  Inside the box are several file categories that makes sense for their family.

Files that need to be dealt with are kept outside within sight.  Mike and Darla each have their own folder for items that are pending...things that should get taken care of within the next week or so.  There is also a "TODAY" file for things that are more urgent.

Back at my house we have a similar system.  I always make sure the kids have pens and sharpened pencils they can grab for homework.

My little wall tape dispenser is one of my favourite things.  I keep a 3 hole punch and stapler in the drawer right there.

Sadly my new calendar does not fit in it's frame.  Stay tuned for a makeover of the eat in kitchen which will include a new frame!
(Let's just ignore the fact that some of the cracks in the house got BIGGER during the lift, shall we?)

One of my "must haves" is my own jar of writing instruments.  I keep my favourite pens, sharp pencils, a Sharpie marker that I do not want my 3 year old to get a hold of and my dry erase marker in there, among other things.

What is the dry erase for you might ask?  My handy dandy meal planner.  I've tried monthly meal plans, I've tried winging it, but what has worked best for me is to organize my meals a week at a time.   Those straight line days are my means we are not home and someone else will be cooking!!!

Your needs will change according to the number of kids you have in school and what sort of programs and homework your kids have.  Make a list of everything you are always grabbing for and put it all somewhere you can reach easily.  Make sure all the paperwork has it's own place.  Train the kids to empty their own items and put them away.  

Happy Back to School all you Mama's out there!