We’re not quite sure where September went much less the summer, but Back to School is always a good time to start new projects around the home. So let's start with the basics, getting organized, removing clutter and clutter's distractions to help us all focus better.
Where to start
You can start wherever you like, but I like to make sure my activities are organized before I start in on my stuff. With sports and other activities, the school year can be a blur for parents. So keeping a family calendar — whether it’s a dry-erase board or just a weekly printout on the fridge — will ensure that everyone knows what they’re doing, and when.
Now that the kids are back
Now that you've shopped for new school supplies and clothes, it's a good time to toss or donate stuff that’s old, that doesn’t fit. One trick we’ve seen online: If you’re going through a whole closet and you’re not sure what fits your kids, have them try on pants until you find a good pair. Then use that pair to compare the length of all of the other pants.
When they’ve got homework, or if they're learning remotely
If possible, designate a study space where your kids have the tools they need for success. It should be well-lit, quiet, and free of distractions. Different kids have different learning styles, so you’ll soon find out what works well and what doesn’t.
Now that you’ve gotten them organized …
… It’s time to focus some energy on your stuff. Eliminate as much clutter from the house as you can, perhaps by following the classic 80/20 theory: 80% of the time, most people use only 20% of their stuff. If the item you’re looking at isn’t in that 20%, ask yourself: Do I really need this?
Stay on top of things
You’re off to a good start in the organizing battle — so keep things rolling! Each week, set aside time to go on a “search and destroy” mission for clutter. It’s much easier to stay organized when you only have to do a little at a time. And make sure the kids are involved, too. Everything — homework, school forms, backpacks — should have a home. And when everything has a home, you’ll be happier in yours!