Organize For Fall

When school starts up again I find myself setting up new practices for a good new school year. For me the beginning of the school year is much more important as far as organizing and getting stuff together then when the new calendar year comes in. This time of year is when I implement new rules in our house, setting up new ways of doing homework and prepare for the influx of new art projects around the house.

1. One of the first important items to obtain are some big boxes for all of the artwork that will come your way when the kids come home with the latest they made in school. Every year I get a big box (like the Pingla). One for each child so that I can collect all of the school work and art projects in one place. The kids love it, and it ensures that I don’t have papers flying around everywhere. Leave it in a centralized location, but out of the way. At the end of the school year you can tape the box up for your kids later, or better yet go through them and have your child pick his/her 10 favorites of the year. Take really great pictures of them, and either print them to frame, or put them on a DVD to have for each year of school.

2. Go through the clothes and shoes of every family member in your house, and weed through what is outgrown, ruined or has never been worn. Make 3

piles: donate, hand down and toss. Think of what you will need in the next 6 months, and only put back in those things you or your child will continue to wear. If you want to keep anything for next summer, get a storage bin for under the bed and put all of the summer stuff in there. Donate to a worthy cause or hand down to children of family or friends the items outgrown, but in good shape. Tip: go through the clothing you want to “toss” and see what would make good rags. I keep odd socks for staining wood. They’re free, and I can toss them when I’m done.

3. Go through that trunk/box/cupboard with all of the keepsakes and photos. Go through everything that happened in the last year. Make a scrapbook, get all of the pictures on one DVD. My biggest piece of advice is to start thinking about the holidays. Start compiling a list of pictures that would make great gifts in either a calendar or other photo gift. You could also put a folder together to make a DVD as a present for the grandparents during the holiday season. Consider making a digital yearbook that you can send to relatives and friends. Tip: if you have some older VHS, Video 8 or reels consider getting them made into DVDs to add to your gift giving ideas.

4. After a summer off of school I’m sure there are a lot of toys that have seen better days. It’s time to sit down and have some tough love with all of the toys and books in your home. Toss the toys with broken and/or missing pieces. Throw away dried up markers and paint. Reorganize the toys in different bins. For Legos use small plastic containers. Tip: Don’t throw away those broken crayons. Collect them in a box or bag until you get enough to make your own crayons. You can put pieces in a silicone ice cube tray (like the Lego Ice Bricks Tray) and melt them in the microwave. Voila all new rainbow crayons in a new shape.

5. Create a homework supply kit. When it’s homework time take out your homework supply kit. It’s easy to put one together. Get a bucket, box, small toolbox or whatever you think would be easy to carry anywhere (like the Neatnix Stuff Bucket). I have a 3rd grader and 1st grader, so our kit caters to the items they need for their homework: pencils (both regular and mechanical), school glue, 2 pairs of kid safe scissors, box of 24 crayons, box of 8 skinny markers, ruler, erasers, colored pencils, 2 pens and small pad of paper (for you to write notes to the teachers). Every day that you are sitting down to do homework, just ask them to get the homework supply kit, so you don’t have to hear the inevitable “I can’t do my homework because I don’t have a {fill in the blank}.”

In doing these few things you’ll find that the school year will go by a lot more organized and a lot less frustrated.

Candice is a mother of 3 in Los Angeles. She is Owner/Fashionista-in-Charge at Fashionably Organized, where she writes about fashion, beauty, home decor, organization and DIY on a budget. Candice is also owner of CB Media Solutions a Virtual Assistance and Marketing company specializing in Social Media. You can find her tweeting at @FashOrganized.

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Comments

  1. In a couple of weeks I will be starting to organize and clean the house. I needed some tips, so am very thankful for this post.Usually I just am so unorganized within the home but I know where everything is. I want badly to change that so I can be more organized!

  2. I love these ideas – I can’t believe I never thought of using one box per year, rather than trying to fit all of the artwork into a file folder!

    And I’m trying the crayon trick this weekend!