This week, I want to share some of my secrets to getting organized this Fall…it’s hard to stay on top of things when life gets hectic. About a week ago, I noticed my piles of papers were growing taller, my car was starting to look like we lived in it, and our homework area was getting out of control.
Time to get organized! Here are some things that work for us. Would love to hear the ways you keep your family organized too!
Tips for Fall Organization:
1. Put a large open laundry basket in the trunk of your car.
This is where all of our kid activity “stuff” goes. Shin guards, soccer balls, required hair ties, extra socks, whatever. We organize (okay, dump) it in the laundry basket so that it’s 1.) Not rolling around. 2.) Easy to find. 3.) Easy to carry anywhere, if needed.
2. Pack at lunch bag full of snacks for the car and bring an empty grocery bag for trash.
My kids always equate being in the carseat to being hungry. With my family schedule, we’re sometimes in and out of the car all day long so I pack a lunch tote full of snacks and stick in an empty bag for trash. Same with water. Each kid gets an iced water bottle that they work on all day.
3. Make a special folder, box or place for your child’s school artwork.
To cut back on the piles, I take a picture of it and store it electronically, so that it will live “forever.” Special pieces go on our art wall and rotate in and out. Others go in their special “art folder/box/cupboard.”
Then, once a quarter I go through the art and decide what to keep, what to give to family, and what to (gulp) recycle. There. I said it. I have to, or these art project files get out of control! And, I’ll always have the electronic pictures. There is an awesome app for this called, “Artkive.” Check it out! You can organize the artwork electronically by child, grade and age.
My kindergartener now has homework! So I’ve cleared out a homework space for her, including a little caddy with crayons, markers, safety scissors, a glue stick, tape, and pencils.
I’ve organized stickers in one tubberware bin, craft “fixings” in another, construction paper in another drawer, glue sticks, glitter paint and tape in another…you get the idea. This makes projects, art and homework time much easier…on both of us.
5. Clean out your wardrobe.
It’s (sort of) starting to feel like fall. Invest an hour or two and go through your closet and drawers, as well as your kids. Move out your summer stuff and move in your fall stuff. It will make things easier on crazy mornings to grab and go.
6. Have each of your kids fill a bag of toys or clothes to donate.
At least once a quarter, I ask my kids to pick five toys (each) to give (donate) to another kid who would enjoy them. This concept can be a little difficult for young ones to grasp, but I find that having them pick the toys themselves versus me picking them helps tremendously.
Then, I’ll take time on my own after they are in school, napping or asleep for the evening, to go through anything else that needs it. Weed out the too small clothes and toys stuck in the bottom of toy bins. De-cluttering is so therapeutic!
7. Make a “kid friendly shelf” in your pantry.
Whatever your kids eat, I suggest making room in your pantry (or a separate drawer) for their favorites. This makes packing lunches a LOT easier. Or nabbing snacks on the go.
This is especially important for our family, because both my kids are at schools with “no nut” policies, including food that has been manufactured in the same facility as nuts. It is very important for me to always pack nut-free lunches…by having everything organized on one shelf, I can easily grab and go.
What are some of your favorite tips for staying organized this Fall? Share below!