Get Your Children Organized in 5 Simple Steps

It's the start of the new year, a time for new beginnings. Vacation is over and you're back to managing your children's schedules, homework, activities and all of that stuff!! How can you make it easier on yourself while teaching your children to be more organized this year? Here are 5 simple tips to get you started.

#1 The Morning Rush: Make a resolution to change your habits. Designate a highly visible and specific location (preferably by the door) where packed backpacks can be left at the end of the night, completely ready for the next morning. Children are more prone to forget things if they are packing up during the "early morning make it to the bus stop on time rush." Children who prepare their supplies the night before are less rushed, and also benefit from having all night to remember and add forgotten items into their backpacks. In addition, try to have children choose clothing the night before to alleviate any morning surprises.

#2 Calendar Central: Start off the new year right. Post a large family calendar on the refrigerator. Attach heavy duty craft magnet strips at the top and bottom of the calendar's backing with a glue gun. List all weekly activities and times onto the calendar, ie: Dance Class 4:00-5:00pm for each Tuesday. You should include reminders such as doctor appointments, pts meetings, due dates of permission slips or library books, or anything else you have to remember, right onto the calendar. Encourage family members to check the calendar daily (They are guaranteed to visit the refrigerator!) and write in any upcoming events as they become known, even events in the upcoming  months. Write any information from school e-mails regarding dates and times of upcoming events right onto your calendar. You can delete your e-mail as soon as you've transferred the info! Repeat the same procedure with any school fliers that come home, making sure to recycle the flier as soon as all the info has been transferred onto your calendar. Be bold enough to transfer the entire list of soccer game times and locations onto your calendar and recycle all of the soccer league paperwork you've received. Whenever you receive a listing of multiple dates (school calendar, club meetings, sports games) take the time to list events directly on the calendar, and either recycle or file away the paper trail. (Helpful hint: Using pencil instead of pen works best since plans and appointments can change on a daily basis.) Then make it a habit to run through plans for the day during breakfast so everyone knows what to expect. It may seem like a lot of effort to list everything down on your calendar, but it serves to organize all your information into one location and gives you the freedom to recycle loads of paperwork!


#3 Grab and go!  Put an end to the last minute search for missing things before extra-curricular activities. Recycle your child's old backpacks by using them to organize their after-school activity stuff. For example, have a separate bag for religion class, dance class, karate…you name it! Pack the bag with everything they need for their activity and leave it there. Make sure that items are returned into the bag when they're done and….you're ready for next time. During the week, place any necessary items such as homework, permission slips or clean clothing into the bag. When the activity rolls around again, just have your child grab the pre-packed backpack and go!!!

#4 Clean the Clutter: If possible, have your child start the year off with a clean room. Take the time to weed out the clutter and organize your child's "stuff" into small clear plastic tubs so they can be easily seen and stored on book shelves. (Avoid the use of plastic containers large enough for children to fit inside and become trapped.) Label tubs with the name or a picture of the toy or collection inside for example, Legos, Polly Pockets, Hot Wheels etc. Teach children how to put items away in their proper "home." They will learn how to classify objects and develop organization skills, while you reap the benefit of maintaining a clean room!

#5 Homework Help: Revamp homework habits and help your child become a more efficient and successful student. Finding the right location (free from distractions) and the optimal time for homework completion (when children are at their peak performance) are key to productive work sessions. More specific techniques and teacher tips on organization, pacing, long-term assignments, study skills and more are just a click away. See the complete Little Ones Homework Help section for homework strategies that actually work!


See the Little Ones Back to School Special Feature at for valuable tips to help parents get this year off to a great start!






With a new school year just around the corner, you can save on everything you need to get your family ready for the first day — whether it's kindergarten or college — at

At the Back-to-School Savings page, parents can find backpacks, uniforms and other clothing, healthy snacks, and every classroom supply that ever made it onto a teacher's list. All this delivered right to your door plus free shipping on orders over $25. End the Back to School shopping hassle with these great deals from Amazon.

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