Half the battle of staying organized and focused during the school year is to set yourself up for success by making sure you have the right tools and information readily available when you need them.
Here are the key items I keep on hand during the school year to help keep us organized and on track.
- Central supply station with plenty of school supplies to get us through the year. Items I keep in our station are: Sharpened pencils, Pens, Crayons, Markers, Colored Pencils, Highlighters, Rulers, Scissors, Calculators, Lap desks (so that they can choose a comfortable place to do their homework), Paper clips, Stapler, Rubber bands, Pencil Sharpener, 3-Hole Punch,Variety of Paper (notepads, notebooks, plain white paper, loose leaf notebook paper), One or two extra binders with dividers, Folders, Backup Supply of Printer Ink
- Loose change and small stash of $1 bills for lunches, field trips, or class expenses
- Copies of kids’ schedules and locker combinations
- Copy of the school calendar
- School phone directory – Our PTO issues a new one every year. It has the names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails of every family in our school as well as the contact information of all the staff members
- Family calendar – This is what keeps us sane. I keep ours hanging on our refrigerator and have taught the kids to add commitments they have to the calendar and to look at it before making plans.
- Message/Reminder System – Whether this is just a dry erase message board in your kitchen or a simple notepad, I like to have a way of letting the kids write down requests or reminders for me so that I don’t have to carry them around in my mind. So when they come home and tell me they need gym shorts, all I say is “write it down”. It is off my mind and ready for me to follow up on later on when I have the time.
- Chore Chart – Updated almost every day during the school year with family commitments and responsibilities
- Permission notepads – Our PTO provides a permission slip notepad for use every year and I just keep a pad handy so that I can quickly send a note to the teachers letting them know if I will be picking the kids up early or if they are going home with a friend.
- Schoolwork and Paper Organizer – Kids bring home a lot of paper. I use a combination of a family organizer and this counter top organizer to keep track of it all.
What tools do you use to keep your family organized during the school year?