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Get Organized For the School Year – Part 2

3 min read
Get Organized For the School Year – Part 2

Going back to school can be a stressful time for kids, and parents! Planning ahead reduces the amount of chaos and helps make a smooth transition from summer vacation to school. Your homework is to review these four subjects: Paperwork, Filing, Backpacks, and Lockers.

Storing School Papers – Although some students find success with accordion files or 5 subject notebooks, I have seen the greatest impact with using a binder system:

* Look for a binder with a zipper enclosure.
* Designate and label one folder for each subject. I prefer slanted poly-pocket folders. They hold a lot of paper, and are designed to prevent spillage.
* Keep loose leaf notebook paper between each subject folder for note-taking.
* In front of the subject folders, designate three folders as “Homework to do”, “Homework to turn in”, and “Parents” to prevent forgotten assignments, missing homework, and lost permission slips!

Filing at Home – The key to knowing when to remove paperwork from your binder is to think in terms of “Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd”. Always keep the current topic for each subject in your binder, as well as the most recent topic. Once you start a new topic, the oldest topic moves to your file box as home. Here’s how to file:

* Purchase a portable file box that is small enough to keep on or next to your desk.
* Designate one hanging file folder per school subject, and label them in generic terms (math instead of algebra) to prevent relabeling each school year.
* Add a file folder for each extracurricular activity (Girl Scouts, soccer, band, etc.) to keep related paperwork, such as practice schedules and notices of upcoming events.
* At the end of the school year, pick a few cherished papers to save in one manila folder, and recycle the rest.

Backpacks – The main purpose of a backpack is to transport materials between your house and your school locker. Here are a few tips:

* Divide your backpack into zones to separate schoolwork, after-school gear, lunch, and personal supplies.
* Use the size of each backpack section to determine what “lives” there. Schoolwork goes in the larger section; personal supplies in the smaller areas.
* Prevent the “black hole” phenomena by capturing small items in containers, such as a pencil box, a makeup bag, and a coin purse.
* Empty out your entire backpack every Friday to help maintain proper organization.

Lockers – Lockers exist to prevent carrying your entire school life around with you all day. Keep these tips in mind:

* Separate your locker into zones for school materials, after-school gear, lunch, personal supplies, and fun items.
* To maximize space, add an extra shelf and magnetic hooks to hang items from the door.
* Visit your locker during lunch time to switch between stashing your afternoon and your morning school supplies, reducing how much you need to carry during the day.
* Every Friday, clean out your locker and bring all paperwork, clothing, and leftover food home.

This concludes our study guide for today – class dismissed!

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