Preparing an Information Central For The New School Year
As the last days of summer bring school vacations to an end, it’s time to prepare to get back to school and to minimize stress, expenses, and the waste of time, it is essential to get organized. If you have kids, here are just a few things that will come up on your to-do list in the upcoming weeks:
- School supplies shopping
- Do you need new shoes and clothes for the kids?
- Do you need to take care of arrangements for before & after school?
- Do you need to pack the pantry with food for lunches?
- Do you need to replace the gear for sports? Are your kids trying new sports this season?
- Does your child need a tutor or homework help on an ongoing basis?
To simplify and get everything done before the kids step foot on the bus again, let’s get you organized. To start, you can download the Back to School planner.
The first thing I do to stay organized for the school year is to prepare my calendar on the Home Management Binder where I keep all school/sports/classes related materials and communication as well as a monthly calendar that I update every month or when new events come up.
In my back to school binder, I created a section for each child and under their names, I create sub-sections with their specific activities, like this:
- Child Name on a page to create the subsection
- School Communication – I include in this section their school address, phone numbers, names for the Principal, Secretary, Nurse, Librarian, and particular teachers
- X Grade – Teacher name, email and phone number. I also learned to include the room mom’s phone number and email. 😉
- Roster – One plastic sleeve will hold the directory of the class and on the back a list of their friends and moms names and phone numbers for play-dates.
- Class Schedule or blocks, depending on your school.
- Field Trips
- Sports (one divider for each sport they are enrolled in)
- Here I print on the computer a page where I enter the name of the sport on the top of the page,
- the coach, phone number and email address for the coach,
- location of the practice
- with a bright color, I print the date and times of practices, games, and other important dates.
- Other Extra-Curriculum Activities – I do the same thing I do for the Sports section for Choir, Band, and Music classes
- I also include friends and moms names, as well as moms I share car-pooling duties.
- You can also print out this birthday and anniversary planner to keep track of these important dates. If you would like instant access to all of the organizing printables at once, subscribe to the vault for free right here.
For this binder, I use a sturdy and large binder from Staples like the one in the photo.
I include poly envelopes to hold the small papers as well as regular binder dividers with pockets. I make the labels with a label maker, so they don’t fall – you can write with a Sharpie, but it may still come off after so much handling.
Teaching Your Kids to Get Organized
Until last school year I kept all papers and invites on my calendar, but I wanted to start getting the boys involved and taking responsibility for their activities and schedules, of course under our supervision, so I needed to “de-centralize” the information, but I kept thinking “how?”.
One of my organizing clients has a huge pin board in her kitchen, and she uses it beautifully to display her children’s artwork and invitations they receive. I borrowed her idea and decided to do the same and purchased this one from Pottery Barn and I use it in my home office where I can see all the activities, school papers and some precious rewards and art the kids bring home.
This board is from Pottery Barn and it’s really large so that it will accommodate all our information, cards that arrive, invitations and when the Holiday Season comes (not too far!) we’ll have a great spot to display all the artwork as well.
Addie and I will have to share our driving duties this upcoming season, and that’s another important part of keeping a shared calendar both online and on the pinboard.
As I’m always on the go I use calendars both on paper (at home) and in electronic form on my phone. It may sound too much, but after I had shown up at dental appointments on the wrong MONTH, I decided it was worth it. A benefit of the electronic calendar is also that I can share with “guests” and I can invite Addie on the days he’ll be driving one of the boys.
Next week will be the last week of summer camp for the kids, and we’ll take “tourist days” in San Diego! We have some nice things planned, and I want to make the end of the summer relaxing, fun and filled with good loving memories of a time that won’t come back.
I hope you are having a fabulous summer and that this post helps you gear up for a new school year confident that all is under control. If you need any help, send me questions on the comment section below, and I’ll be happy to answer.
What are you doing to get organized for back to school? Do you have a tip you’d like to share? Leave your comments below!
Love these ideas! I also use a combination of digital and paper calendars. You have to design a system that is as fail proof as possible with our high expectations of lots going on all the time. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for stopping by and I’m happy you like the ideas. It’s hard to coordinate so much with 3 kids in different classes, activities and my own personal interests, but that’s the fun part of the challenge, right?
I had such fun episode related to “high expectations” today: I am redoing our office and closets, rearranging many things and of course, with the kids at home the pace is much slower, so there’s a lot all over the house. A fellow mom from school came over without warning and when she left I thought she was thinking: and she’s a professional organizer???? :-))