Reading, Writing and (Re)organizing for Back-to-School

Still reeling from last school year's book reports, stacks of homework and hectic school and sports schedules? You're not alone. But, back-to-school season doesn't have to be stressful. The National Association of Professional Organizers is offering tips for a stress-less school season.

"Organizing means more than simply having No. 2 pencils, notebooks and calculators on hand," said NAPO President Standolyn Robertson. "It's about creating order and developing organizational systems that make sense to you and your family."

NAPO's organizational tips definitely make the grade. Sharpen your pencils and note some solutions for making the 2008-2009 school year more organized.

The basics

-- Have a family meeting to discuss how to make the new school year more organized.

-- Create systems and rewards for staying organized.

-- Determine missteps from last school year and devise a plan to correct them.

Buying and storing supplies

-- Take advantage of sales and store supplies in a container in your child's closet or desk.

-- Inventory school supplies several times a year. That way you won't be caught short before a big project.

-- Create a home for supplies that children use daily.


-- Designate an area for homework.

-- Get your child into a routine of doing homework at the same time and in the same place daily.

Put paper in its place

-- Create an area for incoming/outgoing papers.

-- Use a file cabinet for temporary storage of papers.

Preparation is key

-- Use a planner that enables you to track family members' schedules.

-- Prepare items the night before to make for a less stressful morning.

1. Pack lunch and leave in refrigerator.
2. Pick out clothes.
3. Pack school bag with all necessities.
4. Set out breakfast dishes.

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