school STUFF

There’s only a few days of July left, which means it’s essentially August and virtually back to school time.  I am mentally and physically preparing for the barrage of papers, projects, due dates and headaches (Excedrin Migraine, my old friend).

My twins started Kindergarten last year and there is more STUFF sent home in a week than calories in a Bloomin’ Onion at Outback.  I quickly realized that I needed an organization solution to manage everything.  While I have a main command center for our family (a post for another day), I needed something specific for school.

The must-have’s come down to three things: a place to hang the stuff, a place to store the stuff and a place to keep track of the stuff…I’m stuffed.

1.Place to hang the stuff

I found this accordion wall rack at World Market and made sure to hang it low enough so that my kids can hang up their own dang stuff.  If you give a man a fish, he will eat for one day, but if you hang a wall rack at kid height they can put away their own stuff every day… or something like that.  If you don’t have the wall space or just don’t want coats and backpacks out in the open, try Command hooks on the inside of a closet door.  That way it’s still at kid-height but not in plain site.

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2. Place to store the stuff

There is so much paper involved with school.  Homework, artwork, classroom work, doodles from friends, fliers….you name it.  To deal with the onslaught there are inevitably a few options: A) look through it all everyday and promptly whisk it away to it’s proper home, B) throw it all in the trash (tempting but probably not responsible), C) store it neatly until you can get to it.  Hint: it’s C.  This triple hanging file folder was just what I needed.  There is a slot for each kid and a third slot I’m using for parent papers until kid #3 starts school.  When it fills up I go through it and throw what we don’t need, file what I want to keep, and put back stuff that’s due at a later date.

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3. Place to keep track of the stuff

A calendar staring me in the face before we head out the door in the morning is life.  I need a reminder of who needs what and when.  This dry erase calendar was the perfect size, my only complaint is the order of days.  This one starts on Monday and my mind can’t adapt.  What calendar doesn’t begin on Sunday?  To resolve my mental dilemma I blocked out Saturday and Sunday (those aren’t school days anyway).  For some reason a 5 day week makes sense to my brain and who am I to argue.  I used the Saturday and Sunday columns to jot down recurring stuff like which day is PE and when library books are due.

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For those of you keeping track, I said the word “stuff” 14 times.  I might like numbers.  I also might like marshmallows and pop tarts, which I will soon be able to eat freely during the day once my kids are back in school.

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