The first thing you can do is establish one central location for papers and mail so everyone in your home knows where to find certain items. Next, decide what you’re going to keep and what you can get rid of.
Children bring home lots of papers from school, so determine what percentage will get saved. As much as you’d like to keep all of their school work, it’s just not realistic to do so. Instead, display the most important or memorable papers on the refrigerator or on a bulletin board. Then, take a picture or scan the rest so you can save them electronically, minimizing clutter. You can also store school papers in a 3-ring binder, a file folder in a drawer, or a storage box.
It’s also a good idea to set aside one area for your children to do their homework. This not only helps minimize the clutter in your home, but it will help your children concentrate on the task at hand. Make sure this area has plenty of supplies available such as paper, pencils, pens, etc. Depending on the age of the child, the homework area could be the dining room table, a desk in their bedroom or a table in the living room.
If your children are involved in various after-school activities like sports and clubs, post a schedule on the refrigerator or some other place where everyone in the family can see it. A handy organization tool is to assign each member of the family a different color to keep track of who has to be where and when. (If you or your spouse prefers computer organization, Yahoo! and Google provide free online calendars to help you manage your time.) Make sure you note on the schedule which parent is picking up and/or dropping off so no child gets left behind! Remember to check your schedule at the end of each day, so you know what’s coming in the days ahead.
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