New Haven (WTNH) - Organizing expert Lisa Lelas joined us this morning with some
back to school organizational help.
Back to school time means switching from the relaxed routines
and habits of the summer, getting back on schedule, and putting
your house back in order.
The following are tips from Lisa to help both parents and
students of all ages get organized for the new school year
- Stock up on supplies! Now is the time to purchase school
supplies, while they are in abundance and on sale
- Get your kids used to using an alarm clock. They are a great
initial time management tool.
- Container-ize all everyday homework supplies in one bin or
cabinet that is easily accessible for your children, near the
place they do their homework. (pads of paper, sharpened pencils,
pens, crayons, ruler, dictionary, etc) The idea is to make daily
homework easy and accessible, not frustrating for kids. A mobile
homework center (a flip-up bin with handle) is useful if your
family is out and about a lot.
- Establish a family launch/landing pad in your home for all
school items, such as hanging wall pegs by an entryway with the
name or photo of each child on top of each peg, marking the one
and only spot for backpacks, coats, lunch boxes, etc.
- Have an open bin handy for quickly dropping in schoolwork,
papers and art each day. Once a month, sort through and select
just a few school papers to save. (saving too much only gives
- Make sure your kids eat a healthy breakfast. Studies show
kids will focus better if they aren't on an empty stomach.
- Be sure to help your kids set out their school clothes the
night before school.
Pre-schoolers & Elementary School-aged
- If your kids are tense about starting school, pick up a copy
of the now classic book, "The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn to
read to young children before the first day of school. The tale
of a young raccoon having to leave his mother for his first day
of school will ease any nervous soul when they learn how they can
bring 'mom's memory' with them all day long!
- When purchasing school backpacks, remember that the size of
the backpack should be appropriate to the student's height and
weight. Backpacks should not exceed 10 percent of a child's body
weight. Many backpacks now offer a pull-out handle option, making
them easier for kids to handle.
- Set up young kids with a school binder to organize all their
work. A 3-ring binder with pocket folders labeled for homework or
papers for parents, a 3 hole zippered pouch for supplies and
lunch money, etc.
Tweens and Teens:
- Discover the many nifty locker organizers now available at
office supply and discount department stores everywhere.
- Make sure you have a 'homework center' pre-established in
your home, whether it's a desk in their room, a corner of your
home office or a table set up in the family room. Make sure there
is a comfortable straight back chair, ample lighting, access to a
computer, and a large enough work space.
- When completing a written assignment or term paper, remember
to email a copy to yourself. If you ever forget your work at
home, you can access it via email from the school library.
For more great organizing tips from Lisa, visit