My daughter needed a quiet, well-lit and organized place to study and do homework. We bought her this desk off Craigslist some time ago, but we never really decorated or did anything to make it inviting.
School has now started back for both my oldest daughter AND me. If you glance around our kitchen and living room right now, it’s evident we’ve gone back to school. How? The piles of paper.
Paper, paper everywhere and none of it spendable. In all seriousness, the paper piles were getting on my nerves and I knew I had to get rid of them.
1. Start with your existing paper piles
The first step to managing those paper piles is to sort through them.
Go through those papers and get rid of any that aren’t needed, and put away what you need to keep. We utilize several folders in our house: one for school papers, one for bills, and one for work related items. Anything else is shredded or thrown away.
2. File your bills
We have two places in which we file bills: one for bills to pay and one for bills that have been paid. We keep our paid bill stubs in a binder for a year and then we shred them.
3. Go paperless, when possible
Manage other paper clutter by stopping it at the source. Switch to paperless billing when possible, and remove yourself from junk mailing lists.
4. Dispose of junk as soon as possible
Don’t keep unwanted junk paper around…just shred or throw away that unwanted paper as soon as it shows up.
My second grader has just started back to school, and we usually have a little homework to do each evening. While the homework is not difficult, what can be difficult is finding somewhere in our home where there are no distractions.
She has a desk in her room where she sits to complete her homework.
There are a lot of things I like about this set up, but there are also a lot of things I would like to improve upon.
Her desk is actually pretty neat.
We are currently using a repurposed shoe box (covered with pretty paper and embellished with a book plate) and a crate to corral her desk items.
I also created this super cute French memo board to hold her pictures and papers for school (more about that later).
So what more does her desk need?
Emorie’s desk currently has no lighting. I am looking for one of these little gooseneck lamps, preferably one with a USB charging port for her tablet.
I have both a dowel rod and curtain hardware, and an extra towel bar. I also already have buckets. I could easily use either one of those things to create this for her desk. Plus, it’d be super cute and she’d be able to find things soooo much easier.
I blinked in June and suddenly, it was August. I’m not sure where summer went, but wherever it went, it left quickly. My oldest daughter starts school next week. The school supplies have been purchased and the school clothes have already been washed and put away. But what else can we busy Mamas do to ensure we are all better organized for the coming school year?
1. Plan ahead
Plan out outfits, meals, and even lunches. Prepare ahead of time as much as possible. Make lists of everything you need to do and buy in the coming week and review it often. The better prepared you are, the better you will handle those unforeseen circumstances that pop up and stress us out.
2. Write everything down
You can’t remember everything and you don’t have to try. The minute you hear about a meeting or event, write it down. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to forget it. The other step is to refer back to your calendar at least weekly to see what’s coming up.
3. Do a “back to school” dry run
Wake up early one morning before school starts and drive to the school at regular time. This will help you become familiar with the traffic patterns, the route, and will help you anticipate any hazards or obstacles that may make you late. Of course, there will still be unforeseen things from time to time, but having driven the route once before helps put your mind at ease.
4. Set up a logical routine and stick to it
Does homework come with tears and tantrums in your house? Having a set “after school routine” can take some of the fuss away. Set the expectation early in the school year that homework is done as soon as you walk in the door and stick to it. I always tell my daughter that it I better to get homework out of the way first thing and then you no longer have to worry about it. Having set morning routines can also eliminate some of the morning rush as well.
5. Wake up earlier than you think you need to
Who likes being in a hurry? Not I. When I’m hurried, I get stressed and I end up forgetting things. Which stresses me out even more. Waking up earlier allows you more time but also allows you time to eat breakfast. Studies have shown eating breakfast improves brain function and helps sharpen your focus. It’s hard to concentrate on anything when your stomach is growling!!
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a fabulous first day of school.