School Zone

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It’s back to school time and that brings lots of mixed feelings for both parent and child.  Feelings of stress can set in just thinking about all the carpooling and homework that the year will bring.  Being organized at home can help a great deal with the stress level.

 A way to help the morning chaos of “looking for” the homework, lunch, keys, show-n-tell, etc. is to set up a school zone at home. This is a place where everything related to the school day goes. If you don’t have a mudroom, set aside an area in the kitchen or a hallway.  Label baskets or bins with each child’s name.  EVERYTHING related to school goes here. Get your child in the habit of coming home and going right to the school zone.   When homework is done, it goes right back in the school zone.  Lunches are made and put in the school zone.  I think you get the idea.

The school zone isn’t just to cross the street to get to school; it’s a place to help relieve stress from the daily routine of getting out the door and coming home from school.

 Have a stress-free school year!

Tackling Paper Clutter

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Tools for Paper Organizing: Shredder
Recycle bin
2 “Keep” piles bins/baskets
Photo boxes



Steps to Organize Paper:

– Gather all loose paper in the house (leave files alone for later)

-Decide what space the “keep” pile is going in and how you will organize that space (use the wall with files or on counter up-right files or actual baskets/bins)

-Sit down and begin (don’t spend a lot of time reminiscing)

-Divide paper into:

  • Immediate Action Bin – bills, invite responses, school forms

  • Short-term Action Bin – receipts, school year info, monthly dues, deposits/ATM slips

  • Long-Term Action – File Cabinet 

    • Keep 1-3 years: paychecks, mortgage statements, charitable contributions, insurance records, Income related documents

    • Keep 7 years: state and federal taxes, W-2 and 1099, receipts used as tax deductions, cancelled checks, mileage reports, real estate records

Steps to Staying Organized:

  1. Create a Command Center:  Calendar,  Chalk board-message center,  Immediate action bins,  Short-term action bins,  Place for receipts

  2. Go through mail immediately-as you’re walking into the house and put in appropriate locations-discard junk mail

  3. Rip out articles from magazines and newspapers and discard the rest.

  4. Try going paperless.

  5. Scan important documents and photos into computer-remember to back-up computer