This week's post is written by Professional Organizer Monica Friel, president of Chaos to Order based in Chicago and Atlanta. They have been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Hoarding: Buried Alive, as well as in Better Homes and Gardens, just to name a few. You can find them on the web at www.chaostoorder.com
School's out and summer is in full swing. Desks and lockers were emptied on the last day of class and chances are they were emptied into an overflowing backpack that's waiting at home to be cleaned out. Sorting through backpacks exploding with papers, clothing and school supplies can be an overwhelming job for anyone, especially the kids. Here are some tips to get the backpacks emptied and find an organized place for what remains.
First, get a large flat surface like a desk or table and empty out all of the contents. Grab a trash can and a recycle bin and toss what you can – everything else gets grouped. Divide what remains into categories, here are some of the basics (don't forget to let your kids help):
- Special papers to save in a keepsake folder for the school year
- School supplies for next year
- Supplies to replenish desk drawers at home (pens, pencils, crayons, markers, etc.)
- Clothing (gym uniforms, extra sweatshirts, etc.)
- Books (library books to return, text books to swap with someone for next year)
- Food (not the moldy stuff, but some candy and snacks that might be salvageable)
Now it doesn’t look so overwhelming anymore! These plastic clip boxes from Sterilite are the perfect size to contain school supplies such as pencils, crayons, markers, scissors, etc. Store them in an out-of-the-way place for next year or bring them to where your kids will be working on arts and crafts while they're home for the summer. With containers like these, it's easy to know how to put things back into their proper place, and they look great sitting out on the shelf.