In order for me to keep it together, and that means not losing my mind, I need to have things in their place and places for all things. Here are a few tools and some rules that help me organize school papers, artwork, outerwear and toys.
1. Magnetic Clips: each child has his/her magnetic clip on the refrigerator. The clip allows for a few papers to be hung at the same time so they can easily be rotated and featured. There's a fourth clip for school notices (i.e. lunch menus).
2. Sofa Cushions: extra artwork is stored under sofa cushions. There, it's kept flat and out of sight until we're ready to exhibit it.
3. Drawers: in our living area, inside a credenza, each child has his/her own drawer for smaller items such as journals, legos, little figurines or anything else they prefer to keep from one another. About once a month, we dump the contents on the floor, sort them out and clean them.
4. Totes: there are totes for small cars, for big cars, for stuffed animals, for plastic animals and even one for games. They don't always stay that compartmentalized, but it makes it easier for the children to clean up after playing or to find their toys again. I keep two empty totes nearby to act as a catchall for items that need to be brought upstairs to the bedrooms.
5. Hooks: I'm a huge fan. Again, each child has his/her own, this way they know where to hang and find their coats, backpacks and hats.
6. Clipboards: can't live without them. I use a large one for client files and a smaller one for general "to do" lists. The small one fits perfectly in my handbag and secures a place for anything that needs addressing on a particular day (i.e. parking tickets [argh!], coupons, letters).
7. Personal Space: I have one drawer that I call my own. It's in the kitchen and acts somewhat like a mini-desk. Finding a space that is yours alone is very helpful in feeling organized.
1. Use office supplies to organize family papers and artwork.
2. Create routines for your children (i.e. hanging up their coats up and removing lunch boxes from their backpacks).
3. Give each child a storage place of his/her own.
4. Create a space for yourself.
How do you keep organized?