Back-to-School Organizing Tips for the Whole Family

De-clutter the chaos.

Photo By: KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Photo By: Shelfie

Photo By: Shelfie

Photo By: Shelfie

Photo By: Shelfie

Photo By: Shelfie

Photo By: Shelfie

Photo By: Shelfie

Photo By: Shelfie

Photo By: Shelfie

Photo By: Shelfie

Expert Advice on Staying Organized During the School Year

Back-to-school is in full swing with busy days in the classroom, after-school activities, playdates and, let’s be honest, sheer chaos. It’s easy to let the hustle and bustle get the best of us and for clutter to build up, but don’t let it. We caught up with Sara Losonci, founder of New York City-based interior organizing service Shelfie. She often teaches families how to organize in ways they’ll be able to maintain. Here are her favorite tips on how to set up cleaning systems your kids will be able to follow.

Desk: Before

Make it visually appealing so they want to sit there,” Losonci said. That includes adding cute décor and only stocking what they regularly need. For example, if your kids use colored pencils, have them on the desk, and if pens are only used occasionally, store them away.

Desk: After

Think about how your kid cleans up and make it easy so it doesn’t feel exhausting for them,” Losonci said. “[This way,] they’ll keep it up.” You can accomplish this by having a labeled place for everything the space requires.

Art Station: Before

We all love the artwork that our children create, so setting up an art station that’s easy to clean is essential. Make containers or bins for all necessities and label each so that putting things away is easy.

Art Station: After

Losonci utilizes Lazy Susans at art stations, making it easy for kids to share nicely at the table. Everything else should be stored low enough for the kids to reach—except for items that require supervision, like glue or glitter. This will help on playdates, too. If your kids know their “system” they’ll have an easier time getting their friends to help and follow along.

Homework Base: Before

If your kids don’t have a desk (or choose to do their homework elsewhere), it’s nice to create a homework home base where things can be returned to at the end of the day. Losonci created homework baskets that can be taken anywhere in the house. She has another basket for stuff that is longer term, or “in progress,” like book reports, so they don’t get mixed in with the daily worksheets that need to go right back into her kids’ backpacks.

Homework Base: After

Another artwork note: Losonci suggests having a bin with each kid’s name on it. In them, your kids can store both their school and home artwork.

“Parents can rummage through the bin once a month to keep what they want and discard the rest,” Losonci said. Or, they can utilize services like Artkive, which turns your kids’ artwork into a book.

Entryway: Before

Between backpacks, sports gear, coats and shoes, the mudroom can get really messy, really fast.

“Have a dedicated place for everything,” Losonci said. “Door racks are great, as you can add different sized baskets and hooks.”

Entryway: After

Losonci suggests using baskets for sports gear and all of the little trinkets that make their way into the house from birthday parties and school events.

“Giving them a place that they can call their own (and reach!) is imperative,” she said.

Pantry: Before

If your kids are old enough to grab their own snacks, make them as easy to get and as accessible as possible. Losonci loves utilizing Lazy Susans, especially for granola bars.

“They are fun for kids,” she said. “Kids often know things by color, not flavor, so it’s a good way for them to choose visually.”

Pantry: After

She’s also a big fan of taking things out of their original packaging and putting them in clear and reusable containers. If kids can see what they’re looking for, they are less likely to make a giant mess while rummaging around.

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