5 simple tools that can help your family stay organized this school year

by Elena Nebreda, Decluterella.com
September 5, 2015

School year is starting soon! Here are five simple and handy basics that you can often find at your local Goodwill to make your life way easier all year round:

1. A magnetic dry erase board
Place it somewhere prominent in your kitchen to give you and all your family a snapshot idea of what each week and day are going to look like. Put a general schedule in the middle and leave room for additional things on its sides (like a shopping list, notes or a social activity calendar) so it is easily updated to everybody's changing needs as you go. You can also super simply create a custom dry erase board from thrifted materials so it matches your home décor!  


2. A filing box, or small filing cabinet.
Many families find the old file drawer system more reliable than ever when it comes to keeping tabs on different things and documents. Assign a file to each member or area of your life (grades, permission slips, projects, etc.) and check on it when the need arises or on a regular basis.



3. Transparent plastic bins with lids.
These are versatile and perfect for storing school supplies, arts and crafts materials, costumes, sports gear, seasonal décor and just about anything you can think of. You can label them listing their specific contents, also being transparent makes it easy to know a glance what is inside.



4. A coatrack and shoe rack in the entry way
Often overlooked, hanging your children's coats, shoes and backpacks at your home's entrance can be a huge help—no more hunting coats down last minute! It’s even better if they have a shelf, cubby or basket that can be used for heavier fall and winter items like scarves, hats and gloves. A shoe rack in the entry way can also help keep unwanted rainy fall day debris out of the house.



5. A 3-ring binder
A simple 3 ring binder is the quickest way to keep all the important information regarding your family in one easy to access set of documents. Gather calendars, field trip slips, vaccinations, and any information, emergency or not, that a babysitter would find useful, like bedtime routines of your children and contact information of neighbors, and family friends. Ideas for family vacations and projects can find their tidy place inside of the detachable transparent pages in it instead of being scattered all over. A 3-ring binder will give you a very useful big picture and serve as an owner's manual for how your family operates.

Find your back to school organization basics at your local Goodwill and get everything ready for a very successful reentry!


Elena Nebreda is a decluttering coach at www.declutterella.com, where she helps people get rid of both their emotional and physical clutter through a relaxed process so they can make room for the life they truly want. She loves dogs, thrifstores and people.

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