5 Tips for Organizing Your Home for the New School Year

Posted by Safeco August 11, 2014
Be sure kids have a designated area where they can focus on their homework.

Yes, it’s already time to start thinking about school again. Getting a head start can pay big dividends for you and your kids as they head back to class. But, it’s not just what they need for school that matters. It’s what they need at home too.

Here are five things you can do to ensure your kids have a great learning environment at home, while you have a great living environment.

1. Designate a homework space.
Set up an inviting spot for your child to work and study. It should have plenty of light, be stocked with the needed supplies and be located in a quiet place without too many distractions, though keep in mind that some kids may work better with a parent nearby. You’ll be able to assist when needed and ensure that they stay on task.

2. Set up a system for school stuff.
Have kids put their backpacks in the same place each day when they get home. When they need materials, they go to where their backpack “lives” and don’t have to hunt around. Before bedtime, everything goes back to the designated spot to minimize morning scrambling. Similarly, you should create a filing system for homework, forms and completed items. No more rooting around for 15 minutes trying to find that permission slip.

3. Eliminate clutter as much as possible.
Yes, this is easier said than done, but it’s important. “Most kids are able to focus better when there are fewer distractions in their home environment,” says professional organizer Stacy Erickson of Home Key Organization in Seattle. So this is a great time for you to let go of some things you haven’t used for a while, as well as things your kids have outgrown or no longer like. For the best results, Erickson says, clear out stuff before going on the annual back-to-school shopping spree.

4. Consider using a family calendar.
Limiting physical clutter is great, but what about those cluttered calendars? Families can easily get bogged down and confused by schedules that seem to have activities and events every night of the week. An easily accessible dry-erase calendar, or even a sheet you print weekly and post on the fridge, will keep everyone on the same page.

5. Once you’re in good shape, do a weekly sweep.
Taking that first step to getting organized is the daunting part. So once you’ve tackled the monster, don’t let the clutter build up again. Everyone — including kids — should sort through papers and other items each week to stay on top of things.

By getting organized, you’ll be setting your kids up for success and saving yourself a couple of things that historically are in short supply for parents: your time and sanity!

Tell us what you think

Let the world know what you think, but do so responsibly. Comments are moderated and we will not post personal attacks, obscene language or inappropriate material, comments with links, or comments from people under the age of 18. If you have a question, check out our Comment Submission Guidelines.

By posting your comment, you agree to our site's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

© 2017 Liberty Mutual Insurance, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116

Insurance is offered by Safeco Insurance Company of America and/or its affiliates, with their principal place of business at 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. This website provides a simplified description of coverage. Nothing stated herein creates a contract. All statements made are subject to the provisions, exclusions, conditions and limitations of the applicable insurance policy. Please refer to actual policy forms for complete details regarding the coverage discussed. If the information in these materials conflicts with the policy language that it describes, the policy language prevails. Coverages and features not available in all states. Eligibility is subject to meeting applicable underwriting criteria.