Community//

How to Stay Organized This School Year as a Telecommuting Parent

Simple tips to keep us in order

back to school

As school starts here in the USA I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the challenges of keeping the family organized with school, busy schedules and our day jobs.

I spent six hours cleaning just two rooms in the house, and it had a years’ worth of school paperwork—which amounted to ten bags of trash. I know I could have been more organized and kept things in order during the school year, but like most working mothers I was busy working, doing pick-up, drop off and after school activities, etc.

Spending six hours for a whole year is not too bad, but am I teaching the kids to stay organized and keep the clutter under control.

Here are a few things I am planning to do differently this school year:

Use Cozi: Having a central family calendar is key to keeping our schedules in order. I’ve tried a few Apps but Cozi works best for us. At the beginning of the school year, I add all activities from the school calendar to the schulde and then add in the business travel dates, appointments, etc.

Clean monthly: I started with clean weekly, but it is not realistic for my family, so decided on once a month. We have a set schedule when we do homework on the weekends, and right after homework we will spend an hour getting things organized.

Use Organizing Tools: I have created a binder for each child with a separator for each subject. At the end of the month or week, they will place all the work into the binder. Keeping binders will help us keep track of what they need to study for the next test, and once the school year is complete, we could take the binder and trash the papers instead of dealing with piles and piles of paper after the year ended.

Scan and store: Every few months when I have downtime I will scan awards etc. and store them electronically—save space and the memories. For artwork, I like to keep the real thing, so I plan on getting a laminator and putting the work into a binder.

Schedule It: We will add this to our monthly chore list and keep track. Adding the task to our list will help the kids to stay organized and in control of all the paperwork.

Opt-Out: I don’t think our schools have this option yet, but I would like to opt-out of receiving all communication via paper and use e-mail for all notifications. I will save a lot of time and the environment.

If you have any suggestions, please send them my way: [email protected]

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