Fall brings the joys of returning to the routines of school; along with early mornings, packing lunches, after school activities and organizing backpacks! Like every item in your home, you need to have a designated space for school items – this will keep you ClutterLess during the school year. When considering a specific space think about:
1. Uses for the backpack
Consider what goes in and out of the bag daily, this will help you understand the specific backpack needs for you and your children. We all want to be organized and have it stored away, but saving precious moments in the morning is valuable! Think about a location that works with doing homework after school, filling out parent forms in the evening and adding lunches in the morning.
Often a school backpack is repurposed for other activities in the evenings and weekends. Shifting items can often lead to misplacing items. Be sure to have a specific location for items when not in the backpack, this will reduce forgetfulness and misplacement.
2. Functionality of the location
Each backpack activity is done in specific locations of your home. It is important that the home for your backpacks recognises where it is used. Sometimes this can be multiple places that act as checkpoints to know where in the routine your children are at. After school backpacks may go into the dining room for homework time, while parent forms and information go into a daily in-basket. Once homework is completed backpacks may live on a kitchen hook for morning routine ease.
3. Ease of use
At the end of the day, it has to be easy for all participants. In our home we have hooks by the front door for backpacks; however, they are down two sets of stairs. Balancing the lunches, homework and whatever else is needed for any given day is challenging and often requires some “encouraging words” to our children. To reduce the frustration, we have
created a weekday home for the backpacks in the kitchen. The kids bring their bags into the kitchen empty lunch items in sink and sit on the bar to do homework while I cook supper and review the “parent homework”. After which the backpacks sit on the kitchen hooks until lunches go into them in the morning. As the kids finish their breakfast they grab their bag before they bound down the stairs.
Having the second set of hooks keeps the backpacks out of the way on the weekend and when company comes over!
Each family and home is different. To truly be ClutterLess with your family you need to ensure that your children have what they need (backpack), where they need it (location) as simple as possible (ease of use).