Getting ready for a new school year can be a challenge even for the most organized child wranglers.
"Back-to-school time is stressful for both parents and children, and if you don't meet it head-on, it's one of those things that snowballs," says Kat Jacoby of Divine Organization. That's why the San Antonio professional organizer suggests that parents take a moment to get themselves organized before dealing with sleepyheads and facing the stacks of paperwork that schools send home with each student.
Three Texas organizers — Jacoby; Marla Regan of Organized Time and certified professional organizer Ellen Delap — offer these tips:
■ Keep your child's room, closet and bathroom as simple as possible. Children can thrive in a place with fewer distractions.
■ Make sure the homework area is ready. A kitchen table or area near adult interaction is best.
■ Even though you might use a smartphone with a calendar, post a family calendar in the kitchen or another area that the entire family can see.
■ Establish limits for television, snacking and computer/game/cellphone time.
■ Set routines for morning: up, bathroom, dress, breakfast; and after school: snack, change clothes, homework.
■ For each child, keep a folder for classroom schedules, teacher contacts and other information that you might need later in the year.
■ Before bedtime, prepare clothes and repack backpacks for the next day to reduce morning stress.