Notions: Back-to-School Tips Edition


The girl starts kindergarten on Thursday, and while I’m trying to be all cool about it because she’s been going to preschool since she was almost 2, I’M ABOUT TO HAVE A KINDERGARTENER and it feels like a big deal.

I’ve written before about helping kids in school transitions, whether they’re starting school for the first time or changing schools. I have no such help for parents. We just need to remember they are where they need to be, that this is what we signed up for and that odds are they’re going to be fine. We are, too.

But we all could use some tools and back-to-school tips for getting through the new and different, and keeping ourselves organized and sane along the way.

Great tips for storing school papers, helping kids deal with stress and more back-to-school tips.
Photo via morgueFile user coopah.

Dabbling Mum has some great ideas for organizing, displaying and storing kids’ artwork and papers (clipboards are a brilliant idea, by the way!).

A lot of my friends (and people I know online) have been getting into the Marie Kondo (or KonMari, in Internet-speak) method of decluttering as chronicled in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Without having read the book (I’m on the waiting list for an ebook copy from the library) I’ve been doing a slow declutter based on the idea of keeping things that bring you joy and discarding the rest.

But it’s important when you have kids not to leave them and their stuff completely out of the process. I’m loving these thoughts on KonMari for kids from Modern Mrs. Darcy. She’s totally right that clutter can overwhelm kids, and I know my daughter already has problems with that, so her room needs to be a big priority. We worked on her closet already and that’s been a big help, I think.

Kids need all sorts of strategies to get through their days, especially when it comes to learning to deal with the big feelings they will sometimes have. This video from Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman called “Just Breathe” has some great ideas for when, as one of the kid says, “mad just takes over your body,” including taking deep breaths, closing your eyes and finding ways to relax and calm down. Hat tip to Amy’s Smart Girls for this one.

Finally, we could all use more time at this time of year when our schedules seem to get extra super crazy. The Muse has a great list — all of which comes from different Twitter accounts — of time-management tips you actually have time to read. Some include links to articles, but you’ll get a lot out of just reading the list, which actually does have some good tips on it. One that has been essential for me working from home is to actually have time to work on home stuff planned into the day so you get both work and chores accomplished.

Any time-management tricks or tips for getting through the craze of the first days of school? I’d love to hear them!

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