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If you read that Back to School title and want to slap me for mentioning Back to School in the first week of August, I can relate.
Our kids don’t go back until after Labor Day, so I am not ready to admit that the new school year is on it’s way. While having kids at home can mean a bit more chaos, I love the freedom from early mornings, making school lunches, driving to sports, and most of all, homework!
But since back to school is almost here for many of you – and since back to school will happen here whether I am ready or not – we have some back to school organizing tips for parents that are designed for our different personality types.
We have partnered with Merry Maids, the nation’s largest home cleaning company and a ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV) company, to share with you their “Education in Organization” for parents to help ease us all back into the school year routine.
“As the summer sun begins to fade, that back-to-school anxiety creeps in for parents. There is so much to do and so little time,” says Debra Johnson, a Merry Maids home cleaning expert. “We want to make sure that all moms and dads – whether they work full time, stay at home, are frantically busy or cool and laid back – feel equipped to get back in the school year groove.”
Merry Maids experts developed customized tips for every personality type — the Neat Freak, the Closet Stasher, the Busy Bee, the Summer Straggler and the Team Player.
While most of the tips can help us all get more organized, I had fun looking through the personality descriptions to determine which type I am and what tips they had for me.
I think it is fair to say that I am a Busy Bee. I am always buzzing around, with way more to do than I can possibly get done.
So what Back to School organization tips will I be doing this year?
I will be taking control of my time by getting my kids more involved.
Three chores my kids and my nieces (Susan’s girls who are here almost every day) like to do are:
Feed and walk the dog…
Do the dishes…
Help with the laundry…
And to keep things running smoothly and to help me remember where everyone needs to be, a calendar on the fridge is key.
A white board to remind us of important things to do or to take with us for the day is helpful too.
Back to School Organizing Tips
Check out the list below of different personality types to find which best describes you. Then follow Merry Maid’s back to school organizing tips that will work for you.
I recommend you read them all as there are lots of great ideas for everyone.
Messes go against your very nature, and this time of year can put your temperament to the test, not to mention your cleaning skills.
What You Can Do:
- Instead of stressing over where to stash the keepsakes your kids will surely come home with this year, plan ahead and create color coded files for each child.
- Send glue, glitter and other mess-making supplies to school in clear baggies.
- Stash a stain-removal stick in the backpack of older kids to pre-treat ink stains and make laundry less stressful.
- Do you ever run out the door without lunches? Fix that by setting a food prep day (Sunday afternoon) where you and the kids pack lunches and place them in a desired area in the refrigerator and pantry. Makes it easy to grab and go each morning and keep those hungry moments at bay.
A closet stasher may look like a neat freak, but don’t be fooled – their messes are hiding in the closets and under the bed.
What You Can Do:
- Take time to dig into storage areas and cabinets to create an organized space for the family.
- Use plastic bins or baskets with labels on the front to divide the games from the books, and create a special shelf where extra pens, paper and other school supplies can be kept handy throughout the year.
- Kids will appreciate the independence of knowing exactly where to go to get what they need for homework and school projects.
- And remember, your kiddos might be following in your footsteps so be sure to check under the beds and behind the headboards for any treasures they may be hiding.
When you’re juggling work, homework, after-school activities and home cleaning, some days it’s tough to even find matching socks.
What You Can Do:
- While the back-to-school season can heighten the chaos, it’s also a perfect opportunity to take control of the time you have. For example, have the kids put in the laundry while dinner is cooking, or encourage the kids to clean the dishes as you finish preparing dinner.
- Create a family calendar to keep track of everyone’s schedules, and place a whiteboard by the door to remind you – and your kids – of important things to take with you before heading out the door. Letting the kids lend a hand will help them feel empowered to do more as they get older.
As vacation time comes to a screeching halt, a summer straggler usually waits till the last minute to kick back-to-school prep into gear.
What You Can Do:
- For you, it’s best to prioritize a to-do list, and check things off one by one. It’s OK not to get to everything right away, but keep making progress until your entire list is complete.
- Overwhelmed by getting your house in order and tackling that to-do list? Don’t be. Call a professional to help with the deep cleaning, so you can focus on getting the school year off to a great start.
From preschoolers to high schoolers, everyone is involved in getting the home ready for the new school year.
What You Can Do:
- Have the kids switch it up a little and take on each other’s chores, try something new or take on more responsibility.
- As kids get older, they are able to take on more challenging roles, from just folding towels to actually doing the laundry, or from setting the table to loading and unloading the dishwasher.
- Make it fun and keep things fresh by creating a handy helpers box; fill it with slips of paper highlighting various household chores and then let your kids pull out their assignments each week.
- Rewards are a great way to incentivize the kids to empty the box by the end of the school week.
Hopefully the Merry Maids’ “Education in Organization” helps you get back in the school year routine. But if you want a bit more help, the Merry Maids cleaning experts are ready to create home cleaning plans customized for each household’s needs to ensure a consistent, reliable and thorough cleaning process every time.
To find the nearest Merry Maids location, visit merrymaids.com. Stay up-to-date on the latest Merry Maids news and tips by visiting Merry Maids’ Facebook page or following Merry Maids on Twitter.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored, so extra thanks for reading and sharing.
Written and photographed by Janice Croze, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom
Talk with me: @5minutesformom and Facebook.com/5minutesformom
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