Please welcome guest tackler, Sharon, busy mom of 6 kids. I am loving her method of tackling the kids’ school work and bags!
When your kids come home from school, do they dump out the content of their backpacks onto your kitchen counter? At night while you are trying to cook dinner, do you have to work around the piles of homework and lunch bags in an effort to empty the dishwasher, toss the salad, and pour milk into cups? If this sounds like you, perhaps it is time to put together a kids command center!
Designate an Area to Corral Everything Related to School
You need one place for school lunch bags, snack bags, library books, band instruments, school paperwork that you need to hang onto, etc. Last year, I dragged this baker’s rack into our dining room to hold all of the kids’ school gear. I chose the dining room because it is adjacent to the kitchen for easy access (since that is where we tend to do most of our homework), yet it is out of the way (meaning- I won’t have to look at all of that stuff constantly!) I also have put back into use this old toddler-sized coat rack to hang all of their school backpacks.
While we did hang hooks in the coat closet to hold backpacks, we quickly realized how often we needed to use them to find things from school and re-load homework at the end of the day… so we decided that we liked to have are backpacks hung close to the kitchen too. This small coat rack keeps them neat and off of the floor.
Give Each Child an Inbox
You need a place to store paperwork for each child that he or she can access when needed. An inbox for each child can hold paperwork for long-term assignments, folders for weekly classes (such as band), rosters for sports teams with contact information, and items related to afterschool activities (a Brownies notebook for example). I really do not use the inbox for daily assignments such as the nightly homework…. I actually keep that on the kitchen counter until each child has completed that evening’s homework, and then it gets loaded into its school folder and put into the backpack so we do not forget about it the next day!
I also keep a box of older-kid school supplies on this shelf (lined papers, index cards, hole punch, and stapler) so that the younger kids don’t use up those supplies for arts and crafts projects! I keep a jar of change (which my younger ones can use for math homework involving coins), small bills (for field trips), and my checkbook (which is accessed all-too regularly to fund after-school activities!) And my kids allowance jars line the top-shelf of our baker’s rack… (‘cuz it’s a much better place to keep them than in my kitchen!)
Create a Designated Spot to Hold Lunch Bags
With 6 kids, we have a whole lot of lunch bags, snack bags and water bottles, and the pile up of this stuff can make me crazy- the soft-sided bags just flop and fall over if stored on the kitchen counter. So it is nice to have a place to tuck them when not in use. I also store a small stack of clipboards here (which are the best tool to help kids get homework done when we are at a soccer field for a sibling’s sports practice). The bottom shelf holds an oboe and a violin (my 4th grader plays the bass- which practically needs it own room!), a basket for library books, and folders for our after-school foreign language program.
So what do you think? Have I inspired you to create a kids command center? Leave a comment below!
My name is Sharon and I am the busy Mom of six children ages 11, 9, 8, 7, 6, and 6. People often ask me “How do you do it?”, so I created Momof6 – a place where I write about organizing your home, using a family calendar, creating household routines, hosting at-home birthday parties, and holding a DIY summer camp!blog: www.momof6.com facebook: SharonMomof6 twitter: @sharonmomof6