With school—and homework—in full swing, your household can turn into a disaster area in no time. This kind of disorganization can lead to missed appointments, assignments and tests. While the summer-to-fall transition can be daunting, a few minor adjustments to organizational habits and workspace arrangements can make both parents and kids feel at ease and ready to tackle any task.

  1. Limit Keepsakes. When your child comes home with a new toy or gadget, sub out an existing item from your child’s belongings. This combats the potential for having too much stuff, which can make kids feel overwhelmed.

  2. Develop a Routine. When homework, grooming and cleanup are built into your child’s routine, he or she is more likely to remain consistent. Expect less forgotten homework assignments and a cleaner, calmer kid.

  3. Teach Your Kids to Categorize. An important step toward organization is categorization. Have your child help sort their clothing and toys and then move onto school supplies, assignments, books, etc.

  4. Use Lists. Any list is better than no list, so have your kids start writing down their to-dos. If you want to get really detailed, have him or her break down the list into long- and short-term items. Long-term goals can be further broken down into tasks that can be added to the short-term list.

  5. Create a Hub for Organization. One mom uses her hallway as a center for organization in the home, complete with a chalkboard wall. Keeping all things school and extracurricular activities related in one spot helps create focus and prevents confusion.

  6. Make a Filing System. Purchase a box or filing cabinet that can hold dividers and folders. Categorize dividers by subject and type. For example, the “history” divider may contain folders such as “completed assignments,” “homework” and “paperwork.” Teach your child to check the “homework” folders before school each day.

  7. Solicit Help From Your Child. Involve your kids in the organization process whenever possible. This shows you respect their ideas and expect them to be responsible for their belongings and tasks. Getting your child involved will bolster his or her sense of empowerment, too.

  8. Be Organized Yourself. Be a good role model for what being organized looks like. Your child looks up to you; your example leads to their success!

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