Less Mess Distress

It may still be summer outside, but indoors it’s all about autumn: new shoes, sharpened pencils and shiny lunch kits. So to help you keep track of all this fall paraphernalia (and save time, as well), we’ve asked some of Vancouver’s professional organizers to pass along some of their top tips for the season.

Heather Knittel and Susan Borax of Good Riddance Professional Organizing Solutions have ideas to cut the crazy-making clutter:

  • Limit the amount of art and homework you save for each child. Hold onto the best throughout the year, and at the end of June save the top five pictures or projects in memory boxes.
  • Establish a daily backpack routine with your children. Pick a time when you can sit down together to empty its contents so you can review any teacher notices or schoolwork, and weed out the snack remains or the smelly runners. Make sure there is a designated backpack storage spot near the door.

Linda Chu from Out of Chaos suggests that parents:

  • Use a whiteboard with grid lines to keep track of what homework is due, and when—we know this would also help us to remember younger children’s play dates and preschool outings!
  • Create a ‘command centre’ for incoming notices and school information and to ensure all the team/school contact information is in one central location as well. This could take the form of a large binder with dividers for each child and activity.
  • Use a rolling under-the-bed clothes drawer as a place to store outfits or uniforms that will be required for the week ahead. For example, a Tuesday birthday party ensemble, Friday’s dance leotard and this season’s soccer jersey so you’re not rushing in advance of the event.



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