Back to School + Back to Routine

Can you believe it is August already? Summer here in Denver didn’t seem to even start until late June, and now it is almost over!

If you have kids heading back to school, it is time to start thinking about getting back into routines of lunches and backpacks and after school activities. Having your home set up for success makes everyone’s lives easier when it comes to sticking to the schedule. It can be frustrating to not be able to find what you need for the day, so a little planning and organization can go a long way to having a successful school year!

Make sure you have a designated location for backpacks, preferably near the door you use most to get in and out of the house. Even installing a couple of hooks on an empty wall will ensure that you and your kids know where their bags are kept. Make a system for the papers that are brought home and need to be dealt with. If you can, fill them out as soon as you can and get them right back into their bags to go back to school.

Before you shop for school supplies, take a look at what you already have at home. You may need less than you think! Do check that you have enough as backups for homework and projects as well. No one likes an evening run to the store for more notebooks or loose leaf paper. If you know there will be projects that need poster board, go ahead and pick up a few sheets of this, too.

Is your family calendar system working for you? Whether you use a paper calendar that you keep in your bag, an online shared calendar, or a giant wall calendar in the kitchen, get all the dates updated and everyone on the same page about how to best utilize these calendars so that each day isn’t a struggle to remember what is going on. I think online shared calendars are great so that they can stay updated on the go and shared with family and caretakers. Google calendar is great for this, and I love Wunderlist for shared grocery and shopping lists.

If school supplies and routines overwhelm you, don’t hesitate to call someone to help out. Ask your most organized friend how they do it, or call in the pros!

Dealing with Digital Clutter

How do you deal with digital clutter? Are you an inbox-zero person, or do you have thousands of unread notifications? I must say, I am a much happier person when my desktop is clear and my inbox is empty, or close to it. Having a folder system for documents is crucial to keeping your digital life in check. You definitely don’t have strive for perfection here with your sorting. Your computer and your email has such great search functions that even if you mistakenly put something in the wrong folder, you can still find what you need with a few quick searches.

Take some time to audit your own inbox and file systems. If you have a free minute, move a few documents or emails and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can have a more organized computer life. Of course, if you need help deciding where to start, give me a call!

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Organizing for Weekend Pursuits

One of my favorite workshop projects I worked on with my husband recently is our 4Runner organizer! We love to go camping, and I am still giddy over how much I love our new system. It has made camping so much easier and more efficient. We all know that when there is a flat surface it will inevitably get covered in stuff, so by making a pull out shelf as a workspace, we can always have an area to make sandwiches or put gear while we are getting ready, and then it slides away when we’re ready to move.

We were able to design the box itself to fit our stove and camping chairs perfectly. This effectively doubled our storage space while giving us an organized drawer to keep our cooking supplies and dry goods.

I didn’t let the organizing stop there. My mother in law graciously gifted me an RTIC cooler for my birthday, and Yeti cooler products fit perfectly inside! A basket for cheeses and a divider to keep beer and drinks away from food were a game changer. We spent a week over thanksgiving traveling around, and no food got soggy and it all stayed super cold.

Also, when car camping, don’t forget your car as storage! Our 4Runner has so many compartments, and they all have a purpose. The drivers side door holds locks and small tools for our bike rack, and all of our headlamps and flashlights are always in the passenger door. We leave our wallets in the center console locked up when we are out and about, and dirty clothes go in a small stuff sack behind the passenger seat. I keep my clothes in my suitcase organizers that I repurposed from old stuff sacks. If you have been into the outdoors for long, you likely have collected some stuff sacks. Use these to separate your socks, shirts, and pants. Makes it so much easier to get dressed on cold mornings!

Back home in the garage, we have a large bin for each activity. One for camping, one for biking, and one for climbing. Just grab the right bin and you’re ready to hit the road!

Need help organizing the garage to save time on the weekends? Get in touch!