by Katy Beth McGahey
Katy Beth McGahey is a professional organizer who has been working with families for over eight years. She loves getting to know her clients and combines the design knowledge she gained as an art major at the University of North Texas with her love for organization. She believes your home is your sanctuary and you should feel at peace when you are there. She helps her clients remove clutter so they can truly enjoy the space they live in no matter the size. Though she is based out of DFW, she loves to come back to her hometown, Texarkana, and organize while she visits her friends and family. If you would like more information or daily tips on getting organized visit her website, sortedinstyle.net, or her social media, @sorted_in_style
1. Family Paperwork System
We all know incoming paperwork can be overwhelming, especially when the school year starts back up. Try setting up these two systems in your home to streamline all your incoming documents.
The first space will serve as your drop zone. Set up a basket or bin for each kid by the door your family uses the most. As the paperwork, artwork, school papers and invitations start rolling in, have your kids drop them in their designated basket every day. Sort through these baskets once a week and decide what to keep, put away or put in your calendar.
The second system will be a permanent keepsake box that will serve as the final destination for anything you want to keep and hold on to for years. I set up these permanent boxes for each kid, create hanging files for every grade level, and divide the hanging file by schoolwork, artwork and memories. This gives you an organized place to store that special art project, school portrait or A+ paper.
2. Homework Workspace
I love portable metal rolling carts for many things, but one great purpose they can serve is as a homework cart. Load your cart with paper, pencils and any supplies your kid might need during the year to successfully work on their homework. With a portable cart, they can roll this homework station up to the kitchen table, their own desk or into a closet when you don’t want it to be seen. This gives your kid a sense of ownership of their cart and the option to work wherever inspires them for the night.
3. Backpack Organization
Help your kid prioritize organization throughout the year by setting up their backpack with easy-to-use systems. I recommend a binder with labels for each subject. Get your student a simple planner so they can work on time management and help you keep track of their schedule. Items like pencil cases and folders are all great tools to make sure your kid is set up for an organized school year. Create a designated space for their items to be put away when they walk in the door. A simple hook for a backpack, jacket and lunchbox is all you need. Help your kids get in the habit of hanging their items up when they walk in the door and emptying their backpacks so they can be ready for the next day.
4. Lunchbox Station
Start getting the whole family involved with packing lunches by creating a lunchbox station in your pantry or refrigerator. With clearly labeled bins all in one spot, your whole family can easily “go shopping” in their own home for the food or snacks they will need for the day. Consider a sandwich station in your fridge that keeps all of the condiments, meat and cheese together.
5. Laundry Sorting Station
Laundry can be overwhelming during the school year. I recommend making your laundry area easy to use for everyone in the family. Consider color sorted baskets with labels so everyone can start the sorting process as the week begins. Labeled baskets for detergents and dryer sheets will make the space kid friendly. Lastly, if your kids’ closets and dressers are organized with the correct spots for each clothing item, they can help you put away their laundry. If your kid has a hard time with folding clothes, get them a Flip Fold Laundry Folder that will help them get that part down.