4 Basic Steps to School Day Planning for Kids

  • By birdie@getorganizedcolumbus.com
  • 08 Aug, 2016
School lockers
We all remember the dreams we had as kids where we were anxious over things we forgot to bring to school or perhaps dreamt we showed up to class in our pajamas. These dreams are often a result of not feeling prepared. Planning ahead is an important skill to teach our kids–and perhaps the first […]
We all remember the dreams we had as kids where we were anxious over things we forgot to bring to school or perhaps dreamt we showed up to class in our pajamas. These dreams are often a result of not feeling prepared. Planning ahead is an important skill to teach our kids–and perhaps the first opportunity to teach them to anticipate and plan their day is to include them in staging the things they need for each school day–the night before. Kids can be shown how to routinely consider these four categories each evening to begin to learn the art of preparation: clothing, homework and school supplies, lunches, sports or extracurricular gear. And here is how!
First, the school outfit. You can assign a drawer or a shelf or a spot on the dresser where kids can lay out all the items they will wear the next day. This includes socks, undergarments, and shoes, but also any special accessories like hats, scarves, hair accessories. And to make it fun, you can label this assigned area with the correct day of the week with interchangeable labels of your child’s liking.
Next we should get the book bag prepared. Each day the book bag should be emptied to remove contents not needed. Use a folder system inside that bag that allows your kids to transport things easily. For example, have a folder labeled “Completed Homework” to make sure homework from that evening is transported back to school. You can also have a folder labeled “Assigned Homework” so papers from school can be easily found once home. And a third folder can be labeled “Parents and Teachers” so info that is being sent home or to the classroom (which seems like more and more these days) doesn’t get lost at the bottom of the bag. If your child doesn’t have a locker or assigned desk, consider having a checklist of additional items that can be good to have in their pack, like: extra pens and pencils, extra notebook paper, tissues, hand sanitizer, lunch money, house keys, bike lock, etc.
If your child, packs a lunch, consider having them help or own this task. Getting them involved in what they eat, helps improve interest in the food they are eating. It also gives your child the opportunity to learn about which foods are healthy choices to include. If it is a toss up between packing a lunch and buying lunch at your house, make sure to have the school menu in a place like the pantry so kids can review and decide which lunch they will prefer that day.
And for extracurricular activities, I would first recommend a calendar within your child’s view that let’s them see what days they are practicing/performing etc. The gear preparation is much like the prep for clothes. Make sure uniform and gear are laid out or in their gear bag ready to go the night before in the designated staging place.
Practice makes perfect. You will see that your child gets better at this over time. And they will begin to connect the value of thinking ahead with the reward of being prepared with less anxiety over forgotten things. And you should all enjoy the benefit of easing into your mornings!
Happy school days!

Get Organized Columbus

By Tera Harmon 16 Jan, 2018
Ever have that feeling after your home has been cleaned that things still don't seem put away and tidy? Or maybe you get that nagging sense when you walk into a room that things still need a "once over." Even in frequently-cleaned homes, we can feel like there is more to do when our clutter is the first thing that catches our eye in each room. Well the clutter itself may not be the only culprit. Our house habits can help highlight the things we use in a way that is not flattering.  Can you recognize any of these hotspots in your home?
By Tera Harmon 08 Jan, 2018
Photo Credit: Jay Wennington
By Birdie Brennan 04 Dec, 2017
Photo Credit: Kari Shea
By Tera Harmon 27 Nov, 2017
I always look forward to this cooler time of year to review coats and to decide where best to donate them. So many times when we hear about making a donation, we feel pressure to give financially. But giving something once owned and loved can be a fulfilling part of holiday tradition. I especially love involving kids so they can learn the idea of thinking of others at this time of year. Showing our kids how to prepare an item for donation teaches them how to care for others, but it also shows them to consider how their belongings can be useful beyond their own toy box. The act of cleaning up a gently used truck or putting new batteries into a remote control car to donate demonstrates to kids that our items are valuable to others--and that condition matters. This donation ritual is also an important purge ritual before the influx of contents that are about to enter our homes. 
By Tera Harmon 16 Nov, 2017

For even the most novice cooks, between now and the end of the year, many kitchens are about to get a workout. We may be hosting parties, holiday meals, trying a new recipe or two, participating in pot lucks, or baking with friends and family. Would't it be great if everything we need is at our fingertips--clean and functional for when we need it?


So often the tools and items we rely on at this time of year are somewhere in the back of cupboards, sideboards, or stored on basement shelving. I recommend gathering, cleaning, and staging the items you know will be needed in the coming weeks. In last week's post ( https://www.getorganizedcolumbus.com/the-ready-made-pantry ) we talked about a well-stocked pantry for the holiday season; for now, let's focus on the items we will likely need in the kitchen and dining areas.
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Get Organized Columbus

By Tera Harmon 16 Jan, 2018
Ever have that feeling after your home has been cleaned that things still don't seem put away and tidy? Or maybe you get that nagging sense when you walk into a room that things still need a "once over." Even in frequently-cleaned homes, we can feel like there is more to do when our clutter is the first thing that catches our eye in each room. Well the clutter itself may not be the only culprit. Our house habits can help highlight the things we use in a way that is not flattering.  Can you recognize any of these hotspots in your home?
By Tera Harmon 08 Jan, 2018
Photo Credit: Jay Wennington
By Birdie Brennan 04 Dec, 2017
Photo Credit: Kari Shea
By Tera Harmon 27 Nov, 2017
I always look forward to this cooler time of year to review coats and to decide where best to donate them. So many times when we hear about making a donation, we feel pressure to give financially. But giving something once owned and loved can be a fulfilling part of holiday tradition. I especially love involving kids so they can learn the idea of thinking of others at this time of year. Showing our kids how to prepare an item for donation teaches them how to care for others, but it also shows them to consider how their belongings can be useful beyond their own toy box. The act of cleaning up a gently used truck or putting new batteries into a remote control car to donate demonstrates to kids that our items are valuable to others--and that condition matters. This donation ritual is also an important purge ritual before the influx of contents that are about to enter our homes. 
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