With schools in some parts of the country well into the routine, while others are about to start, handling the daily onslaught of kids' permission slips, bills and junk mail can be a full-time job. To keep track of your family's incoming and outgoing messages and mail, set up a "communication station" in a convenient location (like the mudroom or kitchen). A wall-mounted magazine rack gives each family member a slot for their papers, while a "look here: calendar is for quick references. Flyers, invites, and such stay in view on a bulletin board.
Below are 3 ideas that can help keep you organized during the busy school months according to an article in the September 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping.
1. Sort Smart. Stop mail clutter at the door in a tiered bin with three sections. IN, OUT, READ. The IN slot is for mail that needs to be dealt with fairly soon (bills, paperwork, etc. that should be addressed weekly); OUT is for outgoing mail; READ is for materials to peruse later (magazines, coupon books, and so on, to be purged monthly).
2. Make Notes. A sticky note on the door is the perfect can't-miss-it reminder. Tuck the notepad and pen in a bin (near your station) meant for holding outgoing items, like those library books that are due tomorrow.
3. Pen It In. A color-coded calendar (with a different color for each person) will keep the family on schedule. But don't write everything here, save personal activities for your own datebook. Just jot down events that involve multiple family members (things that require a driver etc.). Purge your bulletin board of no-longer-needed papers when you change the calendar page.
I truly hope everyone has a good working relationship with their children's school this year, 2012-2012. Make it a priority to get involved and stay informed. Your children need you to be a positive partner in their education and the school needs your participation and support. Most school districts are operating on limited or less funding, so any assistance you can give, I know will be appreciated.