Back-to-School Organizing or Bust!
By Lauren Hurwitz
New Rochelle resident, Professional Organizer and Owner of Organize with GC, Giuseppina Corrado knows that organizing at back-to-school time can be a head spinner for the entire family. “When I think of this time of year, I think of routines and systems that help with the flow of getting back into the swing of things.” For example, she believes there is power in routines for everything you need to help busy moms and dads keep their sanity and keep on schedule. To start the day off right, Corrado suggests having a designated basket for bookbags by the door, so that they’re easy to retrieve in the morning, consider picking out your clothes the night before, and making lunch at nighttime so that in the morning you simply grab what you need and head out the door without a scramble.
“I strongly recommend, a school desk system. Keeping things organized and labeled in a learning zone so kids can be independent as much as possible. When everything is labeled, it is much easier to find what you’re looking for and to put things away. Caretakers and parents will also know exactly where to put things whether it’s a homework section, paperwork that needs to be signed, labeled folders for each child, or having a dedicated bin for each child,” Corrado says. Another one of Corrado’s suggestions is to have a clothing system in place by, “putting your home clothes in one area, school clothing in another, and label everything neatly so you can grab and go.” Even school uniforms and sports clothing can have a designated spot so they are separate from day-to-day clothing and are easily accessible.
If everyone has a long-lasting system, it promotes a smoother routine throughout the day. But there are lots of common mistakes you can tackle from the start to make the most impact. “First, piles of paperwork cause unnecessary clutter. Paperwork comes in the door and then it piles up on a desk or kitchen counter and clients ask, What do I do with this?” according to Corrado. Her suggestion is to create an incoming, outgoing, and take-action system for paperwork.
A second point of combat is the entryway. Having a designated closet or system in the entryway or mudroom – wherever you come in and out most often – is imperative. Corrado suggests having a designated area for shoes, scarves, umbrellas, and more with labeled bins, making it easy to grab when needed. Don’t have a lot of space? Not an issue! Corrado leverages vertical spaces with hooks, shelving, and other products to maximize not only the mudroom but any tight area that might initially feel a bit too cozy to organize.
When thinking of how to get out the door fast, we often forget about the bedroom, according to Corrado. Having a routine for the bedroom closet will instantly make doing laundry easier. “Maintain a system for your closet, and label everything so you’re never throwing things randomly about the room. If you like shoes in your bedroom closet, that would be a designated labeled space. Then I would also label everything else such as blazers, jackets, and beyond. Literally, each space has its own spot down to your socks and underwear, and workout clothes, pajamas – everything has a home,” says the organizing pro.
Corrado believes that organizing a home, “is an investment to make life easier and the day-to-day routine calmer because our physical environment connects to our mental state. A cluttered space is a cluttered mind – so when you do declutter and organize, it makes a huge difference on your emotional state.” She can visit clients’ homes as frequently as needed to make sure everything is running up to speed whether that means weekly, monthly, or once a season … there is always room for a bit of improvement as school gets back in session.