Back to Summer Organizing Tips
by Kathryn Anderson
You’ve read our back-to-school organizing tips, but summer organizing can be just as challenging! What should you do with all of these supplies when the school year is over? You now have used notebooks, dirty backpacks, and writing utensils that you won’t be needing until the fall (or maybe you’ll never need them again)! If your kid is in college, your house is most-likely filled with clutter: sheets/bedding, dorm room decorations, moving boxes, etc. Here are some tips on how to control your school-supply-situation during the summer months:
Throw dirty backpacks into the laundry machine. If your kids are anything like me when I was in school, you’ll need to empty the backpacks of crumbled pieces of paper and other trash that may be hiding in the pockets. Recycle/trash these miscellaneous items and throw the backpack in your washer by itself. Place it on a hanger and stick it in your child’s closet so that it will be ready for the fall.
Sometimes, your child doesn’t take as many notes as he/she expected to during the back-to-school shopping days. If that is the case, you may have several notebooks that have plenty of empty pages. Rip out and recycle the used pages, then use a taped index card to cover up the subject title that may be present on the front of the notebook; viola! Now you have one less thing to buy in the fall.
If your child’s notebook is completely full, have you/your child consider the importance of the notes: is he/she majoring in this subject? Do these notes make any sense? Will he/she have the urge to look at these notes again in a year? Two years? Five years? If the answer to most (if not all) of these questions is “no,” recycle it! If you decide that your child will need the notebook someday, put it on a bookshelf or stick it in a bin for your storage closet (maybe labeled “X’s Old School Supplies”). At the end of this process, you should have a clutter-free notebook collection that will give you a good sense of what you need for the upcoming school year.
Like backpacks, pencil pouches can easily become filled with wrappers, broken pencils, or other unnecessary items. Clear your kid’s pencil pouch of these items. If the remaining pencils, erasers, highlighters, and pens are in good condition, you can keep them for next year. It is more than likely that you’ll need to freshen up on more utensils, but this process will give you an idea of what you need for back-to-school shopping. Keep what you have in the pencil pouch and stick it in the backpack in your child’s closet.
Dorm Room Essentials
If your child attends an out-of-state college (or is 5+ hours from your home), I recommend investing in a storage unit for summer months; this will simplify move-in and move-out day, and will free up some space in your home. But this is not practical for everyone. If your child ends up moving everything back home, your house will most likely be filled with items that you need, but won’t be touching for several months. In this case, move everything to the storage closet: set up several blue-lid bins with labels such as “X College Bedding,” “X Dorm Décor,” or “X Misc. College.” You could also set up a bin for your child’s sweaters and winter clothing, since they (most likely) will not be needing it during the summer.