Getting organized for the start of the new school year can take plenty of preparation ‘and planning

A closet with many shelves and clothes hanging on it.


While the kids enjoy their summer break. parents need to tackle a few preschool assignments: purchase supplies, backpacks, shoes, and clothes; make space for the back-to-school apparel. This is an assignment that calls for preparation, not cramming – as in cramming your sixth-grader’s hip new looks in with old clothes. Don’t cram, review: Look at what you have stored in closets and drawers. If it’s stained, doesn’t fit, or isn’t among your child’s top 10 faves, let it go. And master an important rule: For every new article of clothing coming in, at least one must find a new home.

Project: closet work: Your child’s closet, whether a walk-in or a reach-in, can Double as hanging clothes Space and storage for other items. Though there are several ways to arrange the closet, a couple of components are essential shelves and clearly labeled storage containers. Shelves alone don’t provide for containment, and containers without shelves make it inconvenient to retrieve stuff or put it away. And when it comes to upkeep, convenience is key Mona Williams of the Container Store suggests involving children in the closet design so they will be more interested in maintaining the order.

Look at what you have stored in closets and drawers. If-it’s stained, doesn’t fit or isn’t among your child’s top 10, faves, leti t go. And for every new article of clothing coming in, at least one must find a new home.

Entrance and exit exam: Devise a method of storing backpacks, lunch boxes, jackets and shoes without creating an eye-sore or a safety hazard.

Universally, children come home after school throwing said items on the floor while kicking off their shoes and _ yelling,

“Mom, what’s for snack?” So what’s an organized mom to do? First, specify a door for your children to enter through after school and lock all the others. Note: You’ll need to meet your children at this door for the first week or so to reiterate the expectations. When meeting them at the door, introduce the dropoff station.

This is where the kids will stash everything that has previously doubled as a bone of contention and a very obvious trail of your pilgrim’s progress through your home.

Shannon Senna with Bella Closets capes of San Antonio suggests going vertical with the storage center. Start low with cubbies for shoes and sports gear Use locker-style spaces above for backpacks and jackets.

For fun, use each child’s picture to label the cubbies. Add a three-sided frame so the photos slide out for quick changes. Above the lockers, add cubbies for Mom and Dad’s stuff: movies and library books to be returned, purse, laptop and any other little thing you need to grab on the way out.

During summer, the drop-off station can be the place for beach towels, goggles, sun block and mosquito repellent.

Lessons learned: The best way to pre- vent your child’s hot new clothing from going cold too quickly is to do an end- of-summer review and _ be sure her closet suits her storage needs. If the kids don’t have a cool, convenient drop-off station for stashing their stuff after school, – they will leave a trail. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just functional.

DaLona Niland is a San Antonio professional organizer. You can visit her Web site at