Organizing tips from a pro

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 7, 2009

The Washington Post
Trying to get the school year off to a good start at home? Professional organizer Lea Schneider shares this advice:
– Take the time to go through your child’s clothing with them and weed out things that don’t fit or they don’t like, as well as pieces that are too worn.
– Plan a week at a time. Map out seven days’ worth of menus for dinner and shop for them once a week. Line up outfits for Monday through Friday.
– To create a “launchpad” for your kids to organize their daily stuff, put a row of hooks in your foyer or mudroom or install baskets, bins or cubbyholes. If you live in a small apartment or condo, you can use the chair where your child has breakfast. Just hang his or her jacket on the back of the chair and put the backpack under it.
– Create a breakfast menu on a chalkboard in your kitchen. That way, kids know their options and will be forced to choose from them, instead of whining about what foods are unavailable.
– Swap bedspreads with comforters in kids’ rooms to make it easier for them to make their beds. The puffiness of a comforter is more forgiving of sheets jumbled underneath and will make a bedroom look neater.
– Each evening, review your family master calendar and read the next day’s activities aloud to everyone so the commitments sink in.