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Getting Organized for the New Year

Kids learn about time and goal setting by making calendars at mamasmiles.com

We spent this past week getting organized! I downloaded a planner template (here are some great free printable planner pages), and the pretty designs caught both Emma and Lily’s attention! I was planning to print out copies of the calendar pages for them, but as it turns out they didn’t need me! They promptly set to work making their own, individual planners – Emma’s is based off of my own, and Lily’s is her own unique design. Johnny spent the time drawing Star Wars and superhero figures, but given that he is my child who always puts everything away and remembers homework assignments, he’ll probably be fine without a planner. I was a little surprised when they each found themselves a binder, but that explains why my old sheet music was lying on the floor…

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Getting school kids organized for the year from mamasmiles.com

We also ordered this Take Home Center and stuck it in the part of our kitchen that was designed as a breakfast nook but isn’t really large enough to function that way. It was quite an investment, but Mike and I are both thrilled to have the kids’ shoes, lunchboxes, papers, and jackets organized and out of our small entryway! They put papers for me in the top tray, and homework papers, etc in the middle tray. Coats and backpacks go on the top shelf, and lunchboxes and shoes go on the bottom shelf. Anna currently shares my spot, but eventually Mike and I will probably share so that Anna can move to the spot Mike has right now.

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MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

27 thoughts on “Getting Organized for the New Year”

  1. New year is always fun. I plan to be more organized this year, and am failing so far lol!!!! Lots of little girls are distracting me, but wouldn’t have it any other way :-)

  2. Oooh, I like that organizing shelf. I think that’ll be a must for me once all kids are in school (and when I don’t want three backpacks strewn across the floor).

    1. It is amazing how much clutter comes home from school. I am constantly eliminating clutter, but somehow it still piles up. Organizing centers do help!

  3. Happy New Year! I love the hand-written planners! (and the Take Home Center… we are renovating our entry-way later this year, and I’m looking for organizing ideas!)

    1. Happy New Year!!! A friend just emailed me because she found your Star Wars valentines while doing a search and noticed I had commented a couple years back – fun!

      Good organizing solutions make such a difference! Good luck finding something that will work for your family!

  4. Thanks so much for featuring our stackable snowmen on the light table, MaryAnne! As always, I’m finding more inspiration here. I’m wishing that I had the space for that take home center. I love it!

  5. You are SO organized and I am amazed with your girls’ abilities to make things for themselves. This Home Center looks perfect for your family.

  6. Elisa | blissfulE

    That take-home center is a great use of an unusable breakfast nook! No excuses for papers, shoes, or school supplies disappearing now.

    My truly Aussie son keeps taking off and leaving his shoes in the back garden and then not having them inside when we’re going somewhere. I don’t think the take-home center would help with this, but I am inspired to be a bit more organised!

    1. Oops! I love that you have a “truly Aussie” son :)

      I love the take-home center – it has really simplified all of the clutter that you get when you have kids going to school outside of home.

        1. It’s not like we live far from IKEA. We’re definitely lofting J’s bed. I was thinking of having his library under his bed though we might opt for better storage space than what the current bookshelf gives us.

          1. I’ve seen pictures of twin beds lofted onto two of the 4×4 Expedit shelf units, and thought that looked like a cool idea, especially since the shelves are accessible from either side. Then you could put some LED lights in or something to make a play space as well… curious to hear what you come up with! We have our four kids in one room using two of the Kura beds from IKEA. I need to blog it, but keep putting it off because their room is usually a mess and I want it clean to take pictures!

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