Check Out Janet’s Tips in Philly Inquirer’s “How to Set Up the Best School Desk for Your Kid at Home”

The Organizing Professionals

“It can be any sort of container, from a shoebox to a plastic bin,” says Janet Bernstein, certified professional organizer and owner of the Organizing Professionals. “My colleague went to the store and let her kids pick out their own backpacks, and at the end of the day they put everything back into the backpack. It’s a great option, especially for getting younger kids to cooperate.”

Back to (Virtual) School: Winning Strategies for the Entire Family

The Organizing Professionals

“If they had told us back in March our kids would still be home in September, I hate to think how that would have affected our psyche,” Disclosed one of my friends. Yet, here we are. Whether you have grade schoolers, high schoolers, or college kids taking classes online here are some awesome ideas collected from the TOP team, friends, family and personal experience:

  1. “Give each other a pass,” Advises my college-aged stepdaughter, Ali. “Sustaining 100% motivation in this environment is not possible nor realistic. Our professors advised us to be easy on ourselves; that we will have ups and downs and that would be ok. This has helped me a lot.”
  2. “Understand the learning style of the child,” Urges Bridget, TOP’s director of admin.  With a 5th and 6th grader at home, Bridget noticed that, although her kids are close in age, one is self-motivated and the other requires more oversight. She was able to delegate more accountability to the self-starter which freed up more time for her to focus on helping her other child.
  3. Designate a consistent, daily workspace for each family member. A bedroom desk only works for self-starters and those who need a quieter environment. Others work and study better when in the company of others.
  4. “Go ahead and purchase the typical back to school items,” Recommends Gyll, one of our lead organizers and mother of two girls under five. If their work area needs to be cleared (because it also doubles as the dining table) a backpack not only simulates the classroom experience, it gives them a place to corral their items and a sense of ownership and excitement towards going back to school each day.”
  5. Generate some excitement around going back to school. Start a visual countdown calendar, have little kids pick out their first day of school outfit.
  6. Build break times into everyone’s routine! “When I let them shoot hoops or go for a bike ride between zoom calls and homework, they were happier and calmer.” Admits Bridget. (Check out our other blog on WFH Strategies to read about family afternoon teatime implemented by Janet).
  7. Create a cozy reading space. Whether a fluffy bean bag, a stack of cushions in a closet or a favorite armchair, reading is so much more enjoyable in a comfy spot.

As we approach back to school, we wish you all success in the upcoming academic year. Stay healthy and safe.

Janet and the TOP team.