(BPT) - Fall marks the beginning of a new school year and a perfect time to get you and your family organized. Use this fresh start as an opportunity to establish clear routines for scheduling, sorting papers and organizing everything your family needs for your work, school and home lives to run more smoothly.
The right tools plus the right approach will help to get everyone more organized.
1. Post a central calendar
Developing a central calendar in one of the common rooms in your home to track activity provides your family with a quick and easy way to stay organized and in the know. A large reusable monthly calendar in the kitchen or other key area of your home allows all family members to mark appointments, lessons and deadlines, plus special occasions so you'll know what's coming up at all times. Try the Staples Magnetic Calendar, a dry-erase calendar that comes with self-stick tape for posting on the wall, and two magnets to highlight special dates. There’s even a cork board at the bottom for pinning tickets or other important papers.
2. Find easy ways to leave notes
Whether you need to remind your family about lunches in the fridge or feeding the dog, Post-it Super Sticky Notes make it easy for everyone to communicate throughout the house. Using brightly colored notes means family members won't miss them and you'll be one step closer to your fall organization goal.
3. Focus on planning ahead
For your own goal-setting and scheduling, find a planner that helps keep track of monthly appointments and goals while also offering tips to help you de-clutter and streamline processes. The Emily Ley Simplified Pineapple Planner is as stylish and attractive as it is useful and inspiring. Check out the handy tips on quick clean-up routines — and even a page for your bucket list!
4. Crush your to-do list
To stay on top of long-term goals, it's important to focus on what "to do" every day. Using a small tear-off pad with a to-do checklist helps you conquer your goals. The Martha Stewart Daily Goals Tracker fits the bill, dividing daily to-dos into a.m. and p.m., with space for overall daily goals and tomorrow's focus. There's even a place to check off your daily glasses of water.
5. Use color coding methods
Visual cues are key to organizing, so use color to help keep track of what's what. You can use differently colored pens for various reminders in your planner or items on your to-do list (red means urgent!). Assign a different colored pen to each family member so you'll know at a glance who each item is for. With TRU RED retractable pens, everyone can choose their favorite color. The ink in these gel pens dries quickly for smudge-proof writing, making them ideal for lefties.
To further organize papers, use a color-coding principle. Staples Top-Tab File Folders in pastel colors separate different types of papers into clear categories before filing them away. One hundred folders in a variety of pastels come in each box, with three tabs for easy labeling.
6. Stay organized on-the-go
When you're running around doing errands, what could be better than a simple way to stash your papers, pens, keys and phone with an Emily Ley Simplified Seersucker Storage Pouch? Measuring 10 by 7 1/2 inches, the pouch can secure important items, and the navy cotton lining helps it stand up to daily use.
7. Clear your desk
Even if it's just a section of your kitchen counter, free up space by sorting your "home office" items. Find an organizer (or two, or three) with different-sized compartments to fit what you and your family regularly need: stapler, scissors, pens, paper clips, etc. Try the sturdy plastic TRU RED desk organizers, in different sizes and configurations. Mix and match pieces to set it up just the way you want it.
8. Sort papers by type
It's easier to find papers if you group them by category. Separate magazines or newspapers from brochures, kids' homework or bills. Get boxes that fit the kinds of papers you most need to store, like Martha Stewart StackFit Magazine Files, which look stylish and fit neatly on a shelf. You can use them for magazines, catalogs, notebooks or any other papers. Label contents clearly using the metal bookplate on the side.
9. Box it up
A neat storage solution brings peace of mind to your home. To store kids' artwork, papers, cards, photos or craft supplies neatly on shelves, stock up on these medium style boxes with lids. These sturdy, rattan-look storage baskets have integrated handles and reinforced corners. They're also scratch resistant and easy to clean with a damp cloth.
Getting organized can be stressful, but having the right tools and supplies to get the job done will make the process go smoothly. Kids and parents alike can use these tips and tricks to organize their rooms and stay on track. Visit Staples.com for more ideas on how to get organized and meet your goals this fall.