getting organized for school with urban clarity


I asked the wonderful organizer and Brooklyn mom, Amanda Wiss, of Urban Clarity to give me some tips for organizing for back to school.
For your nursery school scholar: Take a moment now to create a place for all the incoming artwork. It can be a drawer, a shelf, an oversized inbox or a large portfolio. Make it THE landing spot for your budding Picasso’s. When you want to display a few gems in your house or to send some to grandparents, it’ll be a snap. And you’ll thank me when glitter hasn’t invaded every nook and cranny of your living space. Want a super cool product to corral the art? Check out the schoolfolio The all-in-one becomes a stashing place for art from now until college!
For your elementary Einstein: this is the time to master the backpack. Make sure your child’s is appropriately sized – too big and it can get overfilled and really hurt! At the end of each school day, empty it completely – no one wants to find a leftover tuna sandwich in there three weeks from now. Once homework is done, repack the backpack and place it by the front door. It will make leaving in the morning much smoother if your kid isn’t searching high and low for that missing library book. Looking for other cool school supplies? Check out downtown Brooklyn’s best kept secret: Barclay’s School Supplies store at 166 Livingston Street (at Smith.) It’s a treasure trove of educational materials and craft supplies. Just what you need to get in gear!
Middle schooler in your midst? It’s all about time management, and that starts with being able to see the important stuff. If you haven’t done a big purge recently, help your kids clean out their room and declutter their desk. Be ruthless! Recycle all those old sports schedules, and anything else that’s not current. (Yes, you can save their best work, but move it out of their active work space.) Next, post your child’s schedule in a prominent place so he knows what to grab for class and after school activities each day. Create files for each class so there’s a place to unload overstuffed notebooks throughout the year. Studying for finals will be simpler, especially if good habits are created in September. Short on file space? Get a portable desktop file to keep all the must-have papers accessible, and it fits easily on a bookshelf. (While you’re at it, why not get one for yourself, too?)
High school is here already? Hard to believe! Now is the time to get even more organized. Most important is backing up digital data. Definitely invest in a cloud solution. No one wants that stellar college essay to vanish if a computer crashes, so make sure your student is protected. Wondering what the best cloud solutions are? Check out Mozy or Carbonite. A small investment will be worth much piece of mind.
School sanity tip for parents in any stage: do as much as you can the night before! Pick out everyone’s clothes, pack lunches, stage what you need to get out the door, charge all electronics and get to bed on time. Will make the mornings go much more smoothly! 
These tips are courtesy of professional organizer and mom-to-two Amanda Wiss. She’s the founder of Urban Clarity, a company that helps Brooklyn parents reign in the clutter and create sane schedules that support their families.
Mention “NYC School Help” and receive a 20% discount on all organizing appointments booked with an Urban Clarity organizer in September.