Start the School Year Clutter-Free

It’s back-to-school time, and if you are a parent of a student or a student yourself, you know that the sudden influx of homework, books and other supplies makes it a challenge to stay #organized and on top of tasks. But several strategies can help manage all that #stuff better while keeping track of assignments, due dates and extracurricular activities.

Parents can help young students stay #organized by streamlining the household environment. Invest in a chore chart, white board and academic planner, Good Housekeeping suggests. And to keep clothing, books, shoes and other items from getting #disorganized, get as many shelves, bins and cubbies as you need and label them.

A homework station is a good idea for students of all ages — and WFH parents, too. You’ll need a rolling cart, plastic storage baskets, a dry-erase calendar and a desk, Woman’s Day says. Post a calendar, a daily schedule and a pegboard organizer or bulletin board nearby, and it will be easier to keep track of tasks and needed supplies.

Teens who build good habits in school will keep them their whole lives. Student empowerment specialist Daniel Wong offers 30 tips on using routines to stay focused, get homework done on time and still have time to relax with family and friends.

One is to #declutter one’s #workspace on a weekly basis. “Look through all the papers, notes, brochures, and other things you’ve accumulated,” Wong says. “Recycle or throw away all the things you don’t need. Clutter attracts clutter, so if you declutter once a week, you’ll be more likely to stay organized in general.”

#Thrift stores supplied by #donations of clothing and goods to ClothingDonations.org are a great place to look for lightly used organizers, baskets and bins. You might even find a good selection of stylish #clothing that growing students can wear to #school at prices that won’t break the bank.

And if you find anything your students won’t be needing in the as they move ahead in school — disused sporting goods, books, outgrown clothing, etc. — contact ClothingDonations.org to schedule a free, contactless #donation #pickup. Here’s to a happy, healthy school year!

Dog Days: Decluttering With Pets

If you have #pets, you know that they can contribute to the #clutter and #grime that your home attracts. And the “dog days” of summer are as good a time as any to discover a few strategies to keep your space #organized and #tidy — whether you have a #dog, #cat, or some other furry, scaly or feathered friend.

First, tackle #decluttering #KonMari-style. “When going through your dog or cat’s items, focus on which of them bring your pet the most joy or serve a true purpose,” FreshPet says. “They usually make it pretty clear what they like and don’t like. Keep only the items that make your #pet the happiest.”

Try not to get too sentimental about pet possessions. If there’s something that has particular significance such as your pup’s first collar, frame it. Most other items can be discarded; #donate lightly used items to a local animal shelter or ClothingDonations.org. If something holds memories but is of little use, take a picture of it before letting it go.

Life Storage suggests creating pet “stations” around the house, designating bins and baskets for grooming items, outdoor/exercise needs, toys, and food and treats. If you house your pet in a crate, cage or aquarium, keep any related supplies #organized nearby for convenient care and maintenance.

PopSugar offers a list of 10 pet #organization products “sure to make your life easier,” or you can DIY your own storage solutions. Get creative with #thrift-store finds, shop the container section of a local hardware store or build an organizer. Consider labeling all boxes, baskets and bins as an additional #streamlining strategy.

Once your pet #stuff is organized and in its proper places, you won’t be tripping over toys or wasting time wondering where the leash went. And your home will be easier to #clean, too! Pets shed, track in dirt and leave other messes in their wake. But that’s a topic that The Organizing Blog will revisit another day. Enjoy the dog days!

Prep Containers for Summer Gardening

Container #gardening is a great option for those who are short on #garden space or looking to dress up porches and walkways with accent plants. Before you plant, give your pots a good scrub and ensure they can drain properly, says Plant Perfect. For best results, line containers with peat and use new #potting mix rather than regular topsoil. And if you’re short on garden containers, pots and baskets, look no further than the thrift stores supplied by generous donations to ClothingDonations.org — and shop early to find a selection of one-of-a-kind, lightly used castoffs that you can repurpose for your dream garden.

Buy Gardening Goods at the Thrift

While the Organizing Blog never advocates buying more #stuff than you really need, savvy shoppers can often find springtime gardening essentials such as gloves, tools, pots and planters among the castoffs at local thrift stores supplied by your generous donations to ClothingDonations.org. And if you need to get rid of some of your lightly used (but disused) gardening equipment and other household items as you start spring cleaning, now is the time to schedule a #donation pickup!

Look to the Thrift for the Wearing of the Green

Whether you’re Irish or just Irish for the day, the first step in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is to wear something green. If you don’t have anything suitable already, look no further than the local secondhand or thrift store. Supplied by generous donations to ClothingDonations.org, they’re a great source of inexpensive, lightly used garments — including T-shirts that feature the Gaelic toast Sláinte (“Health”), sayings such as “Kiss me, I’m Irish,” or the Guinness harp logo for a visit the corner pub, for example, or more work-friendly kelly-green polo shirts and neckties.