Organizing your kids is one thing during the school year, but to keep yourself organized is just as important for a smooth year.
Between the kid’s activities, homework assignments, papers that need signed, and everything else in between it’s hard to keep everything straight. Creating a centrally located place where we can keep everything helps significantly.
Using a DUO binder is the most efficient way to keeping your life organized! It’s more practical than a planner, or journal because you have everything nicely in one spot. Loss papers can easily be hole-punched or placed into a sheet protector instead of getting ruined in your planner. Another benefit to using a DUO binder is that you can structure it however you want! The flexibility is endless.
This binder will be the binder of all binders for your school year. Create a routine to look at this binder once a week to make sure that you are prepared for the next week.
What You Will Need:
- Samsill Duo binder
- 50+ pack of sheet protectors
- Yearly Calendar Printables (July-June)
- Weekly Plans Printables
- First/Last Day of School Printable (print one for each child)
- Information School Sheet (print one for each child)
We will go through how to make just the back to school binder, but if you find that you want to explore other ways to stay organized and incorporate them into this system, we’ve linked other binder sources and printables to fit your needs.
Use this binder to best fit your needs.
Yearly Goals (perfect placement for New Year’s Resolutions)
Main Section Setup (Binder)
First, print out a school calendar (plus any extra printables you are wanting to add). Mark all the important dates on your printable calendar so you can get a look at what each month will entail. You will see that the school calendar starts in July. This is so you start shifting your mindset into the back to school season. Whether that be in August or September. This calendar also ends in June for the same reason. It makes more sense than to purchase two different calendars when the year ends and begins.
Put a few sheet protectors behind each month. These empty sheet protectors are for info that you don’t need to keep forever but need to refer to at some point in the future. For example, if there is information on an upcoming field trip that explains what your kid needs to bring with them that day, that will go in your main calendar section.
At the end of each month – throw away the paperwork that you no longer need and move onto the next month.
After each month, if it’s easier for you to then transition into a weekly view, we created a few different weekly spreads to help organize on a more individual level. This way you can see what each week will entail and prepare for it. This will be handy if you are trying to meal prep for the week and you know what days you may need a faster meal or a meal that will be a sit-down dinner.
We also created a printable that would be your go-to for school, coach, and teacher information for an easier way to contact the right person. This would be perfect to either keep at the front of the main section or in the binder folder for easy access in case of an emergency.
Individual Tab Setup (Accordion)
1st Tab – Take Action Pocket
For papers that need signed, permission slips, teacher requests, PTA announcements, fundraisers, flyers
Teach your children that this folder is where they need to put all their important papers that you need to look at. Try to hold them accountable for their paperwork.
Keep this binder near your homework station. That way all school-related paperwork is in one place, limiting the time looking for lost paperwork.
Go through these papers every night (you will thank yourself in the long run). It will only take a couple minutes to maintain instead of an hour to go through a huge stack. Sign what needs to be signed and put back in your child’s folder to take to school, and file away any other important papers where you need them.
2nd Tab- Child #1
Then add a few dividers to your binder for each kid. Use this space for long-term storage such as: progress reports, test scores, awards, certificates, programs, report cards, art, etc.
At the end of each semester, or school year go through the keepsake papers that you have kept over that length of time. Go through it with your child and see what should be kept or thrown away.
3rd Tab- Child #2
4 – 6 tabs – Continue through the tabs with however many children you have. If you have extra tabs/pocket space, use this for sport, medical and/or drop off tab.
The important part of organization is maintaining. Make it a habit to look at this binder either every night or once a week to make sure that everything is up to date. Tell us how this system worked for you @samsillcorp.