Clutter is inevitable, espec-ially during the school year when a new batch of graded papers, permission slips and loot from classroom parties arrive on a daily basis.

“Talk to any family with school-aged children and you’ll find them overrun with clutter,” saidGinny Bean, a mother of three boys ages 12, 17 and 18, and publisher of Ginny’s, one of the country’s fastest growing house wares catalogs. Necessity has taught Bean a thing or two about organization over the years. Bean suggests the following for cutting clutter and getting organized this back-to-school season:

Establish a daily backpack routine

Make a habit of sorting through your children’s backpacks every day after school. Use a tiered letter sorter or filing system with designated slots for each child’s papers, and an “a.s.a.p.” space for teachers’ notes, permission slips and anything else that requires immediate attention.

For papers and artwork your child can’t part with, consider a storage cart for her room, like the1-2-3 Storage Cart that provides six colorful numbered bins. Think “1” for books, “2” for art projects, and take it from there. Bins are deep enough to hold months’ worth of papers and art, so you and your child can sort and pick favorites over school breaks, rather than making those tough on-the-spot decisions.

Establish a designated homework spot

Carving out a specified homework space for every child can be a challenge in multiple-child families. Portable work spaces can be the perfect solution. Bean favors a folding computer desk, offered through her catalog, that folds to a size not much larger than a standard card table chair for easy storage.

Organize your entryway for a speedy exit

Eliminate the last-minute morning backpack search by setting up a spot near the door for backpacks and other things that need to go to school, such as hats and gloves, books, sports equipment and musical instruments. Entryway benches with hidden storage compartments provide a convenient place to sit while pulling on shoes and drawer space for stowing everything from outdoor gear to keys and cell phones.

Choose clothes for the next day

Encourage your child to spend a few minutes each night selecting his or her school clothes for the following day. Make it a rule that the child must stick with these choices — no dawdling in the morning because he or she doesn’t want to wear what was chosen last night.

Plan breakfast the night before

Set the kitchen table in advance and make cereal and bread available to those who are ready first. Streamline breakfast preparation with helpful products like the 3-in-1 Breakfast Center that combines a pause-and-serve coffee maker, toaster oven, and even a grill for frying eggs and sausage, into one handy appliance. The product is also a great space and timesaver for the busy home or college apartment.

Set your alarm clock earlier

Do yourself a favor by rising half an hour before everyone else. Things tend to go much more smoothly in the morning if you’re showered and dressed before waking the kids.

To request a copy of Ginny’s catalog, log on to or call (800) 487-9024.

Courtesy of ARAcontent