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Knee Deep in Homework and No School Supplies in the House

Submitted by on September 13, 2011 – 10:34 pmOne Comment

Summer vacation is over and we are now a few weeks into school and knee deep in homework. I have to admit that I am not a fan of homework. I realize it is necessary but when my three boys were in elementary school, there were evenings when my brain almost exploded dealing with not one, not two, but three grade levels of homework. Until you have experienced it for yourself, it is hard to understand the amount of effort it takes as a parent to support a child through homework assignments and the endless running around gathering supplies for school projects.

Have you ever had one of your children tell you on a Sunday night that they need a poster board or particular supply for Monday morning? In our household, a last minute request begins a debate between my husband and I on who gets to go out. “Do you want to get out? I don’t mind getting out but wanted to ask you. ” “Well I don’t mind if you want me to get out. I can stop what I am doing.” This goes back and forth until one of us breaks. Many times it ends with “Why don’t you go and pick us up some ice cream on the way home”. The promise of a treat usually works with my husband.

Reluctantly he heads out and to his surprise the Walgreens on the corner is out of poster board. This is probably due to all the other parents rushing to get their last minute poster board for the same project. So it’s either off to Kroger which is closer, or to the ever dependable Walmart. Choosing Walmart as the logical option, they too seem to have had a run on poster board. Target is the next closest store and yes they have poster board in green only. He grabs it.

After conquering the poster board fiasco, my husband gets treats and heads home, only to find out that the school project is about the ocean and the poster board is green. Oh, well.

To minimize these homework catastrophes, stock up on normal and the not so normal school supplies. Have everyday supplies stored in an area close to your kid’s homework area. Keep overstock or out of the ordinary items in an area for the kids to “shop”.
I like taking supplies out of the packages and containerizing them. This can save a huge amount of space. I am sure you have some plastic school pencil boxes that your kids are no longer using. These are great to store small items like erasers or glue sticks.
If you have a spare shelf, try using Sterlite drawer options. These can be stacked to various heights and labeled with the supply inside. A pocket shoe organizer hung on a closet door can also be used to store school supplies or office products.

Modern technology has created a unique way to keep track of family supply needs. Most phones have apps that everyone in the family can access. My family uses the Shared Shopping List on our Windows Mobile7 phones. Each member of my family can access the app from their own phone and it takes them to the family shopping list broken down by store. We have Walmart, Sam’s, Clothing Store, Target, Lowe’s and Pet Store. You can of course add any store you frequent or just create basic categories. When someone needs notebook paper, they enter it under Walmart. If they need new gym shorts, it can be added under Clothing Store.

Now that the summer festivities are over, it is time to gain control over your clutter. Creating organized spaces for the school supplies you have and developing options for getting the supplies your kids need, will make homework time less stressful. And those late night supply runs will just be for family treats!

Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and founder and owner of “Get Organized!” “Get Organized!” is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. “Get Organized!” specializes in organizing and de-cluttering homes as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management.

A popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas’ two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox, and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News, The North Texas Kids Magazine,, and Daily Candy Kids. To get more information about Lorraine, visit

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