Buried Under Back-to-School Clutter

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Back to School

I don’t know why I am shocked every year by the amount of paper, school supplies, books, sheet music, and forms that come into my home the first week of school. It’s as if my memory is wiped clean by the blinding summer sun. The end of August rolls around and I’m swept up in a sea of clutter that swamps my home, starting with the kitchen table and spreading outward until it is a tidal wave I can’t escape from.

Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but after this week – the first week of school – I have reached the end of my rope. Yesterday, after our weekly set of three back-to-back music lessons, my wonderful sons decided to inform me of the things we forgot to get during our back-to-school shopping spree … five three-ring binders, notebook dividers, a pencil compass, and colored pencils. So we ended up going to three stores on our quest to find the dregs of the school-supply section, nearly a week after the first day. The few remaining battered and left-behind items sat forlorn on the abandoned shelves. We managed to scrape together some of the more important items, but this weekend will be spent trying to tackle the rest.

We dragged our bags of new back-to-school loot into the house, where it faded seamlessly into the other supplies that have entered my house in the past two weeks. Another thing on the agenda this weekend … we are getting organized.

First things first: The school supplies and paperwork. I can take care of the forms, volunteer requests, clinic cards, and various other things I have to fill out and sign. The boys and I will have to tackle their rooms next so they have a place to put their new supplies. I’m thinking shelves and bookcases lined with baskets for pencils, erasers, note cards, and so on, hooks for backpacks, wall calendars in each room so they can jot down test dates, concert dates, practices, etc., and maybe some closet reorganization.

Next, I want to reclaim my kitchen table. My kids have desks in their rooms, so maybe after I organize everything they’ll want to do homework there instead of at my kitchen table. I’ll put a white-board calendar by the phone so we can track where everyone is supposed to be and when.

Football season starts this weekend … that means extra practices, out-of-town games, and marching band uniforms that will have to be washed and sent back to school weekly. If I don’t get organized now, fall will be a blur of chaos that will slam right into the holiday shopping season and even more clutter in the form of gifts, wrapping paper, bows, tape, and decorations.

If only I had one more week of summer … to organize, prepare, and stop clutter in its tracks. Oh, well. There’s always next year.