Share your family’s organization tip on our blog to win $50!

Back to School Organization

How do you keep your family organized and ready for the ‘Back To School’ madness?

Put your entry as a comment below. It can be anything from a string tied around your finger as a reminder to a highly complex calendar filing system. It’s up to you!The winner gets a $50 gift card to spend at Calendars.com or DogbreedStore.com.

How To Enter

1. Leave a comment starting today. Click here to visit the comment section.

2. That’s it! (Contest ends September 1st)

On September 1st we will select a winner at random and notify you by email. It’s just that easy!

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CALENDARS.COM’S ‘BACK TO SCHOOL’ ORGANIZATIONAL TIPS

My mother always had this book of a day planner that she couldn’t go anywhere without. It went from her desk at work, to her car, to her desk at home and ended the day on the kitchen table. We always knew where it was and to check it before we asked to do ANYTHING. I also had a calendar posted to my door with practices, work schedule, school events, and personal dates written on it so they knew where I was any given day. – Ashton, Marketing

In my family, school supplies are bought little by little, all summer long, so by the time school starts they are fully stocked and ready to go. Then the week prior to school starting we begin the morning and evening school routines, so no one is grumpy about waking up or going to bed once school starts.  – Steve, Customer Service

A friend of mine has six children and all are still in school. She has a cubby for each child with their name on it where they place ALL school related articles: backpacks, permission slips, report cards, homework, etc. That way no papers are lost, misplaced, or mixed up with a sibling’s. Yes, she’s a VERY busy lady! – Jessica, Merchandising

We start by getting our school supply lists early. Then, I put a copy in my purse so that I always have it with me when I see a deal. Our “master” copies are kept on the back of the front door and things are checked off as I purchase them. Then I can always see when I’m heading out what things are left to buy! – Sarah, Marketing

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53 Responses to “Share your family’s organization tip on our blog to win $50!”

  1. Tama Zombek 01. Aug, 2011 at 6:26 am #

    Everyone gets their own wall calendar to post their sports practices, sports game schedule, important school assignment due dates, social events, etc. They can tell at a glance their own personal committments. I keep a bigger main family calendar with EVERYONE’S schedule for myself. This gets too involved for the kids to spot their own stuff at a glance, so having a separate one of their own really works for us. I keep my calendar centrally located in the house, but the kids keep theirs in their rooms.

    The other really big thing we all do is text a message to ourselves immediately to make note of a new important date; and then record it on our perspective calendars that night.

  2. Kylie 01. Aug, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    Buy magnets off ebay (100 for about $5!) and put them on top of the fridge. Then, when important information or events arrive on a piece of paper or card, simply take a magnet, peel the backing and stick it on your event – and put it on the fridge! You’ll always see it and won’t forget it, and once your event has happened you can take it off an recycle!

  3. Cyndy 01. Aug, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    I used beautifully illustrated calendars instead of a baby book to chart our son’s milestones. It’s quick and easy to make a notation for every event like sat up, 1st tooth, 1st zoo trip, birthdays, 1st day of school, family visits and trips. I now have 6 fabulous family keepsakes.

  4. Angela Larimer 01. Aug, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    We have a calender for our car so we can coordinate use and keep everyone in the loop.

  5. Rick Dwyer 01. Aug, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Buy you calendar early and one for every family member who needs one. A desk blotter calendar can be a focal point at home where everbody can check in to see what is going on.

    Pocket calendars are wonderful as they fit in a pocket, purse, breief case or back pack. Before giving them out mark special days in advance you know about so all are on the same page..

    Calendar.com has wonderful customer service and prices!

  6. Theresa 01. Aug, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Each of my children has an alarm clock in their rooms, so when the alarms go off on schooldays, the child has to get ready. If they are grumpy or sleepy – it’s the clock’s fault – not mine!

  7. Elaine Davidson 01. Aug, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    From the time my kids were 4 or 5 years old (now in their 40′s), they have received their own calendar, personally suited to their individuality, as a Christmas gift. I continued the tradition with the kids-in-law, and now the grandchildren, ages 10 and 16, who have received their own calendars since their very first Christmas. Now, everyone expects a new calendar as part of their Christmas gift, and looks forward to it.

  8. Pattie 01. Aug, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    My calendar is easily visible in my kitchen pantry. I keep it color-coded using a different felt tip pen with each family member’s favorite color. A quick glance let’s us each know what’s up for the month. Pink for me, blue for my husband, purple for my daughter, and green for my son!

  9. Sharyl Taylor 01. Aug, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    There are six of us going to work & school, so I use several organizing tools. Each family member has a different color. Each persons’ schedule is typed into our iCal on the main computer, & can be sync’d, like classes, work, appointments, etc… so we know who is where & when. Each has a folder of a different color for mail, loose papers, or notes-kind of a lost & found. Two shoe baskets are at the front door. Six laundry baskets are on a rack for easy distribution. The fridge is our communication board. There is a shopping list on the door to write anything used that needs replacing from food to toiletries. When they were younger we used colored magnets for notes. Now I use colored sticky notes: Reminder-Dentist Mon. 2:30, Love Mom. I also had colored cups, plates and bowls so I’d know who didn’t rinse their dish & put it away. Biggest tip: prep the night before so everything is set out & ready to go in the morning. We made a daily check off list for one of our kids who couldn’t remember everything.

  10. Kathleen Rosales 01. Aug, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    The wildflower calendar that I purchase every year has many purposes that help organize my family and more. The calendar is in the kitchen and it hangs right by the phone. As soon as I know of some event that I need to remember, it goes on the calendar. Events could include important meetings, school events, people I need to call, birthdays, phone numbers, etc. The calendar is also my diary. I will jot down little sayings that my kids say or a dream that I want to remember. Lastly, the beauty of the photographs of the wildflowers help me remember that I love to go for walks and it inspires me to get outside to exercise. I then keep all of the calendars to remember what I did in that year.

  11. Carole Chaffin 01. Aug, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    I am a senior citizen with certain amount of small vessel disease in my brain, so I can’t remember names, dates, where I’m supposed to be when, etc. Unfortunately, I live alone & have no family. I purchased a small book-style calendar from Calendars.com to carry in my purse & I write EVERYTHING in it & EVERYWHERE I need to be. Without it I would be lost!! It has solved my problem perfectly, I no longer miss appointments.

  12. Judy Brizz 01. Aug, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Use a different color marker for each family member. Then when someone is looking for their own important dates, the color pops out!

  13. Dale 01. Aug, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    I always order each of my kids an engagement calendar during the summer months. I then go through the calendar when it arrives and write in relatives birthdays and anniversaries and any other important event that I know will be happening in the year ahead. I also add the age or the number of years for the anniversary. I then add that person’s address and phone number to the date in the book.

    This way they won’t forget anyone’s birthday or anniversary. They can call or pick up a card ahead of time to mail and not have to find an address or phone number. They both have very challenging jobs that includes doing a lot of paperwork at home.

    I then save this calendar and put it in as part of their Christmas present. It is something that they really look forward to each year. They are really grateful to receive this gift and it is useful to them everyday of the year.

    I have been doing this for probably about 10 years. I just bought this years engagement calendars – picking out just the right calendar if also a great deal of fun for me.

  14. Sharon Wozniak 01. Aug, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    We had moved with the Air Force for 20 years..I used to make a packing list for traveling, vacations, camping, Scouts, outings..kept a master copy adjusted as the family grew up..made several copies..kept one in the suit case and one for checking off as I packed..recycled the paper..the one in the suit case was to remind me not to forget anything that I had brought..worked well with keeping track of the kids, the dogs, and us as a couple :)

  15. Sharon Green 01. Aug, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    My tip:

    Touch things only ONCE…

    If you’re folding laundry…put it away at the same time.

    When you take off your clothes, put them in the laudry basket or hang them up right then.

    If you take out the gardening tools, put them away when you’re done

    After you eat, put the dishes in the dishwasher right away

    After you have a bath, clean the tub immediately

  16. Sharon Wozniak 01. Aug, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    eeeek..lol..ok..Back To School Madness..hmmmm..

    We made sure the kids had their school clothes laid out the night before, lunches made, backpacks set up…Mornings were pleasant instead of chaotic…

  17. Doug Millar 01. Aug, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    I have trouble remembering appointments, or just activities I would like to attend, so I hang a desk “calendar” on the wall near the main phone, and mark the event on the spot. I mark the events with a bold, colored magic marker so I can see the note from across the room if I am not near the main phone when I answer with a portable one while watching TV or reading. This means I can accept other appointments without creating a conflict.
    I live alone, so I need only one color, but for family use each member would have a unique color; this also means other family members will be aware of your commitments, and hopefully not arrange a conflict for you!

  18. Deborah Roberson 01. Aug, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    The best organizer my family has is a spiral notebook I ordered from my granddaughter’s school fund drive. It is called “The Internet Address Organizer.” It lists any websites we use, the User ID, and the passwords. We have found it to be our memory bank for the multitude of sites we visit and later cannot access. I have searched for a book like this to replace our well-used one and not found another that suits our needs. Who wants an idea that is sure to be a success?

  19. Cindy Huber 01. Aug, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    The calendars I purchase every year for family are opened and I record all birthdays and anniversaries on each one prior to sending these out as Christmas gifts. One year I neglected to purchase calendars and one of my nephews called Christmas day asking where his calendar was. Since then I have continued to purchase each family member a calendar and record this information on their personal calendar.

  20. Mary Lou Herbeck 01. Aug, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    We keep a calendar hanging in our kitchen that is the “official family calendar” where all activities, work schedules, school events, practices, appointments, etc., are all listed. Each family member is responsible for noting any activities where they will be away from home and/or need transportation. That way, we always know where everyone is and what every person’s plans are each day. If it’s not on the calendar, “it doesn’t count” (Mom does not have to remember what you told her)! It is a habit that has worked for years and minimizes the misunderstandings and the “I thought I told you” comments! We have all learned to look at the calendar every day if we want to know what’s going on! Now that some of the kids have grown up and moved out, they still check the calendar when they come home just to see what we’ve been up to!

  21. Mar 01. Aug, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    Plan weekly menu and shop on one weekend day. Saves so much time and headaches.

  22. Alice M. Lawson 01. Aug, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    I always buy a large calendar from Calendars.com to hang on the side of my refrigerator. The calendar I’m using this year is the Monster Grid so I have plenty of room to write. Before January 1 I write all the birthdays and anniversaries on the correct dates along with the age or number of years (if I know it). I copy these from the previous year’s calendar. That way I won’t forget to send each person a card or call them. Every time I make an appointment I write it on this calendar so I can look ahead and plan. Even though my children are grown, married and living away from home, whenever they come to visit they look at my “refrigerator calendar” and can tell what’s been going on in my life.

  23. Carol Lindow 01. Aug, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    To be sure all members of the family are informed on any particular happening, it is posted on a centrally located dry erase board. As each person reads it they initial it to indicate they now know the information.

  24. Mary Fisher 01. Aug, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    I have received several calendars from this seller and all have been suberb. Fantastic images, speedy & inexpensive shipping. Highly recommend

  25. marie-ann demchak 01. Aug, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    My philosophy as far as keeping everyone organized is simple. “If it’s not on the list, it doesn’t exist.”

    My kids learned at an early age, if it wasn’t written on the calendar, then it was not happening. I would also use a different color for each child and I love using the stickers that come with calendars to highlight appointments, sports, etc.

  26. Debbie Schexnaildre 01. Aug, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    I love the magnetic calendar to hang on your refrigerator . Keeps everyone in the family up to date all the time . Especially since it’s right in front your face constantly. I love the calendar and highly recommend it to everyone .

  27. K. Sullivan 01. Aug, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    Keep a calendar in each pertinent room, addresss
    Ing the family’s multiple interests.

  28. K. Sullivan 01. Aug, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Everyone in our home has varied interests, so we keep a calendar in each room, then synch our important dates.

  29. Marianne McGee 01. Aug, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    For the family calendar use 2 to 3 by month dry erase calendars. Assign each family member a color for their notations and have a color for family activities. If the kids need rides underline the event in the color of driver, Mom or Dad, for quick reference. For a busy family having 2 to 3 months visible makes for easier planning especially for identifying conflicts. Let younger kids pick favorite colors and participate in completing calendars, as they get older they are trained to help keep calendars up to date with activities and wishes!

  30. Marie 01. Aug, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    I decided that too much time was spent focusing on appointments etc and not enough time was spent in good old fashioned communication in our busy lives. So now we add special loving, funny or supportive messages. Our favorites are the silly messages we leave one another, such as “pet the cat, love, Jinx” I sign it with a little cat paw. My son will add, “Feed the kid his favorite meal! or “Big test today…pray hard!” We never know what will be written next and always check the calendar first thing for any new additions! Helps us to remember to look at the calendar every day for all those annoying appointments. But most of all, it starts our day with a smile and keeps those loving feelings flowing!

  31. Karen Karen 02. Aug, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    I borrowed a tool from my years in an office to help keep my family organized: a tickler file. This peculiar name refers to a filing system of having file folders numbered simply One through Thirty-One corresponding to each day of the month. Each night I put the empty file folder at the back of the Deckoflex sitting on the kitchen desk, which rotates the next day’s file to the front. These daily folders contain things like birthday cards to mail, bills to pay, party invitations, receipts for returns, the day’s “to do” list, and other such items. This really helps keep all of these important papers, reminders and details necessary for our active family of five from getting misplaced!

  32. Debbi 02. Aug, 2011 at 6:01 am #

    I have been using a Mom’s organization calendar for as long as I’ve been a Mommy! It hangs on the side of my fridge and everyone knows to check their column daily. Even though we’re a high-tech family, the fridge wall of fame is what we use.

    Your selection of calendars is fantastic!

  33. Sonia 02. Aug, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    I use the standard large desk calendar, but it is in a very high profile place on the fridge. If the event is specific to one person then I have assigned a color (we use highlighter pens) the calendar entry gets highlighted. Since the calendar is in a main area of my home the different colors get noticed and definitely attract attention. I always get the ones with the “list” on the side so that we can write down any other important notes. Everything is ALWAYS written in pencil because life changes and a pad of mini post-its to keep in contact. If I need to remember to ask someone a question, and they aren’t immediately available, I will jot it on a note and mark it with the appropriate color highlighter. We have a very busy/very active house with 6 family members ages 44-8 and often a pile of other friends and family members around so this helps keep the mundane details organized. Some days are decorated with stickers (courtesy of the youngest children) or funny drawings. By the end of the month our calendar page becomes a graffiti board of dates, engagements and happy thoughts and wishes. It’s a work of art.

  34. Judy Wilson 02. Aug, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    When making doctor app’ts, dental, or volunteering for functions, write the date on the same calendar. Then keep that calendar and at tax preparing time, you can figure the tax deductible milage for your taxes. This saves alot of time and looking up the dates of all the appointments and volunteering.

  35. Ilona Nelson 02. Aug, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    Each family member has a different pen color — I’m purple, my daughter is pink, one son is light blue another is green and my husband is black ink — family and friend birthdays are in red and general house scheduling is in navy blue — so all I have to do is put “doctor 10 a.m.” in the right color and we know who is scheduled. It saves from having to put “Rob doctor 10 a.m” plus it makes for a colorful, cheerful calendar.

  36. Eve Biernot 02. Aug, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    I have a wall calendar on the side of my refrigerator, held on by magnets that have clip type holders. I use one of the bottom magnet/clip holders to hold all appointment cards/tickets for events etc. that I keep in date order. I write events on the appropriate date, but also have the cards/notices/tickets as an additional reminder of what is coming up next. Between the two, I never forget the next appointment/event/activity. Also, because the appointment card is easy to find, if I need to re-scedule something the information is right at hand to take care of it. I have used this method for years, with great success.

  37. Kristy 02. Aug, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

    I’m not eligible for the comp being I am in Australia but rather than outline our entire system, my little tip is get a mini bulldog clip and attach it to your key ring. A GREAT place then to attach your shopping list and reminders, things to post receipts/general lists.

    Good luck all!

  38. Dimple 03. Aug, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    I am a big believer in lists and calendars. To do lists, even though it may not all get done when you want it, at least you know it’s on the list to be done at some point and won’t forget about it. And, with the busy lives people live these days, it’s so important to be able to keep track of everything, and a weekly calendar is great for that. Lastly, I always tell my husband to put things back where he found them, and it’s helped him to stop loosing his keys so often :) Good luck everyone!

  39. Lige Johnson 04. Aug, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    An oldy but a goody:: Before you put that old calender away copy the important dates from the old canlender to the new. That way us husbands will never have the excuss of foregetting the date. If you have ever forgotten her bithday you will no the value of this little practice.

  40. Sue Nonnemacher 04. Aug, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    We have a large block calendar hung in the hub of the house. Each person has a different color assigned to them. Any practice, school, Dr. appt., anything, is written in the color of that person for that date on the calendar. Grant it, it’s very colorful to look at, but keeps us very organized.

  41. Barbara 04. Aug, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    With so many entries on the calendar, an important event may be passed over. Using different colors is the key for me. Vital appointments and deadlines are in a bright color, such as red. Weekly or daily events are marked, but in a more subdued color, such as blue. Also, an individual wall calendar for every student in their own bedroom will help him or her budget time for big papers and projects because the entire month is readily visible.

  42. Joan 04. Aug, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    When someone in the family has an appointment scheduled, such as with the dentist, I take that little appointment card that they give you and write the appointment information on the ‘master calendar’ — hanging in the kitchen — as soon as we get home.

  43. Bettyann 04. Aug, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    One of the things that would really help us stay organized is a solution to the dilemma of finding the right calendar.

    In my humble opinion, this is because our previous order is not spelled out in your reorder email. I think a valuable lesson could be learned from Day-Timer, this company always includes our previous order in there renewal email and we can just check re-order, then add other items if we need them.

    The easier it is to reorder, the better for organizing the rest of our day. As we always order Sheltie calendars, it would help a lot, and be exceptionally convenient if only Shelties were presented in the beginning, followed by the breeds that we normally do not order.

    In fact the exact replica of our previous order would be a tremendous time saver. Between your calendars and Day-Timers daily appointment books we manage very well.

    Thank you, Bettyann (SheltiePets.com)

  44. Larry Warren 06. Aug, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    Each year we purchase a calendar with the big squares on it. It is placed on the wall as you go down the hallway toward the bedrooms so that everyone will pass it at least twice a day. All appointments, or requests, are written on it so that everyone will be informed as to what needs to be done and when. Each month the calendar is changed on the last day of the month so that everyone can see what is to be done on the first day of the next month. I also keep a small desk calendar next to my computer to log in all bills for payment as they are received. That way I know which day they are due and a red check mark on the calendar lets me know that they have been paid.

  45. BeachLady 18. Aug, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

    I always post everyone of our families, extended families & most friends birthdays, anniversaries & general important dates on Thanksgiving week to a new calendar for the coming year. We all seem to keep up w/dates better this way. One year I did one for our children, brothers & living parents. What a great surprise for all of them. You’ve got to remember that it only works if you take the time to post, it is a whole lot of work to gift 20-30 calendars that way!!!! Buy early & post in 2011, current year to a 2012 calendar for next years special days. EASY Family & Friends!

  46. Clysta 23. Aug, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    We had a location for each person to pile books, PE bags, etc., at night before bed, so the next morning we could grab and go.

  47. Phyllis Reed 24. Aug, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    We have the Mammoth calendar. 5 people in our family = five different hi–liters
    * Mom-pink, Dad-yellow, Son=orange, Daughter 1=blue, Daughter 2=green.

    * Each submission is written in pencil at the approximate tame of day ie, 12:00pm would be in the center of the box. Order of information = time, person, event, place.

    * A thin pencil line is drawn above and below the submission, creating a rectangle.

    * A chisled-cut hi-liter is used to make a thin line above and below and a fat line on either side of of the submission. It looks real sharp and gives info fast.

    Last thing: “IF IT ISN’T ON THE CALENDAR, IT DOESN’T EXIST”.

  48. Maria Wade 29. Aug, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    The main family calendar is on the fridge and different types of events & dates to remember are in different colors of markers. Learning daily calendars (vocab word a day or Spanish phrase a day) are in the bathrooms to get our minds going. Wall calendars of places we want to visit or things we love to do encourage us in our dreams.

  49. Erma L. Smith 31. Aug, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    I love this Calendar site. Paul was so helpful today with my order.
    My kids and grandkids love getting a calendar each Christmas and
    I can always find on here what they like. Thank you so much

  50. Erma L. Smith 31. Aug, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    My grandkids depend on their calendars from here
    that I give them each Christmas and it helps them
    throughout the year learn something printed on them.

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