Back to School Planning FAQ's: Save on Money and Stress


Last Minute Rush for School Supplies? You’re not alone!

If you are like me…I always wanted (and still want) to enjoy every last ounce of summer before its time for back to school. We almost always missed the ‘tax-free weekend’ because we were away or just plain forgot about it. So, that meant the scramble a week before school began to get all the supplies needed for first day.

Here are some tips you can do right now, even if school starts next week, and get to the store this weekend if there are items you still need.

We had to put these in place to save us (Me) tons of stress and mass confusion…

  • Start by having the kids go through what they brought home last year and did not use. We used to clear off the dining table and collect all the potential school supplies from around the house.

  • Check backpacks, drawers, cupboards, under the beds, in the closets…This way we could see what we had, make a list and when we went shopping we knew exactly what we were lacking and could focus on that, not wondering if we already had it at home. Most of you know that I am big on recycling and although my now 15-year-old daughter is Ok with it now, when she was little she always wanted all her supplies to be brand new. Ugh, if that’s your world…good luck. They will grow out of it. Suggestion…try to get them to use half-used erasers and glue sticks, pencils, pens, markers etc.…I would put them all in her ‘new’ pencil box, that helped.

How can parents help their kids stay organized for the school year?

My daughter likes to use a productivity book. She received one in middle school and has used one ever since. During each class she would write down what she needed to do for homework and when it was due. Also, set some time aside before the weekend starts to look at what needs to be accomplished by the Monday. That way the kids aren’t waiting until Sunday night to look and see what is potentially due the next day.

It also helps when the parents are organized themselves… Again, whatever that looks like to them.

What strategies do you recommend for sorting through paperwork?

The biggest struggle we see is with mail and kids school papers and craft projects.

For mail: nip it in the bud-when you get it from the mailbox, immediately separate the recycle (promotional, magazines-you do not want, flyers and such) and pop right into recycle bin. The rest open as soon as possible put them where they need to go: bills, future events…and envelopes go right in with recycle.

Kids projects and school work. Have them pick out a few things they would like to keep. When my daughter was young I used to send her little pictures and drawings to her grandparents and aunts and uncles. They really enjoyed receiving something in the mail from their granddaughter and also being able to put the artwork up on the refrigerator. I like keeping things with a handprint or something personal she wrote about herself or family member. I still only keep my daughters’ projects from the start of the year and the end of the year. To see how she has improved in each subject.

Can you share a tip for keeping your desk organized?

Try to only keep out what you need at the moment… This is actually an area I sometimes struggle with because I seem to have too many things going on all the time. So if you came over and looked at my office area you would never believe I was a professional organizer :-). It does work for me and that’s how we treat every one of our clients. If it works for them and they can function, then it works for us.

Why is it important to declutter?

Regular decluttering is part of all of our lives, whether we are conscious of it or not. We clean out our refrigerator, we sort through mail, when the kids (or adults) grow out of clothes, taking out the trash, doing chores… The challenge is when all that gets piled up and it becomes an overwhelming task. Having less clutter is beneficial for every part of your life. It effects our focus, confidence and health… along with many other areas

Can you tell us a little about yourself and the services you offer?

Lisa Geraci Rigoni is owner and CDO (Chief DeClutter Officer) of The Organizing Mentors. Lisa has been helping her clients Reclaim their space mentally and physically for over 10 years. Lisa’s primary mission is to help individuals, families and organizations improve their current situations with organized systems and spaces (whatever that means to them). Beyond organizing any space, Lisa and her Team Mentors educate clients to implement best practices and inspire confidence to make positive choices that enrich their lives and set them free from the habits that have kept their minds and spaces cluttered. After working with The Organizing Mentors, clients are recharged from the acceptance and empathy they practice as they reclaim their physical and mental space. The non-judgmental manner Lisa and her team utilize is highly appreciated by those who engage her team for assistance. We work with clients helping them sort through the 17 spatulas in their kitchen to Whole house sorts, purges and pack up/unpack for moves, the 17 hammers in their garages to helping get cars back into those garages. We also work with  older adults and the adult children of those older adults to reduce the stress and anxiety that goes along with losing a spouse, selling items that the family does not want to keep, and also being there and helping them downsize and move.  Whether you need a second  set of hands, eyes or ears… We will be there for you.

Well, here’s to a safe, fun and educational 2018-2019 school year. May we all survive to do it all again next year.


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