The weeks leading up to and immediately following the beginning of the school year are a great time for a yearly purging-and-organizing run. (Photo: Jason Finn/Dreamstime/TNS).

Whether you’re reorganizing your empty nest around one of your children going off to college, or primary school starting, here are some tips to keep your home organized through the chaos!

The weeks leading up to and immediately following the beginning of the school year are a great time for a yearly purging-and-organizing run. Taking stock of your items and space puts you in the right mental space to organize.

• Clear out clothing and items that people have outgrown. Hand down what you can to younger children or relatives. Donate items that are still in good condition.

• Think ahead when shopping for clothing. Summer clothing in August and September will be going on sale as the season comes to an end, so it’s a good time to get ready for 2022.

• Sort through garages, closets and your kitchen. Although you might not think of this time of year as ideal for organizing, it’s perfect timing to go through these areas, purge what’s not needed, and increase space.

Establish a home command center
Every home has that area where you prepare to head out the door or dump your stuff as you return. The only difference is, sometimes those areas are more planned-out and organized than others! Instead of letting the handiest nearby shelf get stuck with all the bags, select a convenient location as a command center/drop zone. It should be easily accessible and have room for storage. The best “drop zones” are ones that family members can get to without having to think about it too hard.

This center should include space for paperwork, mail, keys, pens and pencils, and device charging stations. Select appropriate containers for things like mail and receipts, and hooks for coats and bags. Label areas for each family member. Make sure you get everyone into the habit of dropping everything off in the correct spot each day.

Organize a dorm room:
College residence hall rooms are not known for their spaciousness. However, you can apply micro-organization hints from the tiny house movement to help make a cramped dorm room into a home for the semester!

• Use every inch of storage: Place your bed on risers for under-storage space, or install a loft bed to place the desk and extra living area beneath.

• Accessorize with functional tools that can be multi purposed. Over-the-door organizers and storage ottomans are useful ways to make use of the space. Use clear storage boxes to stash away essentials you might not be using very often. Fold and organize your clothing so it takes up as little space in your dresser as possible.

• Decorate for comfort: Bright colors, wall decals, fabric throws, or mirrors can make the space feel bigger and more comfortable!

By Paul F. P. Pogue, Ask Angi (TNS). Visit for more information.