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Back to School

Updated: Aug 11, 2023


July 2023 Organization Pending Newsroom Upper Arlington, Ohio


close up of drooping orange flower by a lake with a blue cloudy sky in the background

Welcome to Organization Pending's Newsroom, July 2023: Back to School edition.

This month, we look at Columbus events celebrating the last summer rays, and tips to help you and the kids get ready for the back to school season, including decluttering and organizing for kids, and a Tip of the Month for shopping with kids. Don't miss our Podcast and Book Recommendation of the Month on the history of books and their readers, and LGBTQIA+ anti-bullying resources!

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If you have an upcoming event, resource, or professional the community should know about, contact!


Last Summer Rays

Enjoy the last rays of summer with your family and community!

¡Festival Latino! is Saturday and Sunday, August 12-13, 11am-8pm both days. Produced by the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA), this free event features music, food, fashion, art, dance, and children's activities from the heart of Latin America, celebrating family and community.

CBUS Soul® Fest is Saturday, August 19, 4-11pm, in Genoa Park. Featuring live music and performances, this free annual event first launched in 2022 and is presented by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department in partnership with Experience Columbus. Visit the Department's Scioto Mile parking guide, or download ParkMobile™'s ParkColumbus app to plan before you go!

sunrise with rays spreading up behind clouds

The 12th annual Columbus Food Truck Fest: Hillard Edition is happening Saturday and Sunday, August 19-20, at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. You'll find food, art, and retail vendors, and live music lineups on the main and acoustic stages throughout the day. Tickets the day of the festival at $7, or purchase in advance for $5 - kids 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult 18 or older.

WonderBus is happening Friday-Sunday, August 25-27 at The Lawn at CAS on Olentangy River Road. Each day features a variety of musical artists on three stages, including Pitbull, Demi Lovato and CAAMP, as well as a variety of culinary experiences, art, activities, and education. Children under 2 are free, 3-10 is $70, and adult general admission for the weekend is $179. Individual day pricing and more information is available under "tickets" on the WonderBus website.

The Fiery Foods Fest is back, Saturday, August 26, 11am-8pm, and Sunday, August 27, 12-6pm! Brought to you by MGN! and CD929FM, tickets are $5, and a portion of the proceeds benefits CD102.5 for the Kids. Featuring hot and spicy vendors from all over the country, you'll also find food trucks, artisans, music, and more.

Ride Weekend for Pelotonia is Saturday and Sunday, August 5-6, with the Opening Ceremony on Friday, August 4. This annual cycling event is celebrating 15 years of One Goal this year, directing 100% of the funds raised by participants and partners to help fund cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, including the Pelotonia Institute for Immuno-Oncology. In addition to the Ride Weekend in August, Pelotonia will also be hosting Gravel Day in September, and the Impact Celebration in November.

Sign that reads: Quarry Trails Dog Park is now open! Follow directional signage to area. No vehicular traffic at this time. Please park in a designated parking lot.

Need a fun place to take the kids? Have need for a local dog park? Quarry Trails opened their dog park on June 9! Along with a playground, walking trails, mountain bike trail, observation areas, waterfall and lakes, this metro park is somewhere everyone in the family can enjoy!

With the recent unusual weather, we've all been spending more time indoors than we thought we would this summer. If you've gone through all your puzzles and want to swap them out, bring your 300+ piece gently used adult puzzles to The Upper Arlington Public Library on Tremont Road, Saturday, August 19 from 2-3pm for their Puzzle Swap event!


Back to School Organizing

Instagram post with tips of how to declutter kids' toys, picture has organized play sets and toys

Before the kids get back to school, I'm sure most of us have decluttering and organizing their clothing and work spaces on our to-do lists - starting early ensures back-to-school shopping lists are complete, and you don't waste money buying items that are already there. Is the thought of shopping with the kids making your heart rate go up? Planning early and having a list alleviates some of this stress - see the Tip of the Month below for ideas on mitigating shopping stress with kids from The Minimal Mom!

Instagram post with tips of how to declutter kids' toys, picture shows many stuffed animals in a pile

Start with decluttering your kids' clothing by size, or if items are worn through, and invite them in to look at what's left in categories - what are their 14 favorite t-shirts, long sleeved shirts, hoodies, shorts, and pants? For the remaining clothing, are there items they never want to wear that can be donated so another kid can enjoy them? Decide together how many items in each category make sense for them to need, and use that as a guideline for deciding how many more remaining items should be donated from each category. Establish an ongoing donation basket or bag in the closet to catch further donations as the kids outgrow clothing or change interests in character shirts.

When organizing their newly decluttered wardrobe, consider if they have clothing that is only used for school or sports. Create zones for these options, then categorize by sleeve and pant length to create their daily options zone.

Instagram post with tips of how to organize kids' toys, picture is a close up of the earlier cubes of organized toys

Creating a specific and organized space for homework helps your child maintain focus, allowing them to find supplies quickly and without having to wander through the house looking for an item, or asking you where something is. Declutter dried-out supplies every season, and utilize quick-grab baskets for often used art supplies that are a hybrid zone between school and personal creative projects.

Did you miss our how-to social media posts on specific tips for decluttering and organizing kids' toys? Make sure you're following along to get home organizer tips in your feed!


Tip of the Month

white jar with a lid labelled "things" in black

As a home organizer, I follow a variety of people in the organization community. One of these is Dawn, The Minimal Mom. While I don't consider myself a minimalist, I find that Dawn's focus on honing in on the items around the house that are needed and used to be a good guideline for remembering how to find joy in the objects I see everyday. Dawn recently took two of her young children on a thrift store shopping adventure, explaining the tips she uses for herself and her family when they're at any store, or shopping online. Many of us struggle to show our children the value of things and money, and many of her tips have come from facing her and her children's own struggles living in a consumer culture.

  • Have a shopping list of the necessary items, and items you're interested in shopping around for - make sure to check the new price on your ideal item, because thrift shopping doesn't always mean savings.

  • Let your kids purchase one or two items that catch their eye with their own money - this of course lets them learn money skills, but also lets them have the experience of making that choice. If these items don't hold up over time, remind them of these experiences the next time, helping to reinforce their decision making skills.

  • Implement a monthly "Buying Day" where the family reviews the non-essential items they asked to buy throughout the month. Every time someone asks for an item that's a want, not a need, save a picture or screenshot of it in a folder on your phone to locate the list easily.

  • Show your kids the same skills you want them to learn by expressing how beautiful or awesome an item is that you want, consider the price, and practice walking away to think about it while you're walking around the store, or add it to the Buying Day folder - chances are you might not even remember about the item by the time you check out, or by the time it's Buying Day!

Check out all the tips and shop around with Dawn in her Minimalist Thrifting Secrets video!


Podcast and Book Recommendation of the Month

Tabi Berkey

cover of book Portable Magic: A History of Books and Their Readers by Emma Smith

Back to school season always puts me in the mood for an interesting non-fiction book, and my background in libraries made this book about books a perfect one for the season. Portable Magic: A History of Books and Their Readers, dives into the misconceptions surrounding the Gutenberg Bible, censorship and book burning, anthropodermic bindings, the social meanings of books, the physical connection between a book and its reader, and a thoughtful chapter on what makes a book a book.

Join author Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Oxford University, for a discussion of her book with The History of Literature podcast, episode 475.

screenshot of The History of Literature podcast episode 475 Portable Magic - A History of Books and Their Readers (with Emma Smith)

Smith talks about the physical experience of books with host Jacke Wilson, including the history of paperbacks, book scented candles, and the feelings we have surrounding these inanimate objects. With a changing culture of how to hook people and keep them interested, Smith and Wilson talk about media, how movies have changed over the past decades, and how that relates to books and their writers - how books are being consumed, marketed and sold in this modern age. Taking a deeper look at some of the aspects Smith talks about in Portable Magic, including the sustainability of the book business, and a shift from state censorship to community battles in the West, this podcast is a great companion to the book, no matter if you read the book or listen to the podcast first.


LGBTQIA+ Resource

As the kids are heading back to school, some parents of LGBTQIA+ youth may be concerned about the possibility of bullying.

  • 2023 has seen more anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state houses this year than in each of the previous five years, including more than 125 bills that would prevent trans youth from accessing health care, and over 30 "bathroom bills" targeting transgender and nonbinary children. (Human Rights Campaign)

  • The FBI reported a 70% increase in hate crimes against LGBTQIA+ people from 2020 to 2021. (The Marshall Project)

  • 41% of books banned in schools during the 2021-2022 school year explored LGBTQIA+ themes. (Newsweek)

  • 81.8% of LGBTQIA+ students feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, causing 4 in 10 students to avoid school bathrooms, locker rooms and gym classes, and 78.8% avoiding school functions or extracurricular activities. (GLSEN)

  • 80% of U.S. teens use social media, and 59% have experienced abusive online behavior through name-calling, spreading false rumors, or physical threats. Approximately half of LGBTQ+ youth report they've experienced online harassment. (Cutter Law)

brown wall outside with peace signs and the word peace painted in a variety of styles and colors

Kaleidoscope Youth Center offers a safe and affirming space for LGBTQIA+ youth ages 12-20, and their allies. They offer in-person and virtual programs and special events, including drop-in hours and family events.


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