10 Tips That Will Make Back to School Organization Easy This Year
Well, it’s that time of year again. The summer break is coming to an end and the school year is approaching rapidly! That means it is also time for some back to school organization.
You may have already made your trip to Target and got the back to school gear, or maybe you are waiting for that orientation day. You may even be like me and already made the trip to Target but plan to go back after orientation.
Whichever is your style, there is a lot to be done before the start of the school year. How do you manage it all?
This year, you are going to be on top of all the things because you can start preparing for the school chaos now. I am talking the paper, lunches, snacks, projects, clothes, and more.
I am sharing 10 tips you can use to master the back to school organization like a pro and set you and your family up for success.
Let’s get organized!
Set up the Calendar
There is no way to keep track of the school schedule, the work schedule, the game schedules, and all the other events in your busy life without a calendar.
Whether your style is to have it on paper, on an app, or on google, find a way that works for your family and stick with it.
Personally, I love to write it out with a pencil or on a large dry erase calendar because as you know, it’s always changing. Plus I need a big calendar where everyone can see.
What is your favorite type of calendar to use?
Before You Leave Checklist
Once a week there is always something that is forgotten. Someone’s lunch, homework, yearbook money, or even brushing their teeth.
Mornings can be rough, especially on Mondays, so help your children and yourself by making a checklist to use before walking out the door.
Have your daily to-do items such as getting their lunch, backpack, checking that their homework is in their backpack, brushing their teeth, and so on.
Leave a few extra lines or some space for those special items of the week. For example, the yearbook money or field trip form.
By doing this, you are already setting the day up for success!
Outfits for the Week
Now, the checklist is great, but only if you can get the kids out the door. By now, you have figured out that getting the kids dressed can be what is keeping that from happening.
If you are able to set the clothes out the night before then you are already on top of it, but it is a lot like making lunches daily, it gets old real fast.
In addition, when you get home late from the baseball game or a late dinner and you don’t have the time or energy to do it that night, you are stuck doing it in the morning.
Take some time during the weekend, maybe while you’re putting away the laundry, and set out the clothes for the week.
Now my son loves to choose his own outfit and we encourage that so I would set out a couple of options for each day and allow him some autonomy. Plus, if we have a morning with a little extra time then he can choose something different.
This is a great way to get out the door, especially during a hurried morning.
Clean Out the Kitchen
Now speaking of lunches, where are you planning to put all the extra lunch food and after-school snacks?
Take some time to clean out the fridge, freezer, and pantry. Really, the Easter candy needs to go!
Taking some time to do this helps tremendously when you are trying to put away the chips, granola bars, and extra drinks.
Plus, cleaning out the fridge and freezer allows more room for those quick breakfast and dinner options.
You know it will all fill back up very quickly, so give yourself a little head start with this tip.
After-School Snack Spot
Now that you have the room, let’s talk about those after-school snacks.
Regardless if your kids actually ate that healthy, filling lunch you packed for them, plus their extra snack, they will still come home wanting more snacks.
I don’t blame them though! I love snacking too and they are growing and learning so much every day.
However, the after-school snacks can easily turn into a before-dinner treat, which we know is rarely a good idea.
So to prevent this and give your kids some independence, have a designated spot in the fridge, freezer, and/or pantry for after-school snacks only.
This allows them to grab them freely (independence for them), trusting them to get what you put in the designated spot (trust-building), and knowing they are eating healthy (mom win).
Make a Drop Spot
Before they run for the after-school snacks they first drop their things wherever they can. On the kitchen floor, table, garage, living room, and then they wonder why they can’t find what they need the next day or why their Chromebook isn’t charged.
To prevent some confusion and keep your home a little tidier make a designated drop spot.
It would be a dream come true to have that perfect mudroom where somehow your kids can throw their things, never lose anything, and it can all be featured in a magazine at the same time, but we know that is only on T.V. right. At least that’s what I tell myself.
The good news is that you don’t need a magazine-ready mudroom for a drop spot. Make a spot in the kitchen, in each child’s room, or in the living room. Make sure a plug is close by for charging every night.
Now you know exactly where the things are, you can make sure the Chromebook is charged, and it is all easy to grab and go the next morning.
Library Books Only
Something else that needs a special place is those library books! They are so easy to be misplaced and get lost in the sea of the other books you already have at home.
When your child loses one you are stuck paying for it (unless they have some extra birthday money) and you definitely have some mom shame.
To prevent all of this and be on the librarian’s good side, make a special place for library books only. It can be a container, a box, a bin, it really doesn’t matter.
This is the place your child always returns their book when they are done reading (unless they need to take it to school of course) and you can help keep up with those return dates.
Where to Put All the Artwork and Keepsakes
You love your kids so of course, you love all the things they make and bring home, however, the papers and artwork start to become too much.
You can’t possibly keep it all. If you did you would end up stashing some in every closet and every drawer of your house, but you feel bad secretly throwing their hard work away. So what do you do?
Start the year off with one container for each kiddo. You can use a tub that fits in the storage closet or an under-the-bed container, whatever works for your home. This is where their most treasured things can go for the year.
Work together to decide what are their favorites and what is a keepsake. When it gets too full or when you have time go through it again.
If you are still having a hard time getting rid of things and you are running out of room, you can always take pictures of the items and make a Shutterfly book.
I am guilty of keeping way too much so this is exactly what I did for my son’s artwork. One book for each year!
Label, Label, Label
Take some time and label all the new school gear. Not only is it very satisfying to label things (ok, maybe that’s just me), but it is also so very helpful!
Will your child lose something still, probably, but are they more likely to get it back, absolutely!
My mother-in-law, who is a school secretary, has an astonishing amount of clothes and other items that end up in the lost-and-found at the end of the year! These all get donated because no one came asking for them and there was no way to figure out who they belong to.
Now I will not be labeling every pencil and every article of clothing my child wears and I don’t want you to spend time doing that either. However, label the things that are likely to be lost or very valuable: winter coats, jackets, backup clothes (if your child takes those), pencil pouch, backpacks, lunch boxes, notebooks, electronics, etc.
Plan Family Time
It is easy to get lost in the hustle of the school year. There are a lot of changes, extra responsibilities, and extra activities. However, don’t let yourself forget to have fun with your family.
Make family time a part of the daily routine. Make it a priority and put it on the schedule, write it down if you need.
It doesn’t have to be much, a little bit of time and a small activity can go a long way.
This could look like 30 minutes of playtime before you need to start making dinner, maybe after you clean up from dinner is better, maybe it’s watching the family’s favorite show together before bedtime.
Whatever it is, make it a priority and a norm in your family’s routine. Time spent together is the best way to grow a relationship.
Learn more time management tips to be more productive, spend more time with your family, and limit stress here.
Back to School Here We Come!
Now you know 10 ways you can get ahead of the chaos that is back to school time with these tips.
Back to school organization may take a little more thought and time, but it doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming. just a few adjustments now can set you and your family up for success for the school year!
Which tip is your favorite? Which tip do you already use? What tip am I forgetting here?
This is going to be the best school year yet!