It’s back-to-school time! That magical time of year when the summer comes to a close and we all get prepped for another year of growing, learning, and endless amounts of paper coming home on a daily basis.
Seriously – what’s with all the paper?! And endless amounts of school supplies, new clothes, athletic wear, arts and crafts – the list goes on and on! Kids in school can be messy – and keeping things organized get can very overwhelming very fast.
The good news is – there are TONS of easy, low-cost solutions out there to keep things organized or at least under control as you head into another school year. We’ve gathered our favorite tips for you here.
- Go Through + Give Away
One of the best things you can do with a new school year is start it on a clean slate. That means going through everything and giving away what you don’t need! Or, correction… what your KIDS don’t need. 😉
This includes old clothes that no longer fit, worn out shoes, broken school supplies and stuffed animals they haven’t touched in years. Get rid of the old and make way for the new!
2. Label everything. Like, everything.
Spending money on brand new supplies only to have them lost the second your kid gets to school is annoying to say the least. In order to avoid this fate, label EVERYTHING your kid takes to school with their first and last name, and a phone number if appropriate.
3. Meal Prep for the Week
This can save monumental amounts of time in the morning and evenings getting breakfast, lunches and dinner together. Do a bit of prep over the weekend and plan out breakfast options as well as dinner plans. Stock the pantry full of easy to grab snacks for lunches, and store all of your lunch prep materials in the same place in the fridge.
4. Streamline Those Mornings
There are many ways to get this done – but making your mornings as easy as possible will make or break your school year. Keep the bathroom clean with the essentials grouped on the counter for your kids to use. Have a designated spot for shoes and backpacks where your kids can grab them in the morning on the way to the car. Set alarms with more than enough time to eat breakfast, get dressed and have the occasional meltdown as you begin the day. Starting everything off on the right foot will help you stay calm, organized, and decrease morning chaos as much as possible.
5. Keep the Car Clean
Depending on where you live and what your commutes look like, you and your kids probably spend a ton of time in the car. It’s your mode of transportation to all schools, activities, friends’ houses, movie nights, etc. It’s the epicenter of your whole schedule – and if it’s a mess, you’re going to feel like a mess. As much as you can – decrease the amount of stuff that accumulates – keeping little packs of essentials like chargers, band-aids and snacks. Vacuum once or twice a month, and attach pockets to the back of the front seats for your kids to store playbooks, toys or other activities.
6. Establish a Filing System
One essential thing to remember about the school year is it’s so much paper. Like, more paper than you could ever imagine. Homework, arts and crafts, newsletters, permission slips – the paper never ends. That’s why it’s essential to have an organization system in place so you’re ready for the cyclone when it hits.
Have designated folders for each of your children, as well as for yourself for school administrative stuff. Set these up now and label all tabs accordingly – this will save you a mountain of clutter later on.
7. Start a Supply Stash
You never know when your kid is going to need extra binder paper, a ruler, extra calculator batteries and magazine clippings. Keep a plethora of materials in a bin somewhere that you can whip out at a moment’s notice when a last-minute homework assignment pops up.
8. Plan Ahead
If you aren’t already, using a family calendar digitally or in paper form can be incredibly helpful in keeping everything organized. Note all school breaks, holidays and events now – as well as friends’ birthdays, parent teacher conferences and auctions. Refer to it frequently and update it whenever things come up. This way, nothing will be missed or catch you off guard.
9. Designate a Homework Spot
This services multiple purposes. Anchoring your kids to one specific place in the house for homework and productivity can keep them focused and help get homework done faster. It can also minimize mess as all of the crafts, building and coloring happens in one place. It’s a win-win.
10. Choose a Bedtime and Stick to It
One of the best ways to keep everyone together and in good spirits is for everyone to get a good night’s sleep – yourself included! Set a bedtime and stick to it. Routine, routine, routine.