10 BEST Back-To-School Organization Tips
I hope you all have enjoyed summer! I know my family certainly has, but I find myself longing for the routine that comes with “back to school”. It can be stressful to get everyone in your home back in a routine, but I am here to help with some of my best tips!
First of all, everyone’s least favorite part of the school time routine – early morning wake up. This week is a good time to get everyone used to getting to bed earlier and getting everyone up and moving a little earlier than normal. I like to gradually get everyone up 10-15 min earlier each day, until we are close to the same time we’ll have to wake up on a school day. Program the coffee pot each evening, because you’re going to need it!
Go ahead and set up an afterschool landing zone. Be sure to have hooks for backpacks and jackets, and a place for shoes and outerwear (gloves/hats). I also like to add a tray that your kids can unpack their papers that you need to see (graded homework, papers to be signed, etc). You can also use a wall mounted paper organizer. Just be sure to label with each child’s name.
Be sure to add emergency lunch money/fundraiser money to your kid’s backpack. I put $5 in singles in a ziplock bag, labeled “emergency money”. That way if their lunch fund runs out or if there is something special going on at school, they won’t miss out.
Prepare sports gear the evening before. A trunk organizer works great for this, or just keep a duffle bag in your trunk. The evening before, have your kids check it to make sure they have everything they need for practice the next day. This saves everyone from rushing around after school, when you also have to fit in dinner and homework.
Consider setting timers in the morning for how long your kids have to eat breakfast, get dressed, etc. This is a great way to use Alexa or Siri!
To keep the same daily routine, create and print out a checklist for your kids. I love to use a laminator for this, but you can also put it in a picture frame. I love having one for the morning routine and for the after school routine especially, but you can also add one in for a bedtime routine.
Make it easy to select items for your kid’s lunchboxes and even better if you can get them to help. I suggest having designated bins for these items in your pantry/fridge and post a list of the options. This simplifies the process, which makes it a quicker task to complete. Consider adding this task to your after-dinner routine, so that you aren’t rushing to complete one more thing in the morning.
Stock a homework caddy with scissors, pencils, erasers, markers, ruler, etc. I love using caddies, so we can put it out on the table while the kids do homework and then it can be stored away when it’s time to serve dinner. If your kitchen table or wherever your kids do their homework has clutter on it, consider finding everything homes elsewhere. The less items in the area to distract, the better.
Hang a master family calendar somewhere everyone can see it. Add events to it regularly, but at the very least make sure it is updated on Sundays, so everyone knows what to expect for the week ahead. And if you like, you can use some colorful pens and color code it by person.
And the best tip I’ve ever heard – buy yourself a $75 gift card to your favorite coffee shop while you’re out school shopping, so you feel less guilt when you need a to-go latte on those particularly stressful mornings this fall.