It is time for back to school! So let’s get organized to make our days run smoother, kids have less stress, and we can all ease back into this new schedule. I am sharing some of my favorite back to school organization ideas that are perfect for the whole family!
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Command Centers For Back To School Organization
I am a big believer in creating a command center to hold all the things you need for school and life. A command center is a designated location for all your papers, calendars, and schedules to hang.
A command center must have a calendar. Everything else is totally optional!
I like using hanging filing storage to collect papers and documents. And I like using a clipboard to store things like schedules.
Create a dumping station. A dumping station is an area of your home where the kids can drop all their things. I like doing this because it gives the kids a specific spot to put their things without all the backpacks, shoes, and jackets making a trail throughout your house.
To create a dumping station, find a spot that will work for all the things to be housed. Then use bins or cubbies to hold each kid’s things. I have used baskets, bins, and laundry baskets to create drop zones. By giving each kiddo a designated spot for their stuff, they are able to keep everything contained.
Lunch Packing Station
A lunch packing station is where you set up a shelf or drawer with all the food options your child can pack inside their lunch. Then they can select what food choices they want to pack. Allowing them to take ownership of their lunches.
Visual Timers For Back To School Organization
Visual timers are timers that you can set and see how much time you have left. I prefer these over your phone because you can easily get distracted on your phone and lose track of time. Where a visual timer can help you stay focused on getting out the door on time.
These are some of my favorite visual timers:
Executive Skills Setup
Executive skills are skills everyone uses every day. These skills are so helpful when it comes to things like reading comprehension, math, writing, critical thinking, and more!
But some of these executive skills may need support around the house.
These could be support with organization, planning, cognitive flexibility, working memory, impulse control, social understanding, or time management.
To support kiddos with these skills you can set up things around your home to help.
You can use a visual schedule to help your child plan their day. Setting up checklists to help streamline putting away clothing or cleaning up their rooms can help. Using visuals for multi-step directions. Setting house rules for the family to follow. Hosting family meetings to discuss everyone’s responsibilities. And creating task sheets with estimated times to complete things can benefit kiddos around the house.
You can get all these and more in the Executive Skills For Kids Workbook. Instead of making all the things, you can have access to checklists, task lists, visuals, printables, and tutorials in one workbook!
Executive Skills For Kids
What are executive skills and why do kids need them?
Executive skills are the skills humans need to process information. Research has shown that kids with high executive skills are stronger at reading comprehension, writing, and making logical connections throughout all subject areas.
Teaching kids executive skills will greatly benefit them far into their future. Effective strategies you can use to support your kiddos’ executive skills are inside the Executive Skills for Kids Workbook.
A charging station is one designated location for all your electronic devices. You can use a basket, tray, standing organizer, whatever!
Find a central location in your home. Add all the cords for each device. Label the cords you no one fights over cords! And you created a charging station to ensure all devices are charged for school.
Back To School Organization Ideas With Visual Schedules
A visual schedule is one with pictures. I love using visual schedules for kiddos. It helps them focus on what they are supposed to do in a way that they can take ownership of.
This school morning routine checklist can be used at any age to help facilitate independence (and you from repeating yourself) every morning!
Start by printing the morning routine checklist and graphics listed below.
Cut out each of the graphics.
You can have each kiddo decorate their school morning routine checklist with markers.
Once they finished decorating, mount the printable on cardstock.
Laminate the checklist and individual graphics. I used my Xyron Creative Station with the laminate refill. By laminating each square graphic individually, you will ensure the laminate will stick and last the entire school year.
Cut out the square graphics.
Add velcro dots to the backs of each square graphic you plan to use. I found these at The Dollar Tree!
Then add velcro to the school morning routine checklist. Make sure to use the opposite velcro strip on the checklist than what you used on the graphics!!
Finally, show the kiddos how the checklist works. For us, each morning their checklist is on a clipboard already filled with each square graphic. Once the task is completed, they can take off the graphic. I added velcro to the back of the clipboard to use as a holder for tasks completed. I have also stapled a baggie to the bottom of the checklist to collect finished tasks as well!
Create Meal Menu Options
Create meal menu options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This helps eliminate deciding on what to eat for the kids.
To create this menu, get a piece of paper. Then add a few options for both breakfast and lunch. Give that menu to the kids to select from. Now you have eliminated the worst answer to the question of what do you want to eat?
You can also create visual meal options for kids who do better with visuals. I have visual menus along with printable menus in The Organized Kids Workbook!
The Organized Kids Organizing Pack
Support your kids with organizing by giving them the tools they need to do the tasks!
The Organized Kids Workbook has every tool you need to support your kiddos.
Checklists to help keep them focused, meal planners to support food indecisions, and clothing planners so they know what to wear, no matter the weather!
Setting up a homework station is incredibly helpful to keeping things organized for back to school.
A homework station is a place or cart to help the kids keep the items they use for doing homework. I like making a caddy or a cart with pencils, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners, markers, paper, calculator, rulers, tape, scissors, and counting cubes.
I do this so the kids can just grab the caddy or wheel the cart over so they can do their homework without worrying about finding the things they need. Because when it comes to homework, most kids don’t enjoy it.
So why not make the process easier on yourself by creating a station? You can also include timers to help keep the kids on track with time.
Set Up Closets
When it comes to getting ready in the morning, this tip is for you. Try grouping like clothing together in a drawer. Now I know this might not always be possible, but if you can, do it! The reason why is that when kids have all their clothing items together, like t-shirts, they can pick out outfits quickly. This limits the stress of the morning rush because they can grab their clothing from a drawer and be ready without taking apart all their drawers to find something. I have tutorials on how to file-fold kids clothing here. File-folding clothing is where you have the clothes standing up. You do this so the kids can see everything in their drawers.
If you find that your kiddos do pull everything out even when they are grouped together, try grouping outfits together in drawers. You can do this by folding the outfit together so the kiddo can just pull out one option from the drawer. This helps eliminate storing many clothing options in different drawers. Lay-out outfit options for the week. Then group those outfits together. This stops the indecision of what to wear!
And you can always pick out clothing the night before. I think this is a great option for kiddos who have strong opinions on what they want to wear. We tried this for my daughter, but she would change her mind in the morning, so we stopped. But if your kiddo can do it and stick with the outfit they picked the night before, it is a great option!
Label Everything For Back To School Organization
It’s important to label all of your school supplies with your name and contact information in case they get lost or misplaced. This includes backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, and even individual pencils and pens. This will increase the chances of your lost items being returned to you.
I recommend using Name Bubbles labels because they are perfect for including all your information. They have a school pack that includes everything you need to label all the school supplies.