It is back to school time! And with back to school comes all sorts of panic. Getting back into a routine. Setting up backpacks. Buying school supplies. There is a lot that goes on with back to school, which is why I wanted to help you with some easy back to school tips to help you and your family stay organized this school year! Take the tips that you feel will work for you and test them out. If they don’t work, try something else! Because everyone can get organized for back to school!
Back To School Tip 1
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!
Another helpful tip is to pack lunch the night before. People swear by this. But I have found that if we pack the lunch, the kids don’t love having a soggy sandwich for lunch the next day.
So instead of packing all of the lunch the night before, we pack most of the lunch. I don’t pack the sandwich or cut-up fruit, but we can get their lunchboxes together with their desserts, chips, and veggies. This way, we only have to pack a sandwich and cut up fruit to pack the lunch. And some days, they want berries, which can be packed the night before.
I have found this super helpful to keep our mornings running smoothly because we don’t have to worry about packing the entire lunch, only some things.
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Create a drop zone. A drop zone 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 drop zone, 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.
In addition to creating a drop zone, create an area for papers. Teach the kids how to empty their backpacks. Then give them a specific spot to put all their papers. I like using trays of filing boxes to store papers. My kids are to come into the house with their backpacks and unpack them. Their lunchboxes go on the counter, and their papers go in a tray on the kitchen counter. Since they have to bring their lunches into the kitchen already, I wanted to keep the papers in a similar spot as well.
By putting everything in a similar spot, the kids are able to actually do all the steps I have them do to unpack their backpacks. And papers don’t get lost because of this system.
If you want more paper-organizing tips, check out these posts:
Back To School Tip 5
I also like setting up a command center for back to school. I think having a calendar with dates is really helpful. And having a place to put important paperwork. Our command center is from 1Thrive and it has hanging paper holders, calendar, and magnet board to hold documents. You can read more about how I set up our command center here.
Another back to school tip is to create routines for everyone in the family. We like creating morning and evening routines to make sure that things run smoothly. So when I set up a routine, I write down all the things I want to do. Let’s say we are setting up a morning routine, so I will write down all the things I feel need to get done in the morning before we go out the door to school. I include brush teeth, pack lunch, get dressed, make the bed, eat breakfast, pack a backpack.
After I write my list, I pull out only a few tasks that have to be done. Trying to cram too much into the morning may not work for your family. So see what tasks you can move to the evening routine!
Then make a checklist of the things you want the kids or yourself to do in the morning. Maybe you need to carry that around with you. Maybe you just need sticky notes around to show you what needs to be done next. Follow that routine and tweak things that aren’t working.
Do the same to create an evening routine. But with the evening routine, you may find you have more time to add more tasks. For us, our evening routine consists of picking up toys, packing backpacks, packing some lunch, cleaning up the house, and getting ready for bed.
You can get my free morning routine checklist below to help you and the family with your routines for back to school!
What is back to school without the scheduling madness? So my back to school tip is to create a way to keep your schedules organized. I have a few suggestions on how you can do that.
The easiest way is to create a Google Calendar and give each family member their own color. Then add activities, school drop off and pick up, and other important dates into your calendar. You can schedule notifications on your calendar so things pop up in your email or on your phone.
Another way to manage schedules is to use a paper calendar that is in a central location in your home. You can color-code each family member and write their activities and times on that calendar.
I have had organizing clients who created a daily script. On that script, they would include how each day should go. Since they created a template of the day, she only needed to adjust times if activities changed. This script helped the entire family since multiple people were involved in getting kids to and from activities.
Create meal menu options for breakfast and lunch. This helps eliminate deciding on breakfast and lunch 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?
I have more tips for how to create meal menu options for the kids here.
Back To School Tip 9
Now this tip is to help you with your mental health. And that is to meditate at least 5 minutes a day. I have found that when I wake up before the kids and do a 5-minute meditation, I am far more patient and calm throughout the day. But I have found that doing a meditation to sleep also helps.
I use the mediation in the Peloton app. But there are many options for mediation in the app store. Two popular apps are Calm and Smiling Mind. Both are really great for guided meditation. It is the only way I can focus! Find something that works for you. There isn’t a right or wrong way to mediate. You just need to calm your mind so you can start or end your day on a positive note.
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.
I have more posts on how to create a homework station below:
Bonus Back To School Tip 11
Another helpful tip is to use some back to school products to help keep the family organized. Every fall I like testing out some new products. Sometimes we have to replace what we used from the previous year. And sometimes, I like to change things up. As the kids get older, new systems need to be put into place. Which is why some products might help you and your family better as the kids get older. Below are some of my favorite back to school items.
More Posts On Back To School
This year I have teamed up with some amazing bloggers to help you get ready for back to school! Check out all these awesome posts below!