Getting Organized for When the Kids Go Back to School
Back to School Means it’s Time to Get Organized!
It’s that time of year! Whether you’ve already sent your kiddos back to school or if you’re still in the thick of back to school shopping, some help preparing for the new school year is always welcome! It feels good to create a fresh start and establish a routine, schedule, and plan after lazy days of summer! Plus it helps there be a little less madness around the house once everyone goes back to school.
I’m sharing some cool organizational DIYs and tips that I inspire to implement into my life in hope that mornings run a little smoother and evenings are less hectic and productive. Because honestly, being prepared SAVES my sanity! Plus the fact that kids thrive when they have some order and routines. Back to School is the perfect time to establish these routines and create new habits. Your kids will be having to get into a routine at school so might as well start one at home!
TOP 15 Back to School Organizational Hacks
Back to School Schedule
I put this one first because it is one of the MOST important things to preparing yourself to having the best back to school experience. Talk with your kids about how many hours of sleep they need, and together set a realistic bedtime and wake time. Starting 2 weeks before school, have the child go to be 15 minutes earlier each night (and wake them earlier each morning) so they are going to bed at a normal time before school starts. That way your kids can adjust to that schedule and that is just one less thing that will change the week that school starts.
Daily To-Do Charts
This is a SUPER important one in my house! Each day kids need to be reminded of all the little tasks they need to do. Whether that be finishing your book report, or remembering to correct your math assignment.. sometimes kids just need to be reminded. There are many ways to accomplish this… some people write out the daily chores on a whiteboard, or print them out and put them in a sheet protector so they can be crossed off and reused! Here is a cute chore chart idea that you can make using magnets, washi tape and clothespins! Here are some more household management ideas that incorporate to-do’s and chore charts. You can also see the new way we manage our kids daily responsibilities and allowance/budgeting.
Or you can make this super fun baking sheet DIY that will be the cutest addition to your backpack station! This craft is SO economical! We all have a few baking sheets lying around (and if you don’t go to the dollar store) and use some paint you have laying around! This way your kids will always know what is expected of them to get done each day! Thanks Spotted Pony!
Emergency Homework Kit
We have all had those moments as we pull up to the school and our sweet little child yells, “mom, I FORGOT TO DO…….” Fill in the blank here with my homework, get my paper signed, cut out my art project, etc. Having this Emergency Homework Kit stashed away in your car is a great idea! Buy a pencil pouch and fill it with some pencils, pens, highlighters, tape, scissors, a pencil sharpener, tide to go (or some sort of stain remover), tissues, and band-aids. You can customize your Emergency Homework Kit however you feel fits best to your family!
Before I had an “official backpack station” my kids would come in the door and throw their backpacks on the ground. You could barely step foot in the house without tripping over a backpack. So one day I decided that I would set up a little backpack station and make it a place where my kids can be 100% organized every single day. I have hooks where they hang up their bag and baskets on the floor where they put their shoes. What I want to do is get a white-board above the hooks so I can write down any huge reminders for the next day! This not only saves me from tripping on backpacks everywhere, but it helps teach them to take care of their things. When they take the time to put their things away each day, they can reflect back on the homework they have that night and won’t forget to get it done.
This is mainly for you mamas (or daddys) so you can be WELL prepared for the week. And I’ll admit that this is something I am NOT good at… MEAL PLANNING! . On sunday night (or saturday) whenever you get a chance, plan for the upcoming week. Decide what you will be having for dinner each night, then you can head to the store and buy whatever produce/fresh items you need that aren’t already in your pantry. By being prepared, you won’t have to make rush runs to the store everyday to get the ingredients that you lack. Also, when you have a plan you can put things in your slow cooker in the morning and just have dinner be ready the moment you bring the kids home at night! Here are 7 Meal Planning tips that will save you time and money. AND we have a TON of Slow Cooker Recipes to help you!
Back to School Lunch Organizer
I used to be that mom who would pack my kids lunches each day, write their names on the brown bag, and put it in the fridge at night so they could wake up to a perfectly packed lunch each morning as they left for school. Now, as my kids have gotten older and busier, I have let them do their own lunch packing. BUT, I have seen that I can’t just turn it over to them completely so I adopted this idea in my own home where I have a “lunch cupboard” filled with all the baggies, peanut butter, honey, containers, etc. But I also have snack bins. I have my kids pick one from each lunch bin so they don’t overload on a certain type of food. For examples, I have a bin with granola bars, a bin with nuts or trail mix, a bin with applesauce or fruit cups, etc. That way my kids are picking what they want to eat but at the same time getting a balanced lunch. I also have them pick one fruit, one veggie, and some sort of sandwich! I have a WHOLE TON OF COLD LUNCH PREP TIPS HERE!
My kids always tend to get distracted while they are doing their homework. When you have 8 kids, unfortunately you can’t set up a private office for each child where they can do their homework, so I love this creative idea! Simply create each child a personal little space using some cheap supplies. You use a cardboard box OR you can go out and buy one of those tri-fold presentation boards! You can let each child decorate it how they wish! Then you could have a set “homework time” where everyone sits at the kitchen table with the dividers set up, and bust out their homework without any distractions. You’d be amazed what a little divider could do! Thanks Mom Advice for the fun idea!
Daily Outfit Organizer
We all know of the 6 slot hanging closet organizer. You can buy it on target, in walmart, or on amazon FOR SO CHEAP! All you need to do is label each slot with the days of the week. Since your kids will go to school Monday-Friday label 5 of the slots with each day of the week. Then, on Sunday night have them pick out their outfits for the week and place them in the slot. That way they don’t waste time each morning deciding what to wear! They will already have it!
School Supplies Shoe Organizer
Love this idea incorporating a shoe organizer for keeping school supplies organized! The school supply bin I currently have can get pretty messed up, and the kids have to dig through it whenever they need something. All you have to do is take a Shoe Organizer and hang it up on a wall or the back of a door. Label each pocket with the supply that you would like to go inside. That way each school supply has its place! This will save you and your kids hours and hours when they need supplies! They will know just where to find it. Thank you I Can Teach My Child! This is also a great way to organize lunch time snacks in the pantry! You can see many ways to use a shoe organizer in your home!
Store Less Solution = Photobooks
I have boxes and boxes of art projects, crafts, and homework that my children have done and over time it starts to take up so much space. Most of the time I don’t even know where to store it. The other day I saw a photobook sale on Snapfish and came up with the idea of photobooks REPLACING boxes and boxes of storage. Here me out! What if every time your child brought home something you want to cherish forever, you just simply snapped a picture of it. At the end of the year you can put all of those pictures in a photobook and store a photobook for each year he/she is in school! That will save SO much space! And you can get great deals on photobooks!
I personally use Chatbooks! Use my Chatbooks Coupon Code FAB10 and get $10 of credit to apply towards any Chatbooks photo book purchase, which means you can get your first regular Chatbook free! Check them out!
Homework Study Station
You can buy this cute little cart at Target or online on Amazon. All you need to do is fill this cute little cart with things that they need. That way when they say, “mom, but I need an index card.” You can roll that cart on over and they can stay on task. You can even throw a few non-perishable snacks on the bottom so they can’t use the “i’m starving mom” excuse. Thanks All my Good Things!
Bedtime Routine Chart
Mornings are crazy at my house, but bedtime can be even worse! For my younger ones, I like to make a detailed schedule/plan that my kids can follow each night so they don’t forget to do anything important before bed. The key is having not only a bedtime, but also having a set time when your kids start getting ready for bed! I give my kids 30 minutes. So if your kids bedtime is 9pm, have them start getting ready at 8:30 so they can be in bed by 9! It will be hard at first getting them in the routine of things the first few days, but after a week or so they will be in the swing of things and will do it automatically! Thanks Eyes of a Boy!
After School Snack Bucket
I found this post from Thirty Hand Made Days and I LOVE IT! Often times when my kids get home from school, they need a snack to hold them over until dinner. If I am not paying attention, they will end up eating goldfish, fruit snacks, and carbs carbs carbs! So, why not do a little prep so that they can have a go to drawer full of self- serve snacks that they can run to when they are hungry and end up eating healthy food? I like to devote a drawer in my fridge just to fruits, veggies, cheese, etc. that my kids can just grab and go! I prep them in little baggies so they can just reach in and pull one out. I also like to have a little basket full of some granola bars, nuts, and other treats. This way they can pick their own food, but you can give them good healthy suggestions!
Many times my kids need their student planners signed, permission slips looked at, and homework or grades reviewed, which all require a signature! Rather than them throwing it in my face as we leave for school, when they get home at night I have a basket where they put all the things they need me to look over and I usually go it right after I put them to bed. That way in the morning, I can have them put it back in their backpacks and they are all ready for school. This is something so small, but it has saved me SO much headache (AND keeps the clutter at bay)!
Library Book Basket
I wish I could say this has never happened to me, but my kids manage to always misplace their library books! Having a library book basket keeps the books from getting mixed up with the personal books at home. Just get a basket and create the rule that all library books MUST be stored in this basket!
How do you stay organized with all the new back to school routines?
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