Back To School Series Day 1: How to Organize Your Kiddos
Back to School Means it’s Time to Get Organized!
Here we go everybody! Some of you have already sent your kiddos back to school and some of you are still in the prepping process! Whoever you are, you are going to need to prep for this new school year. Around this time of year, I always get out my notepad and write down the new goals that I have for the year. They almost always include organization, healthy cooking, managing my time, and much much more.
As I have talked to many of my other mommy friends, I have seen that almost every mother does the same thing as I do. They try to establish a routine, schedule, and plan to help there be a little less madness around the house once everyone goes back to school. I realize that some moms are just SUPER WOMEN and can manage their homes effortlessly, but I am not that way. I have to work at it, and I believe that most of you do too!!
That is why I want to set you all up for success. As you prepare to go back to school, you need to make a plan! You need to take the time to PREPARE. Because we often end up writing down these goals, but we never make a plan to execute them. As much as we wish that this school year we would have more energy, more free time, and more help… we might not. It could end up being the same, or even CRAZIER, than other school years so you need to prepare yourself for the madness.
It is such a fun time having your kids in school. As my kids have gotten older I realize how much of a blessing it is to experience this time with them. I know how easy it is to just be running around in the morning and become easily flustered because they didn’t do their homework or they forgot they had to bring a treat to baseball practice and they happen to remind you as they run out the door… I know how it goes! So my thought is why not fill your home with little hacks that will organize you and your family even better so that everything will run smoother?
That is why we are dedicating this week to BACK TO SCHOOL. For the next 5 days you will see a daily post about our favorite tricks, tips, and hacks to make establishing a routine that much easier. We will talk about everything from organization, to easy, fast hairstyles, to the best BTS deals. Be sure to tune in each day so you won’t miss out on what we have planned for you!
Today, we are going to start with the PRE-BTS Help! (If your kiddos are already in school, it is not too late to do these!) I am going to go through and share my favorite organizational DIYs and tips so that each morning can run a little smoother and each night can be full of productive projects when they get home.
I am a firm believer that being prepared saves a mother! Also, kids need routines in their lives. 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!
Because of that, I decided to devote Day 1 of our Back to School Series to these Organizational Hacks. Check out my top 15 ways to making your lives easier and your household more organized.
Here are my 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 BTS experience. Talk with your kids and realize what is a realistic bed time and wake up time is and then, the week before school starts, start with this schedule. That way your kids can adjust to that schedule and that is just one less thing that will change the week that school starts. My kids have the craziest schedules during the summer so it is SO important that I get them back on a normal schedule that doesn’t change. They will feel less tired and be ready to take on all their new responsibilities just by making this little change one week early.
Daily To-Do Charts
This is a SUPER important one in my house! There are so many DIYs for this one but I found two that I loved! 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.
With this super awesome printable, you can put it in a sheet protector and write down each day what needs to be done! You can re-use it over and over and over again! That way each day you can have a new list and your kids will never forget the most important tasks again!
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!
Emergency Homework Kit
We have all had those moments as we pullup 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. So, I have learned to always be prepared by having an Emergency Homework Kit stashed away in my car. I like to just have 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 how ever 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. I also have a little white-board above the hooks so I can write down any huge reminders for the next day! This not only saves me from picking up 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. I recently bought a daily menu planner of Jane (be sure to check out the site for a deal because there is always one every couple of weeks, so be on the look out). 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!
Be sure to check out our Slow Cooker Recipes! They are a lifesaver.
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!
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 decided to get creative and 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! That’s what I did. I let each child decorate it how they wished the week before school started and they all sit down at the kitchen table, set up their dividers, and can focus on their homework without any distractors. You’d be amazed what a little divider could do!
Daily Outfit Organizer
These are BRILLIANT! I came across this idea the other day and I seriously don’t know why I have never thought of this before. 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
Here is the BEST idea and I went ahead and bought a shoe organizer JUST for this project. At my house we have tons of different school/homework/craft supplies but they ALWAYS go missing. Whenever you need something, you cannot find it. I was just fed up with it! So, I saw this idea and immediately had to try it. 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!
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! Check them out!
Homework Study Station
Like I mentioned above, I let all my kids have their own little space a the kitchen table by making their own dividers! I have found that often times they will get up to get a supply, get distracted, and end up taking a 30 minute break just to get a pencil. To solve this issue, you can make a little 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.
Bedtime Routine Chart
Mornings are crazy at my house, but bedtime can be even worst! My kids have to have a schedule and a plan or they will take hours getting ready for bed doing useless tasks. 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!
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!
Library Book Basket
I wish I could say this has never happened to me, but my kids manage to always misplace their library books! Most of my kids get to check out 1-3 books from their library at school and have to end up doing a monthly book report. When we have tons of our own books, it is hard to know which is ours and which is the schools. I have accidentally put a library book on our book shelf and on the day it came to turn it in, we couldn’t find it. After a few hours searching for library books, I realized that we needed a new system! So we created a library book basket! All library books MUST be stored in this basket! And since we started that, we haven’t had a misplaced one again!
Now, I realize that all of these take a little bit of prep, but they will end up saving you SO MUCH time! Organization is key when running a household.
How do you stay organized with all the new back to school routines?
I hope that these ideas helped you get the creative juices going to know what you can do to make your home more organized. Get your kids in those routines and help them feel 100% prepped to go back to school. Best of luck with all your kiddos and be sure to come back everyday this week to see what other Back to School advice we have for you! We are just getting started! This is just day one!