Back-to-school is here. It’s hard to believe it’s that time a year again. It feels like summer’s just started and it’s already over. I white boarded our family calendar on our command center for the month of August and it was full in a matter of minutes. I started to realize that this is going to happen every year when school rolls around.
With the upcoming school year shortly approaching there are some quick tips that will help you get your get you ready for the upcoming school year and make for smoother mornings and evenings.
Tips To Get You Organized
Back-to-school tip #1: Establish a routine
The first back-to-school tip is to establish a routine. Study after study is shown the importance of a great routine. Kids thrive off of routines because they know what to expect. Even as adults, we love them because they’re predictable. We like knowing the outcome, uncertainty gives us anxiety.
Write out your routines with your kids so they know what to expect. Here’s an example of how it could look:
- In rooms until 6:30am
- Get dressed & brush teeth
- Get backpack and/or lunch ready
- Watch show
- Get jammies on
- Clothes are put away or in hamper
- Get backpack ready for next day
- Brush teeth
- Go potty
- Pick out books
- Lights out
I love routines. They not only make me feel organized, I also feel productive. As much as I do love traveling and going on vacation, it is a nice feeling to get back home to get back into routine. It’s not as easy to stick to your routine when your environment changes.
Back-to-school tip #2 Organize school papers
The next back-to-school tip is to get school papers organized. Paper isn’t leaving us anytime soon. Kids still come home with quite a bit of it and if you don’t get a handle on it, it becomes overwhelming.
When our daughter started preschool it was a rude awakening for us. As someone who is organized, you can imagine the anxiety that I had with the never ending amount of paper that was coming home. The millenial in me was like “can’t this be done online?” Not everything is done online.
Truthfully, there are times I’m happy that an event comes home on a flyer because we can hang it up and look at it daily. If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind.
Use file folders or letter trays or wall organizers to sort papers. Create labels for what needs to be turned in, schedules, lunch menu, etc. Keep it in a place you frequently go through, like your kitchen.
Some labeling ideas include:
- To sign & return
Back-t-school tip #3: Pack lunches and snacks the night before
The next back-to-tip is to organize your food. Prep and organize any snacks or lunches the night before. The easiest way to do this is during cleanup after dinner. You are already in motion to cleaning up the kitchen because leftover food is being put away and dishes are being done.
Too many times have I done it in the morning and it’s just chaos. Mornings are like a race and everyone is sprinting in a million different directions.
Get a snack/lunch organizer that makes it easier to assemble lunches. Organize your pantry so it can save you time and make grabbing snacks easy. For example, keep individually wrapped snacks such as chips, cereal bars, and fruit snacks in a open bin making them easy to access. It’s much easier to open up the pantry and grab a cereal bar from the bin versus grabbing the box opening it up, closing it and putting it back. The little things add up.
Batch process food on the weekend for the upcoming week to make it run smoother. Slice up vegetables and fruit and store them in containers that make to easy to grab when packing lunches or grabbing snacks on the go.
Meal planning makes your life easier. You eat healthier and save time.
Back-to-school tip #4: Create a backpack station
The fourth back-to-school tip is to create a backpack station. Designate a place where their backpacks go every single day. It can be in their room, it could be in the kitchen or in in the entryway. Use hooks so it’s easy access.
Hooks are one of the best ways to get organized because they are easy to use. You can quickly hang up a jacket, sweater, or backpack when you walk in the door or a bedroom. There isn’t much that has to be done when hanging an item on a hook.
Having a designated place for their backpack helps kids create a habit of putting it in the same place. Habits make our lives easier.
Back-to-school tip #5: Get school supplies early
The fifth back-to-school tip is to buy your school supplies now. Waiting until the last minute is stressful. Getting school supplies last minute is like getting Christmas gifts last minute. The shelves are basically empty and you’re having to go to multiple store to get what you need which is a waste of time.
Plan accordingly, give yourself enough time to get the supplies that you need because in the event that the store doesn’t have it, you have time to find it somewhere else.
There are a few great resources out there for ordering supplies online. One is Teachers List. This website is excellent. It has all of the school lists there for basically every school across the country. You search your school, the list pops up and you can order the supplies from your favorite retailer such as Amazon, Target, Walmart, Staples, etc with one click! It’s really simple. Be sure to check out all the retailers listed because the prices vary.
Another great resource is Edukit. It’s likely too late for you to use this resource as they take orders at the end of the school year and throughout the summer. Mark this as a to do for the end of the school year because they do have the best prices and free shipping. Win, win.
Back-to-school tip #6: Purge
The sixth back-t0-school tip is to purge! Back-to-school is the second New Year for many because it’s a reset button. This is the time to purge through your child’s clothes. Go through their closet to see what still fits and doesn’t fit for the upcoming school year. It’s a great time to get rid of anything they didn’t wear this past summer including swimsuits, hats, and flip flops.
Getting your kids clothes organized will make for a smoother morning because they have clothes that fit them. Have them help you with the process so they can see what they have.
Regardless if they wear a uniform or not, having their clothes organized will benefit everyone. Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit and make a plan of action for any new pieces of clothing.
Back-to-school tip #7: Register for fall activities.
The last back-to-school tip is to register for fall activities. Plus, depending on the activity you can save more by registering early.
Make a list of activities each of your kids’ love and write them down. Then do a google search for each one to find out when they all start and how much they cost.
If you have more than one child, coordinating kids activities feels putting together an Olympic event. You find the one activity for one child and another for the other child to only find out that one is waitlisted. Talk about being gut punched. I mean it’s not too much to ask that both of my kids have activities for their ages at the same time and day, right?! 😉
Planning early and writing down the logistics of all activities before selecting them will save you so much time. It will give you a visual of what makes the most sense and how you can coordinate it. There’s only one of you, don’t stretch yourself so thin.
Use this free activity planner to organize all of your kids activities.
These seven back-to-school tips save you time and get you organized. Routines make for smoother mornings and evenings, establishing a good paper system and backpack station will keep things running better. Organizing meals and snacks the night before helps eat healthier and get out the door quicker.
Getting school supplies early lowers stress because it’s done. Be sure to purge through your kids clothes and shoes and get rid of what doesn’t fit them anymore.
Last, get your kids registered for their fall activities to avoid being waitlisted and banish mom guilt.
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