Back to school is upon us. If you are a parent, you may have mixed feelings about this day. Summer breaks can be fun for the entire family with vacations and quick staycations to local attractions. The more relaxed schedule can be a welcome relief for parents of students of all ages. But there is likely a side of you that is also relieved to get back to the routine of the school year!
One thing is for sure, with a new school year comes a renewed desire for organization! Every part of our daily routine has potential for improvement, whether it be to make life simply easier in the morning, or make sure your kids don’t get to school without their library book that is due!
We have compiled some back-to-school organization tips that will help make school day mornings, and afternoons, easier for everyone involved: mom, dad, and the kids.
Man your stations: Homework stations, snack stations, hair stations – are you seeing a theme here? Set up these themed stations so that your kids know just where to go to get things done, and so that your entire home doesn’t have pencils and hair ribbons scattered throughout.
A homework station should be personalized to your child’s needs but it can contain things such as: a magazine file for papers for parents to sign and another for papers that will be needed throughout the year (like homework help sheets), mason jar with pencils, highlighters and markers and another with erasers, rulers and scissors, smaller jars with paper clips and sticky notes. Consider adding a family bulletin board or dry erase board in this area to add big project due dates, sporting events, and other family events. Consider incorporating the backpack drop zone in this area with bins for each child, or keep that separate in the mud room.
Hair stations are perfect for the wild-haired among us. If you fall in this category, or have a child that does, you know the importance of finding a hair tie, bobby pin or ribbon in the morning. And they must be nocturnal in nature, because they are always hardest to find in the morning! This site includes instructions on attaching mason jars to a board for a hair station. We love this idea, but if you are DIY challenged or opposed, simply place jars in one corner of the bathroom vanity. Include about four or five so you can organize your hair needs by type.
Snack stations can be as simple or as elaborate as you need and desire. Find a basket that can hold snack-sized bags of pretzels or fruit or other goodies. These help control portion sizes and can be placed on your counter, or if you have snacks that need to be kept cool, consider designating one of your produce drawers for these snack bags.
Outfitted for Success: All parents know the dreaded feeling of trying to get a kid ready in the morning and their favorite outfit – the one they must wear – is in the laundry. How about using a system where the outfits are planned for the entire week, and when your child is old enough they can join in on the planning as well. These tags are perfect for the task! (Added bonus: the mom who created these tags also used them to help teach her children the days of the week!)
Front Door Final Check: Front doors, or garage doors, can become the perfect spot for last-minute checks. Keep a board for daily reminders (like teacher’s birthday!), a bin for your keys (how much time will that save each morning), a borrowed bin for all those items your kids have borrowed either from their friends or the library, and a laminated school day checklist with items like gym or practice clothes, lunch or lunch money, homework and any forms to be signed, transportation plans, etc. Want to take the check list even further, check out this Etsy store!
We are compiling more back-to-school organization tips and tricks on our “Life With Kids” Pinterest board. Be sure to check it out, and also this blog where we got the inspiration for this post.
We’d love to hear from you. Do you have any back-to-school organization hacks to share, or are you planning to incorporate some of these tips in your routine this year? Tell us in the comments below!