11 Genius Back to School Organization Tips You Really Need
by Mary Fischer
Can you believe it's almost time for the kids to go back to school? Summer has really flown by, so it's time to say goodbye to our lazy, no-routine-necessary days and get back into an organized groove.
Of course, old habits die hard when it comes to kicking the nonchalant summer attitude to the curb. We can use all the help we can get when it comes to running a tight ship during the school year. Check out these 11 smart, simple tips for managing the clutter and staying organized right from the very first day the kiddos set foot on the school bus.
More from The Stir: 6 Clothing Staples for Back to School
How do you stay organized during the school year?
Pack Multiple Bags
This will really come in handy when you only have a few minutes between the kids getting home and running off to sports practice, dance class, and everything in between. Make sure to have a designated bag packed and ready to go for each activity instead of trying to repack one single bag. This way you will never waste time looking for equipment ... and you'll never wind up with a lost ballet slipper.
Load Up the Car
Instead of scrambling at the last minute to make sure you have everything ready to go, get into the habit of packing the car the night before so you can fly out the door as soon as everyone is ready.
Forget laying out clothes the night before. Why not get things ready for the entire week so you're never trying to pull together outfits at the last minute? Include everything -- socks, belts, hair accessories, etc. so your kids can dress as independently as possible.
Invest in Storage Cubes
Aside from lost papers, it's funny how easily things like hats and mittens go missing as soon as the weather turns a bit chilly. Buy a storage basket for each one of your children that you keep in the mud room, laundry room, or foyer of your home. They can store all of their cold weather gear so they're never left searching for it a minute before the bus arrives.
Give Backpacks a Home
If you're like most of us, then you've misplaced a backpack a time or two, which left you frantically searching for it in the morning. Designate a space in your home where the kids can hang them each day. They'll get used to putting them in their place instead of merely dropping them wherever they see fit.
Write It Down
Forget your day planner or electronic organizer. One of the easiest ways to keep track of the kids' school-related and extracurricular activities is to hang a dry-erase calendar or chalkboard on a wall that you pass by on a regular basis. You won't be able to resist looking at it -- and odds are good that it will save you from missing important dates and appointments more than once. And to be extra organized, you can even color code it by family member so you never mistake one for the other!
Create a File System
Let me ask you this -- what do you typically do with all of the papers your kids bring home from school? If you're like the majority of parents, they wind up in some sort of messy pile on the kitchen counter. To keep them all in order, make a color-coded file system where each day's papers can be stored and organized so you're never frantically looking for "that one paper you can't seem to find."
Set Up a Lunch Station
Take the guesswork out of what to pack for lunch by designating one cabinet strictly for lunch supplies -- containers, chips, granola bars, the works! This way the kids can pack (or help pack) their own lunches, and you'll never wind up desperately digging for lunch money at the bottom of your purse.
The first thing you're guaranteed to hear when your kids get home from school is, "I'm hunnngrrrry!" Set up a snack container in your pantry, and then the kids can go and grab whatever they need without bugging you!
Get Rid of Your Junk Drawer
How amazing is this see-through organizer for all of your school supplies? No more frantically digging through the bottom of a drawer looking for pencils, paper clips, and everything in between!
Turn Art Into a Work of Art
Instead of (secretly) throwing away the countless projects your child brings home from school, select a few of them to hang up on a wall. Putting them on display will make your kid feel proud, and you'll have memories to cherish for years to come.