Back to School Tips for an organized school year!
Summer is winding down and the school supplies have made an appearance at Target (a fact that always causes my kids to moan!), which means it's time to start thinking about a shift in schedules and a new rhythm as we usher in a new season.
As a former teacher, I've always thought of the school year as the start to a truly new year. I still buy my "August to August" planner and spend some time filling out all the upcoming events as we kick off the school year. There's nothing like a fresh beginning, and making a few simple changes in your home will help you start the school year off right!
Today, I'm sharing a few tips to help you do a quick home reset before the school year gets underway!
First up are the kids' clothes. Spend some time to have the kids go through what fits and what doesn't. Tip: set out a box or bag for the items you plan to pass on or donate and a notepad to write down what items your child does need. You definitely don't want to realize that they have no school shirts that fit the night before it starts! So plan ahead, do a good edit of the current items and take note of what you'll need to order as the school year begins.
Most families have the same "routine" after school: the kids come home, walk through that door and promptly "drop" everything (often on the floor!) Time to put a system in place! Whether you have a dedicated mudroom or just a small section in your entryway, designate a space for kids to hang up backpacks and coats, put shoes, and grab sports gear as they head to practice. Make sure each child has his or her own designated spot so there's no confusion. We love these baskets to corral smaller items such as socks, hats, mittens, etc. as the weather cools down.
Finally, take the time to teach your kids this daily routine (it will take time so be patient!) and your afternoons will be much less stressful!
Create a lunch-packing zone that has everything your child needs: lunch box, water bottle, utensils, and snacks. Keep these items in one area of your pantry (on a lower shelf for young kids) or in a designated cabinet in your kitchen. Our family implemented a simple lunch packing zone a few years ago and it truly is a game-changer! Kids as young as 5 can be taught to pack the basic elements of their lunch. While I still make their sandwiches, I simply put them in the fridge the night before with each child's name on them, then they grab each item needed to make their lunch.
4. Art and School Supplies
Now is the perfect time to clean out your child's desk or art supplies and make space for homework items. Toss broken pencils, crayons and dried up glue (you know it's there!) and create an easy spot for your child to find what they need each night as they complete their homework. Whether it's a drawer near the kitchen table or a desk with multiple storage spaces, keep things simple and easy to find.
Sports practice, music lessons and dentist appointments: Keep everyone in the family on the same "page" with a calendar. We like to use a big wall calendar. hung in a space that's easily seen (the side of the refrigerator is a good idea or a wall area in your entryway). We love this wall calendar because not only is it big, but it has some space for extra "notes" and reminders which is always helpful as you plan out your week.
No matter how you display the schedule, take the time to sit down and write out all upcoming dates in your planner (whether paper or digital) so you can plan your week without any surprises. One of my personal favorites is this simple weekly planner found on Amazon.