Are you trying to prepare yourself and your family for the hectic, back to school rush that is coming soon? Trust me, I get it. The back to school rush can be crazy, but it’s still possible to make it a semi-easy transition. Being organized is a huge benefit to making most things in life run more smoothly, parenting and back to school being no exception.
Back to school rarely means just “back to school,” it also means back to sports, back to PTA, back to conferences, etc. It’s not just about the days, it’s about the nights and weekends too.
Here are 15 organization tips that will ease the back to school rush:
- Get schedules in advance. Be sure to get the kids’ school schedules in advance so you know what to expect. Additionally, if your children are doing extracurriculars, make sure to get those schedules as well.
- Keep bedrooms clean. A clean room is a clean mind, according to someone who I recently talked to about this topic. Be sure to keep kids’ bedrooms clean during the summer time so it is not too overwhelming when it’s time to start organizing for school.
- Get back on a sleep schedule. This may not seem like an organization tip, but the reality is that without proper sleep, it is hard to focus and without focus you will have no organization. Start working on this a week or two before the summer ends.
- Get a family calendar. Post a large calendar on a common wall where your entire family will see it. Be sure and input each kid’s schedule onto the calendar so there are no surprises for anyone.
- Use an online shared calendar. Many people, kids included, have smartphones now. Using a shared calendar ensures that each family member gets a reminder of upcoming activities straight to their phones.
- Color coordinate. Give each child their own color on the family calendar so that it is easy for each child to locate their own to-dos.
- Get individual calendars. I’m sure you have a handheld calendar, or you may possibly utilize the calendar on your phone and that is ideal. Now it’s time to do the same for your big kids. Even kids need reminders of schedules too.
- Clean out closets. Go through your kids’ closets and get rid of everything that no longer fits or is in disrepair. This is helpful to know what you need to shop for when you go back to school shopping.
- Shop early. It is stressful to try and do rushed back to school shopping when everyone else is doing it to. Be sure and shop early to avoid the crowds and have plenty of time to be sure that you got all that you need.
- Store school supplies in backpacks. As soon as you buy the kids’ backpacks for the school year, store their needed school supplies in them. As you are placing each item into the backpack you can check it off of your school supply list to ensure that you got everything.
- Create a lunch box cabinet. If you have extra cabinet space, create a lunch box cabinet where you store lunch boxes, reusable containers, sandwich baggies, thermos’, etc. This will help the lunch packing process go smoothly each morning.
- Make a school lunch shopping list. Be sure to create a list of food items needed for school lunches so that you are ready when it’s time to pack them.
- Schedule lunch making 2x per week. Every Sunday, schedule a half hour or so to pre-pack the kids’ lunches. Do this again later in the week. This prevents the last-minute lunch making rush in the mornings.
- Meal plan. There are countless benefits to meal planning, one of which is to help save time on school nights.
- Lay out clothes for the week ahead. No more time spent figuring out what to wear each day.
Of all the tips listed I think the hardest for my son Chance is the sleeping schedule. We’ve allowed him to stay up a little later during the summer months and boy-oh-boy is it hard to get him back to sleep at a decent time. What is the most helpful organizational tip for you?