It’s that time again…everyone is heading back to school! The new routine and schedule doesn’t need to leave your family frazzled or the house in disarray. There are several simple ways to ensure everything is organized for the school year ahead. Read on to learn more about the best (and easiest) ways to organize and simplify your life.
Hanging File Folder
We all know how many papers come home from school. Newsletters, calendars, permission slips and the list goes on. Select a spot in a heavily trafficked area, like mudroom, office or kitchen and install a hanging file organizer. If you prefer the organizer be hidden, it can be hung inside a closet. Add a colored file folder for each family member, with their name on it. When papers come home, file in the appropriate folder to either be dealt with later, or to reference in the future. Permission slips and school info goes in Mom or Dad’s file so they will know to take care of it, while schoolwork and projects go in the child’s folder.
On the Go
Getting into the routine of waking up early, getting ready and making it to school on time might be a struggle somedays. A fantastic idea for dealing with this is to use a hanging travel organizer to stash essentials in the car. Hanging from the back of the driver or passenger seats, children have access to things like granola bars (fast breakfast), comb, hair gel, water bottles, hair ties, wipes, etc. That way the kiddos can finish getting ready and have their breakfast to-go, without being late for school.
After a long day, the last thing anyone ever wants to do is try to figure out dinner with no plan. Determine meals a week in advance and be sure you’ve got all the ingredients you need. Freezer meals that are prepared ahead of time help a lot and are a great way to get dinner on the table fast without much effort. A menu board can also be hung and filled out in advance so everyone is on the same page and there’s no confusion (or whining from the kids) come chow time.
Whether it be inside the garage, in the foyer or mudroom, designate a space where jackets, shoes and backpacks can be dropped off and stored. Simple hooks and a bench will do, nothing fancy is necessary. This set-up helps cut down on clutter and misplaced items by ensuring everything is kept in its designated spot upon arriving home.
The days of slow mornings are over, which can be difficult for children to get use to. A fabulous way to motivate kids (particularly younger children) is to print out a checklist of tasks. Put the printout in a sheet protector and allow your children to use a dry erase marker to check things off like getting dressed, brushing teeth, putting on shoes, etc. It’s a simple step-by-step visual of everything that needs to get done, without you having to nag all morning long.
However you decide to organize things, remember that while the transition back to school might be tough, it usually becomes second-nature once a few tweaks are made to increase efficiency. What are some of your tried and true organization tips?