And just like that, summer is on its way out and a new school year has begun. By now, you’ve probably already made the trip to the mall for new school clothes and run up and down the back-to-school aisles at Target looking for the perfect pencils, notebooks, lined paper, erasers, folder, etc. So much of the focus has been about getting the kids ready for the first day and now that that’s done, it’s time to focus on back-to-school home organization before the year gets too hectic. But where do you begin? We’ve put together a list of 5 do-it-now tips to help you survive the bustle of back-to-school and get you back in the groove.
1. Start with the heart of your home – the kitchen. This tip could be a whole blog post, but we’ll try to keep this short and sweet. No matter what we do, the kitchen always happens to become the dumping ground when the kids come home from school. Now is the time to establish new habits that will keep the kitchen organized. If possible, designate a homework spot and space for supplies. This could also double as your command center where you gather handouts, pens, a calendar, files, and school information.
2. Make food prep and organization a priority. Start by purging the pantry of anything that is past its prime. Then, take the time to reorganize the shelves and group like items together. Finally, make sure the most nutritious items are up front and in easy-to-reach places. (Use the same steps for cleaning and organizing the refrigerator.) For food prep, on Saturday or Sunday, plan the meals for the week and shop for everything you’ll need. Not only will this save you time, but it will also save you money and help you eat healthier.
3. Mitigate the morning madness. Mornings can easily turn into one of the most stressful parts of the day since we’re tired and often short on time – obviously not the right way to start the day. Rather than intending to get up earlier, start your morning prep after dinner. Lay out clothes, pack lunches, prep breakfast, and make sure backpacks are ready to go.
4. Ditch the digital calendar (or at least don’t limit yourself to digital). Although we love digital calendars, nothing compares to a large wall calendar in a location that everyone in the family can see. Also, remember that color coding different events or different family members allows for a quick glance.
5. Set aside 5 minutes a day. Make a routine of doing your homework – that’s right, parents have homework too. Rather than waiting until the last minute and trying to find that oh-so-important field trip form, manage paperwork as it comes in and take action on any paperwork that requires your attention. This is also the time to add important dates to the calendar, reminders to your phone, and tossing (recycling) any papers you no longer need. Remember that you can also scan/take a photo of papers you think you may need in the future.
What are some of your go-to tips and tricks for back-to-school home organization?