Avoid the Back to School Blues: Get Organized Now
If you haven’t noticed it in your local department stores, it’s already back to school season! The next few weeks will be action-packed for many families who want to ensure the school year starts without a hitch.
There’s so much to consider before your kids head to elementary or high school, and no matter how many times you’ve done it, making the transition from summer fun to a new school year can be tough.
Here are a few tips to help you pass the back to school organization test.
1. Plan Your Morning Routine
Getting kids ready to go in the morning can be a serious chore. Start prepping your kids for earlier bedtimes and early mornings now—rather than shocking them the night before school starts.
Start adjusting your kids’ bedtime schedules a few weeks in advance, slowly working your way back from their current bedtime to the desired one. Factor in how old your kids are and how much time you’ll need to get them out of the door in the morning.
2. Figure Out What Supplies & Clothes You Need
You can’t send your kids off to the first day of school without all the necessary supplies. Step one is to locate the school supplies left over from last school year and determine what your kids have and what they still need—binders, pencils, pens, notebooks—and check on any lists provided by your kids’ teachers. Add those supplies to your list before you head out on your shopping trip.
Clothes shopping is likely also on your to do list. Before you start shopping online or take a trip to the mall, conduct an inventory of your kids’ closet. See what’s too small and where the gaps are. Check out tops, bottoms, socks and shoes—if your 2nd grader is out of her unicorn phase and you have items that are still in good condition, donate them to someone in need. Otherwise, toss clothes that have holes or are stained. Create a list of what your kids need and what they have for the first part of the year so you know just what to buy.
3. Prep for Papers & Projects
Even though a lot of teacher-parent communication is done electronically now, your kids will still bring home papers and projects almost daily. Some you’ll surely want to keep, but corralling term papers, writing tests and math homework can get unwieldy pretty quickly. Instead of letting it pile up on your kitchen counter or dining room table, create a system for filing them away now.
Set aside a drawer in your home office to keep your kids’ papers and projects throughout the quarter. Create a hanging file for each child so you can put away papers as they are brought home. Then review everything quarterly to determine what goes and what stays in a keepsake file, envelope or school book.
4. Create an Organized Entryway
Getting out the door with everything you and your kids need in the morning might be the ultimate challenge. You’ve got packed lunches, homework from the night before, coats, school bags and sports equipment plus your own work bag, coat and anything else you need for the day. Rather than chugging through the year with an entryway or mudroom that looks like a disaster area, organize it now. You can transform your space into an organized spot where everyone’s stuff has a place with hooks for backpacks and coats, cubbies for shoes and bins for sports equipment. No more frantically searching for your son’s backpack or umbrella. And (hopefully) no more shoes to trip over as you walk in the door every day.
Thinking about back to school now and doing a little bit of advance planning will help you get those first few days off to a good start. It’ll help you keep spirits high and stress levels low so you can focus on getting to school and work on time.
If you’re looking for a little help in getting organized from the pros, reach out to us for a free in-home consultation