While you’re probably beginning to think about buying back-to-school supplies and clothes, you may not be thinking about preparing your home for the new school year.
It is a good idea to organize at home ahead of time so that you know your kids will have a space to do their homework, keep their supplies, and use good study habits. Organizing at home also saves time during the school week when things are hectic.
Here are some of the best tips and hacks for back-to-school home organization to help you and your kids get back into the school year on the right foot.
Make a clothes station
Most families experience extremely stressful mornings Monday through Friday during the school year. Kids can’t find a sock, they can’t find their gym clothes, they forgot that it’s School Spirit Day… the list goes on and on, and the problems all seem to hit ten minutes before everyone needs to be out the door. One of the best ideas we’ve seen is to make a clothes station. With a few simple boxes and labels, you and your kids can lay out their clothing for an entire week during the weekend and know that there is one less problem awaiting you in the morning.
To make your clothes station as helpful as possible, make sure that you check the school calendar ahead of time for any special clothing days you may have forgotten about. Also, check the weather, or turn it into a teachable moment for younger kids, to choose clothing appropriate to the forecast. One other tip is to keep track of the days your kids have physical education classes and choose clothing that allows them to move comfortably.
Create a Command Center
No matter what you choose to call it, a Family Command Center is one of the best home organization ideas we have seen for families who struggle to keep track of important papers, items, due dates, and school materials. You can design your Command Center to suit your needs, but keep in mind that some file folders, paper trays, a dry erase or chalkboard, and some baskets are typically essentials for every family. You may have an old dresser or stand that you can repurpose to hold the trays and baskets, and you can pick up paper trays and other supplies at a discount or dollar store fairly inexpensively.
The best thing to do is to think about previous school years and the headaches that you had when you were trying to get everyone out the door with all of the necessary stuff for the day. If your kids forgot their lunch money, make a spot for it in the Command Center. If one of your kids continually forgot to give you permission slips and other school forms, make a corkboard wall hanging and stick in some push pins so your child can get in the habit of hanging up important papers as soon as he comes home from school. Having everything everyone needs in one spot will save the whole family time because you won’t be searching for keys, forms, backpacks, or lunchboxes at the last minute.
Use a Daily Schedule or Weekly Calendar
It may sound simple, but using a daily or weekly calendar is one of the best ways to organize your home and your family once school starts. You can use any calendar moretimemoms.com/shop/shop-all that works best for your family. If you’re very busy, try making a daily schedule and posting it for everyone to see. Or, a monthly calendar will allow you to see more of your family’s schedule at one time. Some people use magnetic calendars and hang them on the fridge, or they hang them up using strips that are safe for their walls.
One other option is to place your calendar in a frame with glass so that you can write on it with dry-erase markers. Consider using one color for each family member or color-coding by school, sport, home, etc. You may need to try a few different methods until you find the one that best suits your family, so try this organization tip before school starts.
Some families find that putting chores into their daily schedule or weekly calendar helps their family complete tasks and reduce stress. By posting it for everyone to see, nobody has a question about who was supposed to take out the trash and who was supposed to empty the dishwasher. If you hire people to help out your family, such as a housekeeper, babysitter, or dog walker, include them on the schedule so that you remember when they are coming to your home. It’s also a good idea to note upcoming trips and vacations so you can be sure you have someone lined up to care for your home and pets while you are away.
A few simple organization tips can make a world of difference for your family once school starts. By having a place and time for everything, you reduce the time spent searching for things and returning home for forgotten items. Save your family some headaches by organizing ahead of time so you have a smooth start to the school year.
Joyce Wilson is a retired teacher with decades of experience. Today, she is a proud grandmom and mentor to teachers in her local public school system. She and a fellow retired teacher created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for the classroom.
Image via Pixabay by PDPics