Love it or hate it, back to school time is here for many families across the country. The little darlings are all dressed in their brand new crisp, clean clothes and gearing up for another year of reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic!
If you’re like most parents, you’re probably promising yourself that things will be different this year. You won’t misplace those important field trip reminders and you won’t forget to sign those homework assignments. Heck, you might even be able to send back permission slips without peanut butter! Yep, you probably have all sorts of good intentions this year.
But, as we all know, the honeymoon phase of the new school year wears off quickly, and before you know it, you’re a disorganized hot mess again. It happens to the best of us.
It doesn’t have to be like that, though! You really can get organized for the school year with just a few simple adjustments. Granted, these tips won’t turn you into a perfectly organized mom with super powers, but it can help you stay on track a little better.
So, without further ado – I present six things you need for an organized school year!
#1. Designated School Area
Are the kids’s backpacks, homework, and important papers scattered about the house? Of course they are! The first step to an organized school year is designating a school area. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a place to keep all of the school items corralled. If you’re short on space, you can even get a few big plastic bins—one for each kid—and only pull them out for homework and paper signing.
#2. Inbox and Outbox
The biggest hurdle to an organized school year for me is all of the papers! Papers EVERYWHERE! Papers that need to be read, signed, returned to school, and folded into intricate oragami designs. Every year, without fail, I lose at least one paper. This year, though, I will be instituting a permanent school paper inbox/outbox system. Paper that need to be looked over, signed, and returned to school will be placed in the inbox, and after I’ve done my mom thing, they will be placed in the outbox for the kids to take to school. Easy peasy, right? What could go wrong?
You probably already have a calendar in your house, but a dedicated calendar for the kids’ school and extracurricular obligations is a must it you want an organized school year! Every field trip, practice, parent-teacher conference, or whatever else should be written down on this calendar. Check it over at the beginning of each week and every morning to make sure you don’t miss any important events.
#4. Message Center
A message center is just as important as a calendar for an organized school year. Ideally, this should be placed next to the calendar in the school area. It can be something like a large whiteboard, bulletin board, or even a stack of sticky notes. As long as you have one place to communicate with each other, organization should come a little easier!
#5. Grab and Go Lunches
Last year I set up a grab and go lunch station for the kids. And, I’m pleased to say that it worked brilliantly! At the beginning of each week, I would stock the station with lunch goodies like chips, granola bars, and fruit. A basket in the refrigerator was also stocked with lunch items like yogurt and pre-made sandwiches. The kids then just grabbed a few items and tossed them in their lunch bags. Simple, easy, and a HUGE time saver!
Getting into a school routine is important if you want an organized school year. The easiest way to do this is to create a schedule and stick to it; eventually, the schedule will become routine. For instance, schedule a time for homework, showers, chores, and anything else that needs to be done before bedtime. You can also create a morning schedule to keep everyone on track and on time.