Are you struggling to find balance and keep everything juggling in the air this school year? I’ve gathered some important organizational back-to-school tips for parents (to keep you sane)!
It’s back-to-school season and it feels like a new beginning full of sharpened pencils and fresh notebooks. But if you’re not strategic, it can feel a bit overwhelming and like a whole lotta hot mess.
So, I’m sharing some ways to keep track of all the papers to be signed, lunches, special dates and routines that will sure to keep you from feeling like you’re on the crazy train!
Let me know which one is your favorite down below in the comments. Or, share your own favorite tips for staying sane when school starts back!
What are some of the biggest struggles with how to have a smooth morning routine (or managing school if you’re a homeschooling family)? This is what usually trips us up:
- Mom is getting up with the kids, creating a feeling of being rushed and behind from the start!
- Mom doesn’t have a good system for processing papers that need to be seen or signed. They end up piled on every flat surface available and are nowhere to be found when it’s time to go to school.
- Not having a good system for putting away backpacks, shoes, and lunch boxes each day.
- A child won’t get dress for school, because he can’t find an outfit that is clean, ironed and looks good. (And where are those darn shoes again?!)
- Scrambling to find something to throw in the lunch box at the last minute.
- Finding a distraction-free zone for kids to do their homework in the afternoons.
7 Tips for a Smooth Back-to-School Routine
Tip #1: Have a Mom Morning Routine BEFORE the kids get up.
I know it’s hard, but waking up 30 minutes to an hour before your kids get up and creating a routine for yourself makes the mornings so much less stressful.
I don’t always practice what I preach, but when I do, it’s always worth it! I like to get up, get dressed and make myself presentable, have a cup of coffee and read my morning devotional. That’s usually all I have time for, but I like to keep it short and simple!
Tip #2: Create a Family Command Center
Create a drop zone and central spot for all the things! Add a calendar and a bulletin board and you’ve got yourself an automatically more organized year. Well, you actually have to use the command center, but putting it in place is 50% of the work! I have selected my top favorite command centers in this post, but I’ve included some here as well.
This Family Command Center by One Day of Honey (via Home by Jenn) is pretty perfect. There’s a spot for dropping “stuff” as well as places for bills, receipts and coupon. I would go as far to make a folder spot for each family member, especially the kids if they are coming home with papers. The calendar, clock and bulletin board are essential. And even the dresser functions as shoe storage. Love this!
Tip #3: A Getting Ready for School Checklist.
Create checklists and charts for your children to know exactly what to do before they leave for school (or when they get home). Kids can definitely help to keep up their chores and responsibilities, but a little checklist is always helpful to remind them what to do when they inevitably forget. It also keeps mom from repeating herself 100 times a day. 🤣
It’s a great idea to put it behind a glass frame or place it in a self-adhesive laminate sheet and use a dry erase marker to check it off every day! Then wipe it clean to start all over tomorrow.
P.S. Here’s a tip that partners well with these chore charts: get your child her own alarm clock. She will be able to get up and going on her own and get dressed. I love this tip and we use this alarm clock for kids. When my daughter started getting up with the alarm clock, it saves us a lot of tears in the mornings!
Tip #4: Create a Homework Caddy
This might be my favorite tip for keeping supplies together for easy use. This allows your children to easily access the tools they need to complete their homework without you! Yay! Isn’t that the goal?
Set up what they will need for doing their homework like pencils, a pencil sharpener, erasers, ruler, calculator, markers, crayons and anything else they might need!
My favorite way to do this is to create a set up with a caddy, like the one below. I use a utensil caddy to cutely corral their stuff, and when I need to clear the table, it’s easy to pick it up and put it back in the cabinet! So easy!!
Tip #5: Designate a distraction-free space for homework. I love how this family used a previously under-utilized hallway to create a space for their kids to do homework. You can always use the kitchen table, but I think it would be so fun to create a special place for school work! That way you don’t have to clean it up for every meal!
Tip #6. Create a lunch-packing station and pack lunches the night before.
Keep items sorted in the pantry where your kiddos can pack their own lunch bags. I tend to pack the same things every day for my daughter, but I want to change it up with some of these ideas.
This mom has a fabulous system in place where her kids can pick and choose their own lunch. She labeled each bin with how many things to grab from that bin and they can grab and go! Find more details on her Facebook post here.
How to Make a Lunch Box Station from Design Improvised
Tip #7. Set out clothes for every day of the week on Sunday night.
Or at least set out clothes for the next day the night before. This is such a huge time saver for us! Especially if the clothes she wants to wear need to be ironed or need a special bow that we need to find. #girlmom
We totally bought the hanging clothes organizer and use it! My daughter loves being able to get up and choose which outfit she wants to wear for the day and feel confident. We don’t label them for each day because she can pick which outfit she feels like wearing on any given day.
While doing research for this post, I found several back-to-school clothes checklists. I printed this one off from Thirty Handmade Days and plan to use it with both of my girls to make sure we have everything we need for the fall (and can donate or sell what we don’t need).
I hope these ideas have been super helpful. Now, the hard part will be to implement them. But I promise you the rest of the year you will be thanking yourself for taking the time to implement these systems that work! You will be amazed at how much more smoothly your days will run.
Let me know in the comments if you have a super helpful tip! Which one to you use already and love??
Other Posts that You May Like:
- Back-to-School Teacher Treat Jars
- Fall Organization Tips
- Top 5 Tips for Organizing Kids Clothes
- The Home Organization Binder
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