A new school year is just about here, and you know what that means. Books, backpacks, homework, hand-outs, permission slips. It’s a lot to deal with. But before you let the burden of back to school chaos get you down, remember that it is possible to prevent your home from being buried under the flood of worksheets and school lunches that’s on its way. These home organization tips will get you off on the right track.
- Create a Homework Station. Homework has a way of taking over the whole house, which leads to not only an ungodly mess, but also a lot of “I can’t find my homework!” drama, usually in the last seconds before the morning bus pulls up. One way to head this problem off at the pass is to create a homework station where your kids can get all their work done. Be sure to keep it stocked with all the study supplies your kids need, from pencils and markers to loose-leaf paper and calculators. You’ll see a reduction in clutter and a major productivity boost.
- Set Aside a Backpack Area. Of course kids like to dump their backpacks in the first available spot when they get home from school. Wouldn’t you? It’s easy to sympathize, but it doesn’t exactly make for a well-organized household. Create a designated backpack area (ideally close to the front door) with hooks where each of your kids can hang their backpacks for easy, mess-free access.
- Organize School Clothes in Ahead of Time. You can avoid a lot of the drama that comes with getting a house full of kids dressed and out the door by doing a little extra work in advance. Have a full week’s worth of clothes ready and organized for your kids at the beginning of each week, and you’ll be in the clear. This is a great job to have your young ones help you out with too—it will make the job easier for you, allow them to feel like they’re contributing, and ensure that everybody gets to wear more or less what they want.
- Create a System to Stay Organized. You’re going to have a lot of appointments, parent-teacher meetings, soccer practices, after-school study groups and lord-only-knows-what-else during the upcoming months. Best come up with a way to organize all your plans. Go with what works for you—A big erasable calendar works for some, a system of color-coded folders works for others—but create a system and stick to it. You’ll be able to stay on top of you and your kids’ schedules with ease.
- Make Breakfast Simple. Nerves are easily frayed first thing in the morning. One of the best ways to make the wee hours easier for everybody is to create a DIY breakfast station where everybody can make their own simple breakfast. Stock your breakfast bar with fresh fruit, granola, Tupperware containers of a few favorite cereals, milk in a jug with a spigot, and any other family favorites. Make bowls and silverware easy to reach, and insist that they go in the dishwasher when they’re done. Boom! Breakfast is in the bag.