Back to School Tips & Organization Ideas
Only a few weeks left before our kids start back to school – Our summer days are flying by. And yet, there are still so many more fun summer activities we want to do! The weather in our neighborhood has felt more like fall than summer for weeks now! :(
Whether we want to think about it or not, it’s time to start working on our Back to School to do lists. Here are some of my back to school tips and organization ideas:
Back-To-School Check-list -
Get your paper & pen out and write your back to school checklist, one that includes everything you need to do to be ready for the first day of school. Writing things down on paper helps to purge your brain of all the things you have to do and eliminates the worry that you’re going to forget something. Not only that, it brings me great joy to be able to cross things off of my list.
It doesn’t need to be perfect -
Remember, we still have a precious few weeks with our kids before school starts…don’t make yourself crazy by foolishly thinking everything in your home has to be perfectly organized. Spend time with your kids having fun – get the necessities ready now but know that there will be time once the kids are back in school to focus on the other things.
What will they wear? -
Before School Starts…
Clean out kids’ closets/drawers. Before you head out to the mall for the dreaded back to school clothes shopping, go through their closets and dresser drawers. Remember to check clothes and shoes for fit, cleanliness and/or any needed alterations or repairs. Donate the clothes/shoes that are too small. Add the items that you need to buy to your to do list.
During the School Year…
Simplify the morning routine by picking out their clothes the night before or I usually pick out their clothes for the week and label them Monday – Friday. This is a huge time saver! Remember to include hair accessories, socks, etc.
School Supplies -
Your child probably received a school supply shopping list at the end of the school year, if not, check the school website for a list of what your child will need. Check for supplies you may already have before you head to the store. Many stores are having Back To School sales so watch out for the deals. Now is a good time to buy extra supplies for later on in the school year.
I’ve mentioned before that I hate making lunches every day. So I try to make the process a little easier (I know, I know, how hard is it to make lunch?) Anyway, this is what I do.
* Prepare some school lunch/snack bins for the refrigerator and cupboard.
* Make the lunches/snacks the night before .
* Lunch notes/jokes. Think about adding lunch notes/jokes to their lunch. My kids love reading the notes/jokes at school. You can print out a bunch in advance so you can quickly add a special note with their lunch.
Healthy snacks - Fresh fruit, vegetables and cheese are great choices. Nuts, whole grains and yogurt are also good snack choices.
Avoid fruit juices, energy drinks , sodas, sticky and chewy foods.
Instead of PB & J’s every single day (my sons favorite lunch) , get creative with a variety of lunches. For inspiration check out my Pinterest Board School Lunches & Snacks http://pinterest.com/BettyJHayden/kids-lunches-snacks-lunch-box-notes-and-jokes/
Start the School Year with a Healthy Smile -
The Surgeon General calls dental problems the “Silent Epidemic” that results in more than 51 million school hours missed each year! Schedule your child’s Back To School Check-up.
Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance!
No one performs well in the morning if you’re stressed and rushed your kids will be too. Avoid chaotic mornings by doing as much as possible the night before to get ready for the next day! Pack lunches/snacks, get homework and backpacks ready, set the table for breakfast, have their clothes picked out (including hair accessories,shoes, etc.
Paper Clutter -
It amazes me how many school papers come home every day! Plan now to control that paper clutter. To start, every day right after school I go through the kids’ backpacks and check for any papers that need to be returned, homework, upcoming events and so on. I immediately add any important dates (& the details of the school function/field trip to my Gmail calendar as well as any dates where permission slips/money is due and so on. In the kitchen I have folders for each child for the “now” school papers. And for the papers I want to save, at my desk in my filing cabinet I have 2 folders w/labels for each child and the grade they are in. In my master filing cabinet I have folders labeled K thru grade 12 for each child so at the end of the school year I simply put the finished grade away and pull out the next grade.
Have a designated home for backpacks -
My kids are to remove their water bottles and lunch boxes from their backpacks as soon as they get home from school.
I check backpacks for any school papers, homework, etc. Rather than have the kids remove these items I ensure that I don’t miss any notes and that their homework sheets are posted on the refrigerator.
Homework Station / Homework Totes -
I put together homework totes for each child that holds their scissors, glue, pens, pencils, crayons, sharpeners, etc. This has been a huge time saver and has lessened the homework headaches!
School Money Jar -
I keep a jar in the kitchen that holds money for school lunches, donations, popcorn sales, etc.
If your school collects Box Tops, Labels for Education, Coke Points, etc.
Keep these things organized to avoid clutter. I have little hanging buckets labeled Box Tops, Labels for Education, Old Batteries, Can Tabs & Coke Points
For your Sanity -
Wake up 20 minutes before it’s time to wake up the kids . Use this time to read, take your shower & get dressed or enjoy a cup of coffee/tea in peace & quiet.. Avoid checking your social media pages and emails – time will slip away and before you know it you’re running behind in the morning, or you read a negative email or post that put you in a bad mood, save that for after you drop the kids off to school.
What are you doing to prepare for the school year or if school already started in your neck of the woods, please comment to share what is working for you.
I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy & Stress-Free School Year!