Tuesday, August 30, 2016

6 Essential Back to School Organizing Tips For Moms

These 6 back to school organizing tips will get you ready for the first day of school and beyond!

Get Organized for Back to School with these 6 easy tips! Get everything from lunch to clothes to your morning routine under control with these back to school organizing ideas. Includes a printable school planner too!

We're in the last week of summer here and my mission over the past couple of weeks has been figuring out how to get organized for school in September. My boys are starting preschool, and it will be a whole new world for us. While it's still a bit overwhelming (for me - they are beyond excited) I know that by getting our routines and systems in place for the school year that we will make it a great success. I've pulled together some of my favorite projects and back to school organizing tips to help you get ready too.

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6 Essential Back to School Organizing Tips for Moms

Heading back to school, or to school for the first time, is a big adjustment for everyone. By getting organized you and your kids will feel more confident, in control, and ready to face the school year. Here's my favorite ways to get organized before school starts.

Establish a Routine

Getting up and ready for school every morning is a big change from the long lazy days of summer. Establishing a good morning routine is critical to helping each day start smoothly.

Don't wait until the first day to introduce your morning routine. Start at least a week ahead of time, getting up and ready at the same time that you will need to for school. If you're just starting to introduce the idea of a structured morning routine to your kids, you can make it fun by turning it into a game! My Morning Routine Scavenger Hunt includes a free printable and lets your kids have fun getting ready. Check it out here.

Don't forget about the importance of establishing a morning routine for yourself too. I have 4 things that I do every morning to start the day right, and using this routine helps keep me on track. When mom is ready for the day everyone is much happier!

Prep As Much as You Can Ahead of Time

One of the keys to being organized is not leaving everything for the last minute, and this is especially true of getting ready for school days. Taking care of as much as you can ahead of time will make your mornings much smoother. We pick out all our clothes for the week on Sunday and put them in this DIY organizer so there are no questions or battles about what to wear each morning. This is a huge time and sanity saver! See more about my organizing kids clothes project here.

The same idea goes for packing backpacks, gathering sports equipment, any forms that need to be signed, etc. Getting everything ready to go at least the night before will help your mornings be much more organized.

Make a Lunch Plan

Preparing and packing lunches every day can easily make you feel disorganized if you don't have a plan. Getting organized when it comes to lunches is one of the best things you can do to feel in control.  First, you want to keep a running list of all of your kids' favorite lunch options and put it somewhere that you can always find it. Use this list to plan out all your lunches for the week. This will save you from scrambling at the last minute and make sure you have everything you need on hand. Use the handy Lunch Ideas & Weekly Lunch planning sheets from my printable School Planner to help you.

You can also prep snacks and lunches ahead of time using my DIY Snack Station. I've got a list of easy snack ideas for kids that would be perfect for the lunchbox! Check it out here. And take a look at these 10 Lunch Box hacks for even more time saving tips.

Create a Homework Station

If your kids have homework, you'll want to make sure that they have a dedicated, organized space to concentrate. We're not at the homework phase yet, but my friend Nicola created an awesome homework station for her second grader. Check it out here and read some of her great tips.

You also want to make sure that all your kids' at home school supplies are neatly organized, even if they are not doing homework. Here's how we organize kids art supplies in my house - these tips would translate well to your homework station or even a homeschool room!

Create a Family "Drop Zone"

It doesn't take long for school stuff to take over your house. Whether you have a mud room, a foyer, or just a space by the door, you need to create a dedicated area for things like shoes, jackets, backpacks, and everything else that comes in at the end of the day. If you don't, you'll be scrambling to find things in the morning and your entryway will be in constant disarray. See our "drop zone" here and even though your space may be different, you'll find the essentials you need for organizing your entryway for back to school.

Get Organized with a Printable School Planner

If you really want to be organized for back to school, you need to have all your schedules and reminders in one place. I've created a printable school planner that does just that.

Inside the 20 page printable school planner, you'll find:

  • Front and Back Covers including a space for your name and information.
  • School Information Sheet - important contact information, addresses, and classroom information on one easy to find page.
  • Lunch Ideas Planner - a place to list out all your kids' favorite lunch items and snacks, so that you're not struggling to come up with new ideas every week.
  • Weekly Lunch Planner - a sheet to plan lunches for the entire week so you can make things ahead of time and reduce morning stress (this page can also be laminated and hung in the kitchen as a reusable dry erase board).
  • Before & After School Checklists - a place to help you and the kids to stay on track with the morning routine, any morning chores, and a list of items to remember before heading out the door. The after school checklist helps track homework, any afternoon chores, along with other daily to dos.
  • Weekly Planner - a page for each week to note important events, due dates, and must dos.
  • Dated Monthly Calendars - month at a glance calendars for August 2016 through June 2017, including an additional spot to highlight important dates each month.
  • Project Tracker - use this for yourself or for the kids, to track big projects and assignments (the science fair, a bake sale, classroom projects, etc.)
It's the ultimate tool for back to school organizing and will keep you on track all year long. Click the See More button below to browse some of the pages and grab your own!

Back to School Organizing Essentials

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