While we went back-to-school in July here in India, I’m sure most of you are gearing up for September when it will be back-to-school season in the US and several other parts of the world.
I’m also sure that most of you are excited about it but a small voice inside you is urging you to get things in order so that mornings aren’t manic, evenings aren’t a blur of after-school activities, homework and cooking and stress levels aren’t skyrocketing for everyone.
Yes, school season will be in full swing and getting organized should be your first step.
Here are 7 organizing tips to help you get ready for the first day of school and after:
1. Ease Everyone into School Schedule
There are 11 days left until the 1st of September, so now is a good time to start easing kids and yourself into a school schedule. Which means no more late nights for the kids or all-nighters for you, relatively early starts to the morning and getting used to meal routines that are similar to school days.
2. Menu Plan, My Friend
If your menu planning has also taken a summer break, it is time to bring it back. Plan meals and snacks as you would for school days and ensure that kids get into the habit of eating right and on time. Not only would this help you plan school lunches easily but also ensure that the children and you, both, eat healthier and better all through the school year.
3. Conquer the Calendar…Now
The school year can be a blur of activities and events. If you don’t plan for them and pencil them into your calendar, you or your child can miss out on important deadlines, class projects or meetings.
Conquer calendar chaos right now by creating a family calendar solution.
You can either be high-tech and use an online calendar like Google Calendar, iCal or Cozi and share it with everyone in the family. Use color coding to mark out appointments and schedules for each child and adult and while you can update the calendar for the younger kids, get older children and grown-ups to update the calendar on their own.
If you prefer the traditional paper and pencil route, get either a large dry-erase board or a family wall calendar, such as this one by Amy Knapp and use color coding and stickers to plan and organize not just school events but all other important family events as well.
4. Plan Back-to-School Shopping
Yes, school season means shopping for stationery and school supplies, backpacks and lunchboxes, uniforms or clothes for school. Ahh, I can see the numbers adding up. Before you head out to the stores, take a moment (or many!) and go through your child’s existing school supplies stash and wardrobe and identify what needs to be replaced or replenished.
Make a list and see what can be either borrowed or be a hand-me-down or bought on sale. Amazon has some absolutely awesome savings on back-to-school supplies and you should totally check those out before hitting the stores!
5. Perfect Your Paperwork
School season means plenty of paperwork and that doesn’t include the artwork your kids would be bringing home. School year documentation may include immunization records, progress reports from the previous year, achievement certificates and more.
Create a separate file for each child and label it School and use it to file existing as well as any new paperwork that may come in through the year. Again, if you’re the tech sorts, you’d love a free service like, Shoeboxed that lets you scan in and store digital records of ALL documents. Most people usually use it for receipts and bills, but I don’t see why you can’t use it for school papers!
6. Manage Morning Madness
Are school mornings crazy for you? Get a hold of morning madness with a bit of pre-planning each evening and on Sundays. Use Sundays to plan the lunchbox menus for the week as well as to check on uniforms or clothes for school. The evenings, every day, can be use to set out breakfast dishes and do the prep for breakfast, have everyone put their backpacks by the door with their homework inside and lay out kids’ clothing or hang it up on hangers behind their doors.
This post has some more tips on getting organized for school mornings.
7. Harness Housekeeping During School Season
Finally, the start of the school year will also mean that you’ll have to tweak your housekeeping routines and schedules accordingly. You’ll have to give time to after school activities, sports lessons, volunteering, as well as regular school work. So, make sure you have strategies in place for speed cleaning the home for school days.
Now, tell me, how are YOU getting organized for back-to-school? See you in the comments!
Photo Credit: Free Digital Photos