Back to school season is right around the corner!  Whether your school district is returning to full days of in-person learning, hybrid sessions, fully remote or you have decided homeschooling is the best option for your family, it’s time to get your homes and lives ready for the next school year.

Here are our 5 back to school organization tips and ideas for your home:

plan ahead

Start the week off on a good note by planning ahead, your mornings and evenings will thank you for it!

Meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  You will waste less food, set expectations and keep a healthy budget when you know what and how much to buy for the week.  Menu boards or wall mounted paper rolls are a great way to write out your meal plans for the week.

While you’re in the planning mood, check out the weather for the week and plan out what to wear.  Create designated closet space for outfits and options.  Closet divider rings with labeled days that go over the hanger or separate between the hangers will help your kids remember what they’re wearing and when and you’ll rest assured they’re wearing the outfit you bought for picture day on the correct day.  Use number or color-coded rings for littles who can’t quite read yet. Velvet hangers are a must for keeping clothes from slipping off the hanger.

create a kid’s pantry

Depending on the size of your kitchen you can carve out a section of your pantry and/or clear a cabinet or two specifically designated for the kids.  Keep kid friendly bowls, cups, utensils, and lunch boxes in a lower cabinet so they’re easily accessible.  Organize the pantry so that after school snacks, healthy cereals and drinks are within reach and in their own area of the pantry or cabinet.  Clear a spot in the refrigerator or use the refrigerator pull out drawer if you have it, for cold drinks and snacks.  Bins and cabinet organizers will be key to keeping your panty and snack stations in order! 

stay on top of laundry

Let your laundry room do the work for you… or at least it will help you when laundry day rolls around.  Utilize wall space to hang cabinets, open shelving, wall hooks and drying racks. Label or color code your dirty laundry baskets so they’re sorted into darks, colors, lights.  Keep a medium sized jar or bin on the counter or hang it on the wall near your dirty clothes baskets so everyone can empty their pockets before throwing their clothes into their specified baskets.  Once the clean clothes are folded and ready to be put away, place each person’s clothes into their own designated basket to make it easier for them to carry and take back to their rooms.  Save on space by using collapsible laundry baskets.

location, location…

everything has a spot!  Create a functional entry space or drop zone.

Make the most of your mudroom or if you don’t have one, create a clean, organized entry space that will stop everyone and everything before they leave breadcrumbs of dirty shoes, backpacks and jackets trailing into your home.  Place a bench or seat near the door for removing shoes.  Add plenty of wall hooks for jackets, backpacks, bags and include one for your furry friend’s leashes!  Cabinets or hall closets are great for storage and seasonal wear while open shelves and baskets are great for organizing everyone’s day to day hats, scarves, smaller essentials, and shoes.

Mudrooms are also great for a calendar, bulletin board, chore board, to-do lists and mail/paperwork bins, but again if you don’t have one, set up an area near the entry or a kitchen area where everyone in the family will see it.  The key is to have an organized area where everyone can be in the habit of using so that mornings and routines run smoothly.

set up a homework area

A clean, organized, quiet area with good lighting, ample desk space and a comfy chair to call their own may be all your kids need to get their study habits in gear and get their homework juices flowing, but setting your kids up at the kitchen table, counter or island is a great way to make sure homework is getting done while dinner is being made.  Some newer homes are now even being built with dedicated “planning centers” that are open or near to the kitchen rather than dedicated dens or studies to make multi-tasking between kids/work and meal prep even easier.  You don’t have to sacrifice style for function when it comes to your home. After all, you live there, and it must work for your lifestyle.  Key elements to keep in mind are organization, lighting, furniture, and making sure the vibe flows from room to room with color, style, and decor.

As your children grow, consider adding a desk area in their bedroom or turning a toy/playroom in their upgraded study/game room.  If you’re ready for this transition, first have a garage sale to get rid of unwanted toys and overgrown furniture! Use the money to create a new space that will inspire them to get their homework done.  Use wallpaper or paint to create a bold, invigorating space.  Personalize their space using their favorite color(s), fun decor, and monogrammed items.  Make sure you have both ambient and task lighting.  Shelves, pegboards, a comfy chair, ample desk space with organized cubbies stocked with all their school essentials will have them set and organized to take on their assignments.


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