Back to school organization is a must in order to have a stress free start of the year. Change from laid a back summer months to a structured school year can be a challenging for both kids and parents. But with little planning and preparation, it will go much smoother.
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How Can I Get Organized for Back to School?
Having a stress free start of the year will require some planning and organizing. The list of tasks is fairly similar regardless of what grade your kids are in. The difference is that you will be able to delegate some tasks to the older kids.
Organization for the new school year will be in the areas of schedules, school paperwork, school supplies, and the spaces in your house.
Back to School Checklist for Parents
One of the most helpful tools you can get to help you get organized and prepared for the new school year is a back to school checklist. I am a huge fan of checklists and believe they help me stay on top of things.
And it’s harder to forget things!
Back to School Planning
Step one is always planning ahead. There are a few things to think about to ensure the new school year is starting off on the right foot.
Synchronize your Work and School Schedule
Take a look at both work and school schedule and address any conflicts. For example, does the kids school drop off or pick up conflict with your work schedule? Do you need to look into before/after school care?
This will help you plan ahead any days off from work you will have to take or plan for camp or day at grandparents house for your kids on their days off.
Also look at the yearly calendar from the school and mark any days off your kids will have for the year on your family calendar. I personally use Google calendar so both me and my husband can see the upcoming schedule.
School Forms and Documents
Every school year there are some forms and documents that needs to be filled out. Do yourself a huge favor and fill them out during summer so you don’t have to rush at the beginning of they year to get them done.
- School Registration
- Medical Form
- Dental Form
- Vision Form
- Transportation Form
- Lunch Form
After School Activities
Summer months are the best months to plan ahead for after school activities. Do you kids know what sports or activities they want to participate in? There are so many options and with kids doing multiple things – coordination is a must.
It’s not simply a matter of signing them up, there are other aspects to plan and think about:
- Who will drive kids to after school activities?
- Are there any scheduling conflicts? For example: two kids at different activities at the same time?
- Do the kids needs any new gear, clothes, or supplies for their extracurriculars?
- Did you incorporate cost of the after school activities into your budget?
- When are the big events/games scheduled?
Before you stat thinking about the new school year, let’s talk about the one that just ended.
And that means decluttering all the papers that have accumulated over the past year.
One of the back to school organization ideas that you should consider is to have a dedicated spot – a bin would work the best – where you can put all your kid’s art and school work throughout the school year. It really saves me a lot of time as a working mom to keep the clutter away from my kitchen island and the homework area! I put it in the bins and go through them during the summer break.
You might find it to be more efficient to go through all the paperwork all at once as it will be easier to get rid of stuff. Once you see how much your kids have collected throughout the school year, you will not feel as emotional about throwing away every little piece of paper 😉
Organizing School Supplies
This is another area that can quickly lead to stress, overwhelm, and lots of clutter.
New school year means shopping for new school supplies. But if we are not careful, the next thing you experience is a lot of extra supplies, messy drawers and cabinets, and inability to find the supplies you need when you need them.
There are a few simple steps to follow when organizing school supplies.
- Sort through all school supplies you already have at home
- Inspect kids backpacks, lunchboxes, and water bottles
- Get school supply lists from the schools
- Buy only supplies you need
- Pack the supplies you need for the next school year into backpacks/bags
- Organize supplies needed at home for easy access
Back to School Home Organization
And the final step in back to school preparation is organizing spaces in your home that will make the new school year run smoother.
Set up homework area
We cannot talk about back to school organization ideas for working moms without mentioning homework areas. Depending on the age of your kids, you might have a few homework areas in your house.
Some homework might be done at their desks. If your kids are old enough to complete their homework independently, they might prefer a quite area in the house.
If you have smaller kids, they might need to be supervised as they are completing their assignments. And that homework area might be your kitchen island or a dining room table.
Regardless of what homework area you decide to go with, you need to make sure that it has all school supplies they will need somewhere nearby.
Organize additional resources
Additional resources will obviously differ from household to household. But what I’m talking about here is any additional workbooks or studying materials. Think about addition flashcards, sight words, or craft ideas for your younger ones.
During summer months, we really enjoy Summer Bridge Activity Workbooks. They are full of activities that are meant to reinforce all the things they have learned the past year and help them start the new one on the right foot.
If you have a preschooler, I also highly recommend preschool curriculum from Lessons from Home. My daughter used it last year and she really enjoyed it.
The reason why I chose this particular curriculum is because it has a lot of great and simple exercises that involve coloring (which she loves) and plenty of craft ideas. And I don’t know about you, but while I love crafts, coming up with them is not always easy. Pinterest is usually my place for inspiration and ideas, but I usually end up spending way too much time trying to decide which one I like the best. So check it out if you are looking for some materials for your preschooler.
RELATED: 5 Things to Declutter Today
Now which working mom can survive without a commend center? If you are that person – please let me know how you do that? I cannot imagine not talking about back to school organization ideas without mentioning this area of my house.
I absolutely love our Command Center. It is very simple – a mail organizer with key holder along with a dry erase calendar. That is where we write down all the important family appointments and after-school activities. While I do use my Google Calendar as well, having a Command Center helps everyone in my family to be on the same page.
So if you don’t have one, consider getting it as a back to school organization tool. It will help all family members see what is happening each day of the week. Everyone will know what events are happening and it will help them stay organized and manage their time better.
Another area that needs our attention before the new school year starts is our kids closets. We need to make sure they have clean, ‘hole-free’, and fitting clothes to wear to school and for their after school activities.
- Go through all the clothes in the closet
- Pull out hand me downs that will fit
- Don’t forget to check their shoes
- Pack away clothes for a family member/friend or donation
- Buy new clothes/shoes
One of the areas in our house that needs to be organized every few months, but especially before the school year starts, is the mud room.
Organize your mud room in a way that is functional!
The idea is for your kids to be able to quickly get ready for school in the morning. And to be able to put everything where it belongs when they get back home in the evening.
This might seem a bit out of place when we talk about getting our homes organized for the new year, but it is important part of making sure your household runs smoothly.
Summer time is the best time to establish a good chores routine with your kids. That way when the new school year starts, it is something they are used to.
It is definitely not a typical idea when you think about back to school preparation. But is really important to think about. If you don’t have a good system in place for meal planning and prepping, now is a great time to get it figured out.
The new school year is a big unknown and will require a lot of adjustments from working parents. So anything that you can do to make it easier on yourself – do it! If that means buying more pre-cut veggies, getting a meal delivery service, or incorporating a couple of takeout options in your weekly menu – so be it. You can find some great tips on how to remove stress from meal planning from Erin Grieger.
Be prepared but also flexible. We don’t really know what to expect and how much additional work that will put on our shoulders. So don’t be too hard on yourself – some shortcuts will be required.
RELATED: Meal Planning Hacks for Working Moms