It’s almost that time of year again; when homework papers fill up the kitchen island, and the daily tasks of making lunches and laying out school clothes often seem to stretch late into the night. Mornings become a little manic again and while you may enjoy some daytime freedoms back to school time gives you back, it seems to add a lot more headaches too. Unless you get serious about back to school organization that is.
While you are out shopping for all those school supplies over the next few weeks you should pick up some things – and implement a few new projects – that will help make back to school organization easier and more efficient. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
1. Set Up Homework Stations
Pencils, and papers, textbooks and folders, oh my! Cut down on the clutter by setting up a homework station for your kids. Stock the center with the supplies they use most often and they’ll get to complete their assignments without having to break to hunt for an eraser, highlighter or calculator. And your home will stay neater too, as they won’t be overturning drawers and dumping out book bags just because they can’t find THAT special unicorn pencil.
2. Try Creating Snack Stations
No mom really wants to spend too much of their precious downtime every evening assembling lunches for the next day. One way to cut down on that commitment is to create snack stations! Bag grapes, carrots and other perishable snacks and put them in a drawer in the fridge along with cheese sticks, yogurts and even pre-made sandwiches. A pantry shelf can hold single serving bags of pretzels, fruit snacks and juice boxes, and bags or lunchboxes to put it all in.
Assembling lunches from your new snack station will become so turnkey even little kids can do it and picky eaters will get to choose exactly what they want that day with fewer fights and complaints.
3. Organize Those School Clothes
By organizing your kids’ clothes for the entire week on Sunday night you will all be able to stay well ahead of the game very weekday morning. Create hanger labels for each day and pre-select the outfits, so your mini fashionistas can get dressed in the morning without rooting through – and messing up – drawers and laundry baskets to find a favorite pair of jeans or hoodie.
4. Keep Track of Library Books
Back to school often means kids are armed with books that are not theirs to keep, either textbooks that will need to be returned at the end of the semester or books from the school and/or local library.
Unfortunately, this often means checked out books get lost among the shelves with titles of your own. Try designating book basket where kids know to place their borrowed tomes. When it’s time to return them, you won’t have to dig through every stack in the house and you won’t end up facing fines for late returns or even loss.
5. Keep Your Car Clutter Free
You pick the kids up from school; they toss their jackets and backpacks on the floor of the car; then they trip over everything upon exiting the vehicle. If this plight sounds familiar, try creating hangers out of suction cup hooks or invest in a back of seat car organizer so they can travel in – and exit – the car in a more orderly fashion and fewer things will end up lost or broken.
6. Less Manic Morning Meals
DIY cereal stations for kids makes breakfast easy, you’ll never go back to crazy, catch-as-catch-can morning meals again. Fill Tupperware containers with your kids’ favorite cereal, a jug with a spigot with milk or individual milk cartons, and keep spoons in an accessible location. Breakfast is served and everyone gets out of the door fueled for the day but on time too.
7. Create Artwork Galleries, Not Fridge Clutter
Every parent loves showing off art and tests once school is in full swing. But the clutter that comes along with all the treasures your kids bring home is another story. Keep art and other papers organized with magnetic refrigerator frames and take the time to create a layout that looks almost as good as your kids’ latest masterpiece.
Need help with back to school organization, or just home organization in general? Contact us, the team at Just Organized by Taya are Houston’s foremost home organization specialists and are here to help, no matter how disorganized your home – and life – might be right now.