The anticipation of a new school year, with its brand-new teachers, classmates, and skills to acquire, can be exhilarating. But transitioning from vacation mode to a full-on schedule can also be pretty challenging.

That’s why I wanted to share with you today some straightforward organization advice that you can use right away to ensure that, no matter the circumstance, you’ll be more than prepared when school starts.

You’ll find it easier to adjust to your back-to-school routine if you follow these tips, and you’ll also be more organized throughout the entire school year.

Declutter the Kids Closets

Make sure your child’s closet and any dresser drawers are decluttered and organized before you go shopping for back-to-school items at the store (or online).

Any outgrown clothing should be gathered and put aside until it can be passed down to younger children, donated or thrown away.

It’s a smart idea to involve your child in the process, so they can try on any items you might be hesitant of because it’s amazing how much they can grow during the summer! It will also educate them in the method, so as they get older, they can eventually do it all by themselves.

Once you’ve gone over everything, make a list of the things your child already has and note where you need to make additional purchases to fill in the gaps. This will save you time and money, and maybe even uncover cool stuff that both you and your child had forgotten they had!

Practice Organized Back to School Shopping

Whether you shop online or in person, try, as far as possible, to shop in the same spot (which is why Amazon and Walmart are such great choices) and to shop with your kids. Doing so will not only make them feel more involved in the process and excited about back to school, but also save you from wasting money on things that they will refuse to wear or simply never use.

When it comes to school supplies, don’t guess at what they need. Take a list of the recommended and required school supplies from your school with you when you go shopping. You can check things off as you complete your online order or navigate the store, which will keep you (and, more importantly, your kids!) organized.

Grab a few extras to keep on hand for when they eventually run out of a frequently used supply (such as markers, glue sticks, etc.) if you see it at a great price.

Select Week One Outfits for Younger Kids

Plan your child’s “First Day” outfit and, ideally, several more to cover the full first week back at school once you’ve finished your back-to-school shopping (or have them do this independently, depending on their age).

I advise using a simple sticky note to identify each day’s outfits before putting them in a drawer or utilizing one of these awesome hanging organizers. Include any jewelry, socks, or other accessories. Just double-check the weather forecast a few days before the start of class to make sure you have prepared appropriate daily outfits and footwear.

This outfit organization can prevent any potential fights over what they can or cannot wear to school, in addition to speeding up your child’s morning routine. The more you can organize and prepare in advance, the less stressful and chaotic the first week of school will be for everyone.

Organize After School Activity Supplies

If your kids are beginning after-school activities, organize their gear and make sure you don’t need to order anything in a larger size. As children grow older, they will require more and bigger gear, such as new soccer or basketball shoes, baseball bats and gloves, helmets, and shoes like dance shoes or cleats, which are typically outgrown from season to season.

Printing out a picture of the supplies your child will need for each after-school activity so that they can refer to it and put together their own activity bags is a great idea, in my opinion. Even small children can match up items and find it to be very exciting to be involved in this way.

Create a Family Command Center

I’ve written about the value of an organized family command center at greater length, but it’s worth mentioning again here. Once school and activities are in full swing, it’s more important than ever to keep everyone in your family on the same page. Setting up a large calendar in an often-viewed space (think kitchen or mudroom) can help you keep track of everyone’s schedule, activities (even if it’s just Zoom calls!) and holidays.

Create a School Lunch Prep Station

It’s never fun to pack lunches for school, especially in the morning rush. Create a “Lunch Prep” station in your kitchen with everything you’ll need in one location to help. It might be a shelf, a drawer, a cabinet, or even a Rubbermaid box. Create pre-portioned sides and snacks that are easy to grab from your fridge and pantry to make preparing lunch even simpler.

Include all the essentials, such as water bottles, cutlery, napkins, cutting board, Thermos, snack baggies or containers, and kid-safe knives. Encourage older children to practice packing their own lunches in the days before school so that they get the hang of how best to use your newly organized system (and may even be able to offer some suggestions for improvement to it.)

Consider Getting Into Organized Meal Prep

Something else I’ve written about extensively before is organized meal prep, and if you haven’t tried it yet, back to school time is an excellent cue for you to give it a shot.

Getting a home-cooked meal on the table is always more difficult when everyone is busy with school and activities. Start doubling your dinner recipes now to freeze extra family-sized portions for those nights when you just don’t have the energy to cook, giving yourself a night off.

Consider baking a large quantity of muffins, pumpkin bread, or simple banana pancakes that can be frozen to ease your morning routine. For a quick and wholesome breakfast, you could even prepare some smoothie freezer packs that you can just throw into a blender.

Start Shifting Schedules Now

Since they won’t be able to sleep in as much, stay up as late, or eat all the time once school starts, kids’ summer days are typically more unscheduled and unstructured.

Move their bedtime and, if necessary, wake-up time a little earlier as the start of school approaches. By doing this, you can avoid having a very irritable kid on the first day of school!

Perform a practice run of your morning routine, including getting dressed, eating breakfast, and packing up, a week or two before the start of the school year. This will be beneficial for you both because you can iron out any potential problems and become accustomed to the routine.

Putting these simple steps and organization strategies into action now will ultimately save you a lot of time and anxiety come the start of the school year. Happy back to school organizing!

Don’t forget, if you need the help of a professional organizer in any capacity, we’re here to help. Call us at 872-271-7608 or book an appointment here to get started!

Just Organized By Taya
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