Get Organized for the School Year with FREE Printable Sheets & Helpful Ideas

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School Organization

The week leading up to school sends me into a panic- Are all the uniforms ready? Do I have enough lunch stuff? Are the backpacks packed and ready to go? Have I set my alarm?!

You know that “nesting” period at the end of pregnancy? THAT’S how I feel just before school starts! So after I’m finished packing our Classroom Donation Totes, I jump into organizing our school supply stash at home, and trying to streamline our morning routine.

Back-to-School Organization Hacks

I try to keep everything in our mudroom that we could possibly need for school. It makes for a much easier morning when it’s organized and ready to go. Now, let’s be real- it doesn’t maintain this picture-worthy level of organization all year. But once we’re settled in our routine (and properly caffeinated) we can still get through the morning with slightly less order.

This year I was on the hunt for some fresh, new ideas to add to my (relatively organized) system, so here are some of the best ideas I came across…

1. Start a School Routine NOW

Easier said than done, right? But I promise, in the long run, it’s worth it. It’s so much easier to get used to getting up and going in the morning.

Routine Charts

I like to pull out our Morning Routine and After School Routine charts. Feel free to print these out and use them too!

Print these out, laminate them, and then hang a dry erase marker next to them for the kiddos to check off jobs as they go. [If you don’t have a laminator, you need one! They’re way more affordable than you’d think, and I use it for EVERYTHING- chore charts, recipe cards (so they don’t get dirty in the kitchen), kids’ art work I want to save, etc. I use it WAY more than I ever thought I would!]

2. Get Creative with Storage

Creative storageHow clever is this sweater shelf turned paper storage hack?? I use a longer one of these to store my kids’ board games, and a narrow shoe storage one for smaller craft supplies (you can find lots of these hanging organizers on Amazon). They’re amazingly versatile!

Creative StorageI’m in love with this genius storage hack! These are screw containers from the screw aisle at Home Depot. You can also purchase similar containers on Amazon. They’re perfect for storing small toys, craft supplies, crayons, etc., because they come in a variety of sizes, and they’re extremely durable.

3. Prep Your Homework Station

Homework Station

Both this Shower Caddy Organizer and this DIY Turntable Organizer are great ideas for preparing a  homework station. You can find Shower Candy organizers at stores like Target or Walmart or on Amazon. Having a designated area with all the needed supplies will make homework time a breeze. Don’t forget to stick some granola bars or trail mix in there, for a healthy after school snack!

4. Organize School Papers the Minute they come Through the Door

School Papers Organization

Report cards, school pics, art projects, and whatever else my kids insist on keeping, all get stored in a system similar to this one from i heart organizing. One box for each child; a folder for each grade. Done. She even has cute printable labels for the folders! Love it!

5. Get Your Closets Organized & Clothes Ready

Before school starts, take inventory of your kiddos’ closets, and pull everything out that doesn’t fit. Separate school clothes from play clothes, and give them clear dividers. If your kiddos go to a school that requires uniforms, they’ll typically hold a uniform exchange just before school starts, so you’ll want to have all your trades set aside for that.

Back to school organization - Donation Bin

To get a jump start on tackling this task next year, keep a tote bin in the closet, and just toss clothes in throughout the year as you realize they’re not fitting. When it’s full you can snap a lid on it to save for siblings or for the uniform exchange, or you have them all pulled aside to donate or sell. Easy peasy!

6. Set Up a Family Communication Station

Ever had homework or another important paper get food spilled on it because it was left on the counter? Nothing says “responsible” quite like a coffee-stained field trip permission slip, amirite??

Back to school organizationSo now, this organizer hangs on our shoe closet door on the way out to the garage. Any important papers go straight in that bottom pocket, for their own safety, really. I also drop outgoing mail, library books, and other things I’m bound to forget on the way out the door in there. If I need to remember something that doesn’t fit in there, I put a sticky note reminder in there.

Mom-brain is a real thing, therefore my house is FULL of reminders!

7. Make Breakfast Time a Breeze

Quick BreakfastsNot gonna lie- breakfast stresses me out. The weekend before school starts, I make an enormous batch of waffles to freeze. It’s the one thing all five of my kiddos will eat without a fight. We also keep granola bars, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, etc. on hand for on-the-go breakfasts (I even keep granola bars in the car for this reason).

The first week of school, and any weeks that they have big tests, I try to make hearty, filling breakfasts. That usually means planning ahead and making Slow Cooker Breakfasts.

Freezer Meal Cooking with Hip2SaveAnd – if I’m feeling super motivated, I like to throw together Slow Cooker Freezer Meals to make those busy evenings a little easier. Between after-school clubs, sports, playdates, homework, and bath time, who even has time for dinner??

8. Stock Your Lunch Making Station

Lunch making stationHaving a prepped lunch station will save SO much time on busy mornings. I love these labeled baskets from Clutterbug.

Be sure to CLICK HERE to check out some of our favorite School Lunch Packing Tips!

Written by Danielle for Hip2Save. Danielle is a proud mom to 5 amazing kids in Utah, who lives for coffee and baking. She’s dedicated to balancing her own interests and passions, while encouraging her children to follow their own paths in life.

Join The Discussion

Comments 19

  1. Jenny

    Great ideas, thanks!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)


  2. Irene

    This was so helpful , will definitely be using your ideas .

  3. len

    Thanks for sharing these neat ideas. Love them.

  4. AmyH

    Thank u! ๐Ÿ‘

  5. Nycgal

    Great ideas for adults too!

  6. ginger

    Is there a way I can change the morning/school routine template? I’m thinking of adding other activities in there. Any help will be appreciated. tia

    • Lina (Hip's Modern Martha)

      Hi Ginger-
      You could maybe edit them if you have any editing software or use the free online editing tool I use called
      Also, if you email me at I can send you a blank version you can print and fill out on your own. Hope that helps!

  7. Haseena

    Thank you!!! Love the first picture, I would love to do something similar, where can I find something similar to put our crayons and etc in? Tia

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Hey there! Those were purchased from IKEA a few years ago. They always seem to have so many great storage and organizational items. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      • Haseena

        Thank you so much!!!

  8. mkpassey

    So funny! I’ve told a couple of people that I feel like I’m nesting in preparation for school.

  9. Emily

    Great post!! Love all the ideas! The large file boxes are great- love to see ideas for organizing kids desks and dry erase boards for schedule ideas, to plan for reading, homework, sports, etc…

  10. Deb

    Beautiful and helpful ideas? Where were you 20 years ago? Ha Too late for me but I’m passing these on to my DIL. Thanks!

  11. kim

    Wow Danielle, this was an awesome and very helpful post!

  12. HM

    Awesome ideas!!!

  13. Mel

    Great ideas! And the “properly caffeinated” was so funny! ๐Ÿ˜‚

  14. Jen K

    This was so informational!!! Thank you for sharing….I’m already planning to use some of these great tips!!!

  15. julie

    For those without a laminator, page protectors work just as well…
    Or you could write the to-do list with permanent marker on a (dollar store) dry erase board, and use a regular dry erase marker to check things off.

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