Get Organized for the School Year with FREE Printable Sheets & Helpful Ideas
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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.
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.
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
How 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!
I’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
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
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.
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??
So 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
Not 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.
And – 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
Having 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.