Back-to-school season can be stressful– all of the stores are running their school supply sales, and you are still trying to enjoy your last moments of summer! It can also be overwhelming to think about how to get back into your school year routine and get organized, after a few months of looser and less rigid schedules. Luckily, there are plenty of ways that you can get back into the swing of things, and they’re pretty easy, too!
Read on for a roundup of back-to-school organization tips to get you started.
Back to School Tips and Tricks
Every family is going to have their own routine or techniques that work for them, so you are going to want to identify what kinds of strategies work best for you when navigating change. Staying organized is a fairly universal way to help adjust to new things, but how do you stay organized in the first place, you may wonder? Below are some tried and true methods for getting yourself and your family organized with back-to-school around the corner.
Adjust Your Schedule
First things first, work on adjusting your schedule! Summertime schedules typically don’t reflect the schedules we are running on while school is in session, so it is always easier to start easing back into the stricter schedule, rather than throwing your family into it and hoping for the best. You can begin to do this by waking your child up closer to when he or she will need to get up for school, instead of letting them sleep in. You can also begin to set bedtime earlier to reflect school night bedtimes, rather than summer bedtime hours.
Practice a Morning Run Through
Like adjusting your schedule, you can also start to practice for the school year! A way that you can model a normal school day for your family is if you practice a morning run-through. You don’t have to do this too early in the summer, but once back to school starts creeping up, you could implement the run-through a week or so before school starts. Practice getting up, getting dressed, and doing whatever else you and your kiddos need to do in the morning to get ready for a school day.
Clean Your House
Of course, you’ve probably been cleaning your house throughout the summer, too! But cleaning and organizing your home before your children go back to school can actually be helpful for you, besides just making sure your space looks good. It can help you to streamline your morning routine when the kids are getting ready for school if there is less clutter in the home. For instance, you and your child can go through their closest together and get rid of or donate any clothing that no longer fits. This will help make it easier to choose an outfit and get dressed in the morning.
Stock Up on Supplies
One of the most important things to do when preparing for school, of course, is to make sure you are stocked up on all of the supplies your child will need– both in the classroom and at home! You can do this by going through what you do have at home, and then making a list of what you will need to buy to start school. This will also help you from buying supplies that you do not need while you’re at the store! Your child’s school will typically send home a list of supplies that they will need as well, which you can use to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Handle Your Paperwork
At the beginning of the school year, there is often a lot of paperwork that needs to be filled out, too. Make sure that you are getting all of the forms that the school needs filled out and returned to them so that everything is squared away for your child’s first day! You can also easily organize everything into a file folder on your computer desktop, or into a physical folder or envelope if you are working with paper copies of the forms instead.
Organize a Central Calendar
This particular tip can be very helpful for your family- especially for your spouse or co-parent! Get a calendar that you can set up in a high-traffic area of your home so that you can record everyone’s schedule on it. This can be a dry erase calendar, or a paper wall calendar– whichever you prefer. The items that you write down on the calendar can range from appointments to lessons, playdates, or after-school activities and sports. That way, you will be able to keep everyone’s schedule straight throughout the year and avoid getting stressed or overwhelmed when you forget an appointment!
Back to School Tools
Now that you have a list of great strategies that you can use to get acclimated to the school year schedule again, it’s time for a round-up of tools that can help you get and then stay organized, all year long! It’s important that your kiddo has all of the supplies they need at school, but there are also tools out there that can benefit the whole family at home as well. Read on for some of the back-to-school tools that we recommend.
Small Monthly Planner
The Small Monthly Planner actually comes in two sizes– there is the Large Monthly Planner as well if you think you will need more room to record everything. However, the great thing about the size of this version is that it is smaller and can more easily fit in different areas in your home, especially if you do not have a lot of space for these sorts of things. You can hang it on the wall or on a corkboard, or can use it as a desk planner– whichever suits you best. It is also a 16-month planner, so it will last you the academic year and beyond!
Weekly Organizer Pad
The Weekly Organizer Pad is another calendar-style tool that you and your family can use in your day-to-day. Instead of showing you the whole month at a glance, this pad focuses on the week that you are in– it is one week per page. It includes a section for the weekend, too, so that you can make note of parties, sports events, or anything else that you have planned for Saturday and Sunday. Like the monthly planner options, you can choose to add magnets at checkout so that you can affix this pad to the fridge or another magnetic space.
Plans and Lists
The Plans and Lists pad is a little different from the first two options, in that it also has a large lined area where you can make checklists for yourself or for your partner or children. One of the things you can use this area for is a chore chart to make sure that your kids’ chores are still getting done, now that school is in session. There is a section on this pad for each day of the week as well so that you can still record any commitments that you need to remember and be aware of.
Habit Tracker Notebook
This tool can be very helpful, especially if you have older children who you are trying to teach to be more independent or responsible. They will appreciate the Habit Tracker Notebook, as many older kiddos crave that sense of independence. You can either work through the notebook together to track their habits or show them how to use it and then let them do so on their own. You can track habits, record plans, make lists, and choose a key priority to focus on every day. This can be a great way to start helping your kids get more organized while taking control of themselves.
And of course, we certainly can’t forget about the Daily Planner! This is a tried and true organizational tool, and many brands have their own version. This particular planner comes in either vegan leather or linen cover options and can be personalized with your initials, so it will look gorgeous sitting out on the countertop. It has a clean layout and is designed to be simple and easy to use, without some of the unnecessary bells and whistles of other planners. It goes from January to December and has a two-page spread for each week of the year.
Do What You Can
This journal can be a great notepad to carry around in your purse or your child’s book bag. It’s a great way to have something to jot down notes or lists for later so that you do not forget while you are out and about. This can help you to stay a bit more organized and to avoid anything from falling between the cracks in your life. The journal also has an important reminder on the cover– “Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are”! Sometimes, we need to take a moment and remember that.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get organized for back to school?
When gearing up for back to school after a long, relaxing summer, you may not know where to start! Be sure to start easing back into a schedule so that early wake-up times and earlier bedtimes during the school year won’t be too shocking. Something else that you can do to help get organized is to hang up a calendar in a central location so that you know where all of your family members are, and can also record all of your appointments, classes, or afterschool activities where it is easily accessible. This will help to keep everything straight, especially at the beginning of the school year when everyone is still adjusting!
What can you do for a school organization?
Staying organized is important, especially when it comes to school. After all, students will be coming home with plenty of paperwork, forms, and homework. Some teachers even send out a supply list, so you and your child will need to set aside time to shop for these necessities to be set up for the year. A great way to stay organized and keep track of all of this is to make a designated homework and paperwork caddy where you can store these papers. Even better, make separate caddies for homework, syllabi, and other miscellaneous forms or paperwork. This makes them easy to find and hard to lose!
How do I keep my child organized at school?
How you keep your child organized for school will also depend on how they work best. For example, if your kiddo responds well to visual organization, a colour-coded chart can be helpful. Other ways to teach your child to be organized are planners, checklists, and household schedules or master calendars. Plus, if you practice these sorts of things at home, your child will be likely to model these behaviours while at school as well. When at home, you can also set a designated homework or study time for your child to complete their work and deal with other school-related tasks, such as getting you to sign important paperwork– or shopping for supplies for projects!
How do you organize your school papers?
School papers can often seem overwhelming, and sometimes they can also end up lost or in the trash by mistake. There are plenty of ways that you can work to keep your child’s school papers. One simple way is with a folder system. They should bring home the papers in a folder in their backpack, and bring back any needed paperwork or homework in the same folder. You can have a folder waiting at home for them to unload their school papers into when they do not need those in the classroom anymore– or when you need to sign off on them. Depending upon the number of teachers or classes your child has, you may want to use multiple folders for this method.
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