A+ Back-To-School Organizational Tips
We’ve all been there. You just mastered the summer routine and wham! Back-to-school season sneaks up on you. You’re thrown into the madness of juggling soccer practices, PTA meetings, school assignments and a million other things that can leave you feeling completely overwhelmed. Luckily, with a few simple tips you can set yourself up for success and earn that A+ in organizational style!
Create A Command Center
You may read “command center” and immediately think of NASA. Well there are the days you feel like you’re being launched into space, but think of this as the central hub for ALL.THE.THINGS!
Your command center should include:
- Family wall calendar (bonus points for making it color coded by family member)
- Bulletin board or strip to keep track of important papers or post a small wall calendar
- Bins to store essential paperwork for each family member
- Extra school supplies for projects and homework (& refilling during the year)
If you find yourself asking repeatedly where something is located, then it should be in your command center. Anything that will help set you up for success. Trust us, establishing a mission control center is a true game-changer!
Streamline Lunch Prep
We can already hear the sighs about school lunch prep. Let’s be honest, it’s always the LAST thing you want to do in the morning as kids are scrambling to get dressed or finish homework.
First tip is to find a time that works best for YOU. Maybe lunch prep at night before going to bed is easier. Maybe it’s the first thing in the morning while having your coffee. Or maybe you are a Sunday meal prepper (kudos to you by the way). Whenever that is for you, plan on finding a routine and sticking to it.
The other component to make lunch prep a breeze is to find divided containers [and ones for grown-ups] to minimize the number of baggies and things you have to grab. Each compartment can be filled with different food items from essential food groups—proteins, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Just snap the lid on, and you’re ready to go!
Lastly, involving your kids in the packing process not only helps you, but also increases the chances of those carrots being eaten. We realize that it’s sometimes harder to get kids involved in any task that you want to do quickly. But remember, if they pack it, they’re more likely to eat it!
Get Your Kids Involved
Sticking on this topic … we all know moms (& dads) are often superheroes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help – especially from your kids! Delegate tasks to your kids based on their age and ability. Not only are you lightening your load, but you are teaching them valuable life skills in the process. You should have SEEN how big my 15 year olds eyes were when I asked him to pack his suitcase for our return trip home from vacation. But guess what? He did it … & I didn’t
Here are a couple ways to get the kids involved in your back-to-school organizational routine:
- Outfit Planning: Rather than arguing over what outfit to wear, empower your child to pick out two options the night before to select from. This approach allows your child to feel part of the decision-making process, while giving you veto power … or not but at least this task is done in advance & they make it out the door on time!
Pro Tip: Utilizing a hanging closet organizer [or what some might call a Valet] makes selecting outfits ahead of time easy peasy.
- Lunch Helpers: This could be as simple as one child grabs the juice boxes and the other grabs the cookies. Even small tasks like this can add up, so taking them off your list is a good thing!
- “Check” System: To encourage responsibility, consider establishing a morning “check” system. Before sending the kids out the door for school, ask them a few essential questions, to which their response is either a “check” or “no check”. Here are a few examples of what those questions might be:
- “Did you brush your teeth?”
- “Do you have your lunch?”
- “Do you have your water?”
- “Do you have your homework?”
By involving your kids you are establishing organizational routines, encouraging accountability and ensuring that your kids are prepared for their day ahead. Hello Executive Functioning Skills!
Remember, you’ve got this! By establishing positive organizational habits early, you will be able to navigate the chaos and embrace the crazy demands of the new school year. Here’s to an organized, less stressful and successful school year, for you and the kids!!