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School will be back in session soon, and it’s time to get organized. The back-to-school season starts early with the drive to find supplies, books, clothes, and the perfect lunchbox. Beyond all the tips for getting organized and tools to gather, it’s really important is having a sense of clarity so that your children can start the school year off with an advantage. The whole learning process can go smoothly with some basic organizational skills for school. It is important to start this back-to-school season off with a strong organizational strategy in place.

Mom and Daughter shopping for school supplies

Try these nine tips to properly prepare and organize the beginning of your school year:

  1. Use binders and folders. It helps to have a way to keep all your school paperwork sorted and easy to access. Sometimes, your child’s teacher will require a specific set of folders or binders, so check to see if the school or teacher has provided a list of specific supplies before you go shopping.
  2. Have a place or “spot” for everything. Decide on a set spot for all of your school things. Designate specific slots or pouches for everything from papers and notebooks to pencils and pens. If you know exactly where something is, you’ll save time spent on looking for it later.

You can use a caddy for storing pens, pencils, markers, folders, and other items that are commonly used in school. For older children who may be more responsible for their own organization at home, storing supplies in a desk drawer is an option. For this setup, you will need to purchase drawer organizers that fit your child’s desk drawers or if you have old shoe boxes around the house they work just as well!

  1. Write it down. A to-do list is the best way to stay organized and on top of everything going on in your day. If you try to keep everything you need to do in your head, it’s inevitable that you’ll forget something. A go-to list right in front of you will help you remember what needs to be done and keep both your sanity and productivity intact. Also, create a schedule for extracurricular activities, and homework. Include scheduling time for chores, errands, making dinner, and designated family time.
  1. Have your things ready the night before school. The night before school, it’s important to be prepared. This will help you to not forget anything and give you more time in the morning. In the evenings, have your child take out their clothes for the next day and lay them on their dresser, table, or hang them on the closet door so they can see them easily when they wake up. They should also put books, laptops, and instruments in or next to their backpack so they will be easy to gather and go in the morning. And finally, if there are any lunch boxes or water bottles, pack them the night before and place them in a place that’s visible and easy to grab quickly. This routine at night will be a lifesaver for you, especially if you’re not a morning person, as it lessens hunting, arguing, badgering, and wandering around trying to remember what else needs to be done. A little advance planning can help you feel in control and set the stage for a productive day instead. 
  2. Plan your meals. When life gets hectic, you might be tempted to skip breakfast or lunch. To maintain your health and energy and your kiddos’, ensure that you are all properly fueling your bodies with healthy foods. Plan enough time in advance for breakfast in the morning and pack a healthy lunch. Eating right is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re living a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining your health and energy will help you focus and concentrate, whether that be work, school, or play. If you’re too busy to plan your meals in advance, then create a few grab-n-go meals or freezer meals to just throw in the oven for those days when you have no time.
Menu board on my kitchen wall that I made at AR Workshop
  1. Have a place for homework. Have a specific spot or location designated for doing homework, with a set time to do the work. If the kids are able to stick with this routine, they will be getting their homework done before you know it!
  1. Keep lines of communication open. To help have an efficient and organized family life, it is important to set aside time regularly to discuss important issues with your family members. Keeping lines of communication open and letting your children know that you value their input and concerns is a good way to ensure a peaceful, harmonious environment at home. It also builds their confidence and self-esteem. It’s also a good idea to regularly evaluate how things are going as a family. Is your current schedule working? Do you need to switch up some chores? What ideas do they have for new dinners to add to the rotation?
  1. Line up transportation. Decide on school transportation plans early. Will your kids take the bus, or do you need to take them to school? Plan for backup transportation for the times that things don’t go according to plan. 
  2. Have the right attitude. A positive attitude can be the difference between success and failure. Your attitude can help you to keep things running smoothly. Remember that a positive attitude helps set the tone for your house, models behavior for your children, and just generally makes the day better.
Girl placing folder in school bag

Remember to enjoy the process of preparing for school. Children are headed back to school with their heads full of excitement and anticipation. As the school supply list grows, don’t let the stress grow with it. A little advance planning can go a long way toward relieving much of the stress that the beginning of school brings. Plan the work and work the plan. Remember the goal is smooth, peaceful, positive, and FUN!

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