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7 Tips for Back to School Organization

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This post, featuring 7 Tips for Back to School organization, has been sponsored by Extra Space Storage. Regardless, all opinions are my own. 

Can you believe it is already time for back to school? It seems summer just started, and now it’s time to start putting up the swimsuits and other summer essentials and get ready for Fall!

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With the start of a new school year comes new organization challenges. Bed time and other schedules change, new clothes and shoes fill the closets, paper piles grow quickly with daily handouts and homework, and keeping up with all of the school work, after-school activities, sports and events becomes quite the challenge.  Getting organized now can help you have a much less stressful school year! Use these tips to help prepare your home and family for the busy days ahead. 

1. Take Time to Transition

Most adults and children have different schedules during the summer than they do during the school year. Bedtime and wake up time are usually much later and even less organized. But in order for a child to have a successful school year, two of the biggest things they need are a good night’s sleep and a regular routine. Start preparing for the school year schedule a few weeks ahead of the first day of school by gradually moving bedtime and wake up time back to what they should be for the school year. Mealtimes should also be readjusted, as should the amount of time your kids have to play and watch television, surf the internet and play video games. 

2. Create A Homework Station

Designate a specific area in your home to be the homework station where the kids can sit down and focus to get their assignments done. Declutter and streamline the space, making sure it is a quiet and distraction-free area. Once you have the place picked out, begin gathering everything the kids will need to create school projects and finish homework assignments and place them into a nearby drawer, a bin or cabinet. Include supplies such as pens, pencils, erasers, markers, scissors, a ruler, a calculator, a dictionary and any other supplies you may think they will need. This is also a good place to keep extra supplies for when they run out during the year. If you have a family computer for the kids to use, set it up in the homework station as well. 

3. Store summer clothes and accessories

To make room for all of the new clothes, start by putting the summer clothes away for the winter. Anything that no longer fits, pack it up and donate to someone in need. Put up all of their new clothes and shoes, and make it easy for them to find what to wear each day. While you are at it, go ahead and put up any other summer supplies, too. Not only does having does having warm weather essentials out of the way make more room for cool weather essentials and holiday clutter, it can also take you to a better place mentally! After all, less clutter equals less stress!

4. Plan before you shop

Before heading to the shopping mall for clothes and school supplies, plan ahead. Go through old clothes and pull out whatever is still fashionable and still fits.  Then step back and look for what’s missing, and shop accordingly. For school supplies, take inventory of last year’s supplies to see what can still be used this year. This will help you save time, money and stress. 

5. Plan for the Paper Work

Nothing seems to create more paper than school. Plan ahead so you are prepared to tackle the paper as it comes home. We like to use file folders, creating one for each child for important papers that need immediate attention, one for artwork and other special papers we choose to keep, and so on. During the holiday breaks, we go through the folders and keep what’s necessary. This makes it easy so at the end of the year we can just place the file in a keepsake box.  We also have one a school year binder where we place items that we may need to refer back to during the year. This includes things such as important papers for registration, class lists, classroom rules, schedules, and teacher contact information.

6. Set Schedules and Use Calendars

We make sure we keep up with all school activities, project due dates, appointments, sports practices, games and other important information on a dry erase calendar in our kitchen. We also make sure to use today’s technology to our advantage by inputting all important dates and such onto a compatible calendar and sync our phones and computers so everyone can see the same schedule. 

7. Take Advantage of the Night Before Prep Plan

School mornings can be extremely busy and stressful which is why a little bit of planning ahead can make all of the difference. Each night after dinner have the children go ahead and take their baths, choose their outfits – shoes and all – and make sure they have everything they need for the next day already packed up their backpacks. This includes any signed papers, finished homework or projects that are due. You’ll be surprised at how much time this can save you in the mornings. It’s also a good idea to go ahead and prepare as much of their lunch or snacks as you can, too.That way all you have to concentrate on in the mornings is getting them dressed, fed and on their way.

Image courtesy Morgan via Flickr

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