back to school time

Organize back-to-school like a pro

Yes, it’s just the end of July, but school will be starting before you know it. If you begin the school year organized, you have a better chance of staying organized throughout the year.

Ads on television about back-to-school specials have been airing for the past two weeks. Kids usually need new clothing, shoes, backpacks, lunch boxes and all kinds of other supplies before school starts. Since you’ll be getting new clothing, old clothing needs to be donated, handed down or tossed to make space.

Where will all the paper go?

With kids in school, there is always a deluge of papers. Set up a binder for each child or a section in a family binder and all paperwork goes into the binder as it comes into the house. There is paperwork for field trips, sports and other after school activities. Having all of the paper in one location makes it easy to put your hands on something if you need to refer back to it.

Emergency kit

Create a kit to be stored in a locker or carried in a backpack, although they are already too heavy. Older kids can store it in the car. The kit contains deodorant, dental floss, chapstick, tissues, a stain remover pen, etc.

One calendar

If you have more than one child, a calendar for the whole family is a good bet. If you use a digital calendar, you can give each child in their own color.

The same color coding can also work with a white board that you can use for the calendar. Use thin masking tape or electrical tape to create a calendar grid for the month. Then you can use dry erase markers to add the various events.


Getting everyone up, fed, cleaned and dressed can be very stressful. Create a system that works for your family. Do the kids bathe the night before? Know that once you figure out your system, stick to it and everyone will get to school and work on time.

Do as much as you can the night before to avoid trouble. You can lay out clothing in the evening, or if the kids are older, they can do it. Knowing what they will wear saves time in the morning. If you have space, you can even lay out the clothes for the week on Sunday evening.

Pack lunches the night before and they are ready to go directly into backpacks in the morning. Of course, homework needs to be done in the evening too. Some breakfasts can be made quickly. Longer, more elaborate breakfasts can be saved for the weekend.


Stick to your kids’ bedtime schedule. Kids need their sleep to have the energy to make it through the day. Sleep helps a lot with keeping young brains active and alert.

The homework nook

Your kids need a place to  do their homework and you need a place for your calendar. This area should have good lighting, a desk for a computer and/or doing homework. Pencils, paper and other supplies should be readily available in the homework area. Make sure all of the supplies have a container or shelf where they can be put away and not laying all over the desk. Having a special designated place makes it a no cell phone/talking to friends zone. It’s a place for work.

These same organizational tips work for adults going back to school as well. Need help getting organized for school? Contact me and we can talk about how I can help.

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