Hey mamas. Melissa here, mother of five and expert back-to-school guru (haha!). Leaving summer behind to start the school year can be stressful and hectic. Get ahead of the chaos and reduce stress by organizing your kids and home beforehand. Here’s how I plan to get my kids ready for the new school year, so as to make back to school 2018 a breeze!
1. Clean Out the Closet
Every morning, your child will go to their closet to select an outfit (or clean uniform) for the day. This process costs more time if it is not easy-peasy, so make it quicker by clearing out old clothes and shoes. Pick a day towards the end of summer during which you and your child go through her closet, making “donate,” “throw away,” and “keep” piles. Going through her clothing and shoes will help you get rid of unnecessary clutter, reorganize their closet, and feel refreshed and ready to start the new school year.
2. Make a Family Calendar
In my experience, keeping the schedules of five children straight requires keeping everything perfectly noted and in the same place! A few years ago I began buying big desk calendars and hanging them on the wall in my kitchen. Each member of the family has their own colored marker, which they will use to write down events, assignments, or activities to remember. Now at a glance I can see what each of us has to do on a given day and for the entire month. You can make this calendar’s cute, like a decor piece, by adding stickers, a frame, or anything else you want. You can also create a shared family calendar online by using a shared gmail calendar. Whatever works for you: just keep it in one place and make sure everyone has easy access to your home organization system.
3. Create a “Homework Zone”
Even if each of your children does not have his own room, each child should have a designated space to do his homework after school. Whether it be a desk or shared table, give your child a sense of ownership over their space. Let them decorate the area and stock it with school supplies, so that they will be excited to do homework there each afternoon. Designating an area for schoolwork will also help your child stay organized, because all of their work will be in one place and decrease the probability of losing papers or assignments. Keeping your child’s homework area organized will translate to good habits regarding school organization,as well.
4. Establish a Routine
The hardest part of back to school for me is the transition from loads of free time to a daily routine of school, activities, and appointments. I like to get my kids used to the school routine a day or two before the year begins. Going to sleep a little earlier, turning off electronics, and waking up at a reasonable hour makes the adjustment smoother by easing them into the routine.
5. Stash Supplies
You never know when your child is going to come home with a project to do, and there may not always be time to shop for supplies. I combat this stress by having a drawer in my home filled with poster board, glue sticks, glitter and other art supplies we have needed over the years for projects. Now, when my kids have to do a book report quickly, I reach for the supplies in this drawer and they can get started working right away. Trips to the craft store will still happen, but they will be much less frequent if you buy a few extra of everything to have on hand during the year. Back to school supplies shopping isn’t just for what your kids need in September; think ahead to what they will need during the year.
The school year lurks right around the corner. I hope these simple organizational tips will make your family’s transition from summer easier, combat the back to school blues and settle your family into the groove of back to school.
Let me know how you get your family ready for school in the comments below. Thanks for reading and best of luck for a fabulous school year!