You know how excited I get about organization, and today I’m thrilled to welcome Jessica Johnson from, here to offer her back-to-school organizational tips!

Your Organizational Gears for Back-to-School Time

With summer’s end on the
horizon, it’s time to start thinking about ramping back up for school. But
instead of groaning, approach this school year with a renewed determination to
do things “right” this time!
Of course that means
different things for different people, but there are some general guidelines
and best practices that apply across the board. Basically, it’s all about
getting in sync with the various gears you and your kids will need to shift now
that days will be spent in the school yard instead of the backyard.
Here are a few “smart
syncing” ideas to get your neurons firing and help your kids skip to the
head of the class.

Start with a Clean Slate
In the same way that
“Spring Cleaning” applies to adults, kids should observe
“Back-to-School Cleaning.” If they haven’t already cleaned out their
backpacks from last year (something to keep in mind for the end of this year!),
a good flush is in order first.

Create a System
Once you’re back to the
beginning, set up a system to keep you on track for the rest of the school
year. This includes organizing items for school, setting up a designated
working area for homework and school supplies, and planning ahead to avoid last
minute scrambling that only piles on unnecessary stress.
  • Files and folders are great for separating items as
    they come in from the classroom. Consider color-coding files and labeling
    folders to find what you need in a flash.
  • Toss trash at the end of the day – whether it’s
    afterschool snack wrappers or scratch paper from math homework, place
    trash in the recycling bin or trash can at the end of every day to avoid
    it piling up and becoming unmanageable.
  • Become a fan of lists. Adults have a hard enough time
    keeping everything in order without the aid of a “to do” list,
    so help your kids understand the value of writing things down – you won’t
    forget them and you won’t have to use precious brain power trying to keep
    it all straight. After all, they’ll need it for geometry or algebra or
    whatever else the kids are learning these days!
Establish an “End of
the Day” Routine
In an ideal situation,
everything is ready to go in the morning when your kids wake up. Fortunately,
with a bit of day-before prep, this perfect scenario can be a reality! So
before bedtime, make sure your kids take care of these tasks:
  • Complete all homework. Few things are as
    frustrating for a kid than having to rush in the morning to finish
    assignments and get ready at the same time. Plus, isn’t the point of
    homework to actually learn something? This is made much more difficult
    when done during the mad dash to get out the door.
  • Pack up backpacks and book bags. One of the things that is
    worse for a kid is spending the time to do assignments in a thoughtful
    way, completing them with plenty of time to spare the day before and then
    forgetting something at home.
  • Place all bags near the door. If backpacks are waiting
    with the shoes by the front door, there’s no need to run around
    frantically at the last minute when the bus is pulling in, or worse,
    pulling away from the curb.
  • Pre-make lunch (as much as
     If you
    need to wait until the morning to put together sandwiches so they don’t
    get soggy, that’s much easier to handle in a pinch if you have already
    compiled the other components of the meal. All you need to do is add the
    sandwich to the sack with the pre-bagged snacks and drink and send them on
    their way!
  • Lay out all clothes and
     No more
    sending your daughter back upstairs to change when she comes down in the
    morning with mismatched clothes. Forget facing the shame of sending your
    son to school with the same smelly socks he wore yesterday because he
    didn’t tell you last night that he needed a clean pair when you could have
    done something about it. Nope – if school clothes are assembled the night
    before, you retain final approval over outfit selections and the ability
    to run a load of laundry if necessary.
  • Stick to a routine. Consistency is key: in addition
    to applying to all of the tips above, maintaining a regular schedule with
    sleeping and waking up will help the transition go more smoothly until the
    point that your new lifestyle becomes automatic.
What are some of the ways
you and your kids have successfully streamlined your day to facilitate victory
in the classroom?

Jessica Johnson works
for and contributes to the Extra Space Storage blog, exploring various aspects
of organizing and storing possessions.

2 comments on “Back To School Organization!”

  1. Back to school! NO!!! I'm just not prepared to think about back to school today. In the words of one of my favourite heroines, "I can't think about that right now, I'll think about that tomorrow."

  2. Both of my kids have drawers in the kitchen for all of their school work, notes from the teacher, etc. It makes packing bags easy in the morning as it's all in one spot.

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