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Back to School 101

Posted: August 6, 2019 at 5:03 pm

We love the spell of freshly-sharpened pencils and clean notebooks, and while it seems unbelievably too soon, we’re excited that it’s back to school season. It’s time for new schedules, exciting activities and a few fresh duds in the closet to kick off a new season, a new grade, a new planner, a new start. Hooray for back to school!

But indeed, August tends to mean a lot of new. A lot of new things to keep track of, and be prepared for. It can be tricky staying organized during the first few weeks of a new school year, so today we wanted to offer some tips for staying on track as you navigate those bus schedules and new soccer practice routines.

Build the command center. 

Wow. Are we jealous of this chalkboard family command center, or what? This is so brilliant! It combines all of our favorite things into one central unit. Chalkboards for temporary messages and reminders, calendars for looking ahead, and stashes for commonly-used supplies like notebooks and markers. Perhaps what’s greatest about this idea though is the opportunity to build it exactly you and your own family needs. Need to add a chore chart? Go for it. Want to throw in some family photos instead of quotes for inspiration? Have at it. Excuse us while we head home to build this right now. DIY instructions here. 

Start a snack station. 

If your kids are at all like our own children, the minute they get home from school they head straight to the fridge for an after-school snack. If we’re lucky. Sometimes they just pepper us with questions on what’s available until we give in and make them something. Take the guesswork out of this task and create a kid-friendly snack station that’s replenished once a week. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Fill clear bins that are easily accessible with healthy snacks your kids enjoy, like raisins, fruit cups and pretzels. By capping it every week, you may even be able to head off multiple daily trips before dinner.

Construct a homework station. 

While the big kids may be doing more of their studying and homework in libraries, coffee shops or their rooms, the little ones may still need a more designated spot where you can keep an eye on them. We love the idea of creating a dedicated homework station that’s stocked with all of the essentials, and none of the distractions. Keep it well away from the television and internet access points, if possible, and add cool supply stations like a lazy susan that makes tools like pencils, markers, rulers and scissors easy to grab. DIY instructions here.

Catch them at the door. 

Get your entryway ready to be as non-chaotic a launching pad as it can be. Create special, labeled hooks, cubbies and baskets for coats, shoes, boots and backpacks. At least this way you’ll notice if a coat goes missing on the bus as soon as they arrive home, when the hook is empty. Again, you can tailor this however you need to for your family. Create a key station for yourself. Don’t have a built-in station? Use baskets, crates and coat racks. Get creative, and ensure the frantic, last-minute search for the keys or the rain boots will never happen at the 11th hour again.

Have a fashion show. 

The back to school shopping rush is real. Everyone wants new school clothes (event those of us not heading back to class this month). With growing kids, it can be difficult to get an accurate picture of what you really need though, so start with a wardrobe review. Make it fun, and have the kids try on their school clothes to see what fits, what doesn’t, what needs to be tossed, what can be donated. Then start your list with you an accurate list of what you’ll actually need for the coming year. Turn this try-on event into a fashion show, and the kids will do most of the work for you.

Good luck with the back to school rush in the coming weeks! We’re with you, and please share any great organization tips you have for this hectic time of year with us in the comments!

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