Back to School Organization

Carrie_BackToSchool-Intro

Can you believe it’s time to go back to school?!  As a former teacher, that’s not always an easy transition for me OR my kids.  But having a few basic systems in place allows us to ease gently back into our school year routine without the typical bumps and jolts that can happen if you jump in unprepared.

First up: new backpacks and lunch boxes.  Backpacks take a beating during the school year, so I like to get a new one for back-to-school.  We love cooler bags to keep lunches chilled so they’re as yummy at lunchtime as when I packed them earlier that day.

Carrie_Lunchbag

With new bags and supplies, it is important to keep everything labeled with permanent marker.  Kids’ clothing and supplies get mixed up easily; stop the trip to the lost and found bin by labeling everything now—you won’t regret it!  A permanent marker works great for this.

Speaking of new – a fresh set of school supplies are a must.  Typically teachers will hand out a supply list on the first day of school so you know exactly what you’ll need.   I love this pencil case to store pens, pencils and erasers—it keeps them all together when in your kids’ backpacks, so you won’t need to root around looking for them.  There’s also something about a new notebook and a sharpened pencil puts me in the mood to work!

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If you have kids in elementary school, you know how many forms you’ll need to sign — and homework to do, and reading lists to write.  Having a clipboard with each child’s name mounted on the wall makes finding loose papers a cinch.  I use a simple nail to hang each clipboard on the wall.  This system really helps tame the paper monster.

Starting the first week of school, papers and art pieces will make their way into your home.  Have a new plastic bin ready for each child to store them.  After admiring and sharing the finished projects and art that come home, I place them in the appropriate bin.  At the end of the year, we go through and save the ones we really want, and divvy up the others between grandparents and the recycle bin (shhh…)

Folders are another way to tame papers.  You can label them with your kids’ name(s), order of urgency (a NOW, SOON, or SOMEDAY folder system can work if you check it daily), or by month.  I like to have them on hand to sort school papers from the teachers: class lists, policies, newsletters, etc.  That way, I can always find the information I need quickly and easily.

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The new school year also means new school clothes.  This transition from summer play clothes to fall school items can be managed with large plastic bins.  Depending on the weather and climate, you may be in summer clothing for a while, but some items aren’t appropriate for the classroom.  Weed through what you have and store the summer items, remove outgrown items to donate, and have the cold weather items waiting in the wings to wear as soon as it gets chilly.  Large Sterilite bins help me manage this easily and without confusion.

Carrie_Clothes-Bin

One last idea is to have a supply of special notes and treats to place into lunchboxes as a ‘hug’ while the kids are in school.  I loved this little magnet doodle game and think it would be fun to put it into a lunchbox with a note that lets your child know you’re thinking of them. Of course, the teacher in me wonders if the kids will play instead of eat, but for one day, I suppose it’s okay.  {Wink}

Carrie_MagnetGame

Pencils are sharpened, plastic bins are ready, and backpacks are packed.  Are you ready for the first day of school?  Let’s do this thing!

By: Carrie of Making Lemonade                                                       Featured Products: Back to School