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Looking for back-to-school organizing tips? Whether it’s organizing school papers, saving money on school supplies, or helping kids get their rooms organized, I’ve got you covered. But what about the rest of the house?
Back-to-School Organizing Tips
These back-to-school organizing tips will help prevent school day madness while eliminating clutter and chaos.
1. Create a “Command Central” Near The Door
Stop scrambling for lunch money, signed papers, and other things the kids (and you) need to take with you in the morning. Hang a shoe organizer on the back of your coat closet door and assign a pocket or two to each person in the family so they’ve got a place to stash their stuff the night before. In the morning, all you need to do is grab the stuff in your pocket and dash. You can even assign a pocket to outgoing mail and coupons you want to remember to use, too. (Find out how my family uses ours here.)
2. Stash out-of-season clothes under the bed.
Back-to-school clothes shopping often leaves us with piles of sweaters and heavier clothes that it’s just not yet cold enough to wear. Rather than cramming those in the dresser and closet (where kids will just throw them around the room while they search for something to wear), stash them in covered, tear-resistant storage boxes under the beds. Once the seasons change you can swap out the summer clothes they might still be able to wear next year.
3. Have a “Good Morning” Box for each child.
The older kids get, the more stuff they seem to use in the mornings while getting ready for school. Sure, the littlest ones still just need a toothbrush and comb, but once they hit the tween years they’ll want deodorant, hair gel or spray, and more. Help them find what they need and put it away quickly by giving each kid a personal tote to hold their toiletries and cosmetics. You can even hot glue a toothbrush holder inside so they’ve got a place for that, too.
4. Get a hamper they’ll actually use.
How many times have you washed clothes that your child has tried on, decided against wearing, and dumped on the floor? You could spend every morning arguing about the mess, or you could give them a labeled, divided hamper that holds definitely dirty clothes on one side and not worn or not really dirty clothes on the other. Come Saturday, have them put away the clothes that aren’t really dirty before they play or watch TV.
5. Create safe spots for their clutter.
To a child, the clutter in their pockets or backpacks is treasure. Whether it’s the oddly shaped rock she found on the playground or the neat feather he found in the backyard, your child doesn’t see these things as clutter. To him or her, they’re one of the few things they actually own (since, after all, we adults can take away toys and games as consequences). Rather than treat those things as trash, give your child a safe spot for their
junk treasure: a nice tray on their dresser or nightstand, or a treasure box they can store on a shelf. Adopt a rule that they must keep their treasures in the appropriate spot, then let them keep what they wish.
6. Label liberally.
You’ve heard the advice to have “a place for everything and everything in its place,” but your kids don’t always know where the best place for a thing is. A label maker solves that problem, whether you’re labeling their dresser drawers so it’s easier for them to put away laundry or the shelves in the refrigerator so they know where to look for snacks. Go beyond peel-and-stick labels with a laundry marker so you can label each kids’ sports uniforms, backpacks, and other things that should have their name on them. You can even label socks and underwear to make sorting a breeze on laundry day.
The key to back-to-school organizing is getting a head start on it rather than spending your weekends trying to catch up. Kind of like studying for tests!