Today marks the start of a new school year for my family. No more lazy days of summer where my boys practically lived in their swim trunks and whatever shirt they happened to throw on just to get themselves to the beach or the pool. They need to actually be dressed appropriately, get to school on time, and arrive at school with everything they need.
Here are a few ways we are headed back to school a little more organized this year:
1. Backpacks: Backpacks have a basket by the door where they go. Where my thumb is pointing? That’s where I put my boys’ names: Clearly visible if you go to grab the backpack by one of the straps, but not visible if they have their backpacks on. This is my stranger-danger mama paranoia coming out: no one can see their name on their backpack and call out for them. If the back is black or another dark color, try a silver Sharpie to write their name- worked great on mine!
2. Clothes: I found a hanging closet organizer with five shelves that I’m using to plan my boys’ outfits this year. Top, bottom, underwear, and socks for each boy for each day. With my three, sometimes I get confused as to who wore what when, not to mention the mad dash that can happen in the mornings as we try to find an outfit for each. This organizer should get us set for the week. My plan is to put a new outfit into the spaces as I empty them out: that way, I know they are having their clothes rotated and not just wearing the same five outfits over and over. But if time doesn’t allow for that, I’ll refill on the weekends. I plan to get another of these for their soccer clothes: Give each boy a shelf for their practice clothes, one for all their shinguards and socks, and another for their uniforms. I found my shelf organizer at Walmart for $7.
3. School Snacks: Fill a Rubbermaid/Tupperware/etc. tub with school snacks. If you buy something that needs to be separated into smaller containers(like the pretzels one of my boys requested), you can fill them all at once and then store in the container. My boys can have their pick of what they’d like for a snack, easily found all in one place. I do want to find an even bigger container to store more snacks, as I find on sale, and keep the smaller one where my boys can reach it.
4. Meal planning: Dinner is always easier around here if I meal plan for the week. I usually plan 4 meals a week, knowing that sometimes something will come up and we end up grabbing something quick or out in town or that we can have leftovers. My two youngest always pack their lunches, but my oldest somethings buys. I mark that he needs a lunch on this small calendar on our fridge. Small magnetic weekly calendars can be found in the $1 section of Target or Michaels.
5. Paperwork: I have one plastic folder for each of my boys, for whatever paperwork they bring home. While a lot of it overlaps for my two in the same school, I like to have it divided by child so that if I’m looking at Christmastime for the “about me” the kindergarten teacher sent home at the start of the year, I only have to sort through the papers in one folder instead of through a whole pile of papers.
6. Calendar: I need a planner that can fit in my purse so I always have it with me. I mark off days off, early release days, special events at school, soccer practice, my schedule and my husband’s, so it’s all in one place.
What do you do to stay organized for back to school?
Whatever hatred saves the number.