Put away the sun block and wash the pool towels—fall is approaching. And with it is the chaos of a new school year.
A fresh start is just what you need before the madness. Get organized and cleaned up before the year starts with these tips and tricks.
Build a Calendar Wall
With so many things going on each year, the last thing you need is forgetting about a practice or PTSA meeting, or not remembering what day it was that the kids needed $10 for a field trip. The solution? A master calendar.
Invest in a big paper calendar, with sizable squares that would allow each kid to write in something they have going on that day. If you receive any other calendars the first day of school, like a lunch schedule or a school calendar of events, you can hang those other calendars near the master! That way, all information about what’s going on will the accessible, in a common place.
Back to school clothes shopping is downright traumatizing. Hours of traveling to different department stores, trying things on and making sure every kid has jeans that fit. Not to mention that, the minute the school year starts, those brand-new clothes will be having out of drawers and all over the floor.
Feel like your closets are spilling over, or want to avoid the hassle this year? Easy. Dedicate a day to cleaning out all the clothes closets in your house. Ask each kid to make two piles—one for clothes they want to get rid of or don’t fit, and another for ones to keep. If you have multiple children, the next step is to pass the “get rid of” pile of one kids’ clothes on to the next youngest. If there are any hand-me-downs that work, that’s one less clothing item that needs to be bought before the school year!
Clothes that work need to be thrown in the laundry, and then neatly folded or hung in the closet once the space is cleaned and organized. Ask your children to make a list of the clothes they think they need, or staple items they are missing. That way, you don’t have to walk into stores blindly, and each child can have a list of what he or she needs right off the bat.
Our garages are often neglected. The “trash heap” of storage areas, we often wait to decide if we want to keep something, are too lazy to take it elsewhere or feel like we have to keep it out of obligation and thus throw it into our garage. Knowing this, its a good idea to go through your garage before the school year starts and life gets busy, so that you can have a clean slate and more room for whatever else life throws your way.
Keep in mind that, if it’s in your garage, you haven’t made space to keep it inside—so if it’s spare furniture or decorating items that aren’t seasonal, you probably won’t make room for it this year, either. If you don’t use something in your garage at least once a year (like a pumpkin wreath for Halloween or a Christmas tree,) then it’s best to take it to a second-hand store and enjoy the extra space.
Aside from holiday decor, lawn mowers and tools, you might also consider storing you summer clothes in bins during the winter to make extra room for bulky winter coats. There are several ways to organize your garage, and all of them will make it a lot easier to find things during the school year.
Prepare for Your New Schedule
Before the first day of school, it’s a good idea to get your kids used to waking up early. Adjusting everyone’s circadian rhythm before the big day will make it easier to get ready in the morning and stay awake during the day.
Being the one in charge of taking kids to soccer practice, band rehearsal and before school tutoring, you might want plan out your route or check to see how long each trip will take you. If your kids will be waiting for the bus in the morning, it would be good to know if it takes 5 or 10 minutes to walk to the nearest pick up area.
With mornings being hectic enough already, you might consider a lunch packing station. Setting out bins, full of prepackaged snacks, fresh sandwiches each morning, fruit cups and water bottles can allow kids to pick what they want from each bin and ensure they’re getting the food groups you want them too! You could also consider this the first step in training them for making their own lunches one day—which couldn’t come soon enough, right?
Organize your fridge before the start of school, designating spaces for sandwich making materials, after school snack ideas and morning juices. Anything to smooth over the many steps involved in getting the kids off to school!
About the author:
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.