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.
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robin rue says
A lunch packing station is a great idea. I can see how that would make everything run a little more smoothly.
Colleen Lanin says
I definitely needed this. We’re trying to get everything in order for back to school, and that included cleaning up the epic mess that has been the summer. LOL
Colleen Lanin recently posted…5 Ways to Keep your Kids Safe at the Beach
We have done actually most of this before school started. The one thing I am making my son do is pack his own lunch. He likes it’s for the fact that he can pick out what he wants as long as it’s healthy and I like it because I don’t have to pack his lunch.
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Kelly Hutchinson says
Ugh. School starts next week. I am not ready! We have clothes, supplies, etc., but I am just not ready. My kids are older, so it is a bit easier, but still! I love the idea of the lunch packing station. Great tip.
Kelly Hutchinson recently posted…10 Secrets To Save Time and Money When You Tailgate
Liz Mays says
We don’t have a garage but we do have two sheds and a storage unit. They are just so unorganized right now, it’s ridiculous! Now is definitely a good time to sort them out.
Liz Mays recently posted…Garden Fresh Quinoa Salad with Ginger-Curry Dressing (made hands-free faucet style)
Felicita Moncada says
We just started back to school so I did a lot of this stuff a few weeks ago and it helps so much! It makes my mornings easier since everything is where it needs to be. I get their lunches done quickly too!
Cathi Crismon says
There are so many great ideas that I wish I knew of when my kids were growing up. Especially the lunch packing station. My daughter does one and the kids pack their own lunches. It’s awesome!
Cathi Crismon recently posted…Animal Encounters at Sea World San Diego
Amy Desrosiers says
I have a ton in my closets that I could probably donate. I bet my family could also have a yard sale!
Claudia Krusch says
We are doing a big cleanup on the weekend. I love the idea of a calendar wall. It will help keep track of everyone’s schedules.
Elizabeth Lampman says
These are great end of summer cleaning tips. We need to get organized before it is time to go back to school. I will have to try making a calendar wall.
liz Cleland says
I just did a few cleanings today. The clean out of the fridge and pantry. Trying to catch up from all the Summer travels.
Amanda Goodenough says
I NEED to clean out my closet and a calendar wall sounds amazing! As always, great ideas, big sis!
Amanda Goodenough recently posted…Well… this is awkward, My Awkward Life.
Autumn Reo says
This is a perfect time to get yourself re organized on all front so you can head into the school year as a more clear headed adult!
Katrina Gehman says
great tips. i’m hoping to move soon and really need to go through things.
I’m a little slow in letting go of summer this year! Probably because it’s my favorite time of year so I try to eek out a few more weeks. But it’s time for me to get caught up and get going on some of these things. I think the BIG calendar is going to be my first step followed by closet cleanings. There are a ton of great suggestions here and I’m gonna have to share this with my sisters. Thanks!
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Royal Cleaners says
Lovely article! When the summer ends the things are changing for a big part of us. Especially if you have kids 🙂
I really loved the Calendar Wall tip, specially when you cannot always rely on your iPhone to stay charged for long enough to help you with your to-do lists! The lunch packing station also makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the tips!
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Patrick Wren says
i too love clutter and hate dusting .. but i dont buy into this you must love and find some whatever in the things around you or they go … but if it worked for you