Thursday, August 22, 2013

5 Back to School Organization Ideas

The beginning of a new school year can sometimes be a little hectic.  I've found that a little organization helps to make the transition from summer vacation into back to school mode a little easier.  Today I'm sharing five organization ideas that have really helped us!  And I'm looking forward to hearing all about what is working in your home!  

5 Back to School Organization Ideas

1.  Dedicate a cabinet/drawer/closet for homework supplies. 
About 3 years ago, I cleared out and a organized a small kitchen cabinet in order to dedicate it as the "school supplies cabinet".  Everything my kids need to get their homework and any school projects done can be found in that one small cabinet.

Back to School Organization - Create a School Supplies Cabinet

Everything from supplies to permission slips are all housed here which totally helps to streamline all the papers that come home with my kids.  In addition, rather than keeping piles of their school papers around  - like art projects and graded assignments - to file later, I've started using the ArtKive phone app.

Back to School Organization - An easy way to deal with paper clutter!

I just take a picture of the projects I want to keep and toss all the papers, and the app stores them in albums.  It makes it easy to print books later, and I don't have to deal with any paper clutter, which makes me one super happy momma!

2.  Give each child their own homework supply box. 

Back to School Organization - School Supplies Caddy

Homework time can be a crazy time if you have more than one child doing homework at the same time.  I find that it's easier to have my kids do their homework in different areas of our home to keep them from being distracted by what the other is doing.  I bought these plastic caddies in the dollar spot at Target a few years ago, and they're still holding up great.  Every year I just refresh what we need for a new school year.  A caddy works great to house everything and makes carrying them around the house really easy for my kids.

3.  Make busy mornings easier by choosing outfits once a week
This is something I've been doing with my kids for years, and it is by far my biggest mom tip for dealing with early mornings.  I'm not a morning person so having their clothes ready to go for each morning during the week makes my life a lot less crazy.  Every Sunday afternoon I pick out their clothes for the school week and set them aside in their closets, so they can easily dress themselves in the mornings without my help.

My 9 year old boy can't match a shirt to a pair of pants to save his life, bless his heart, so this sweater-organizer-turned-days-of-the-week-outfit-organizer is super helpful to him.  ;)  

Back to School Organization  - Weekly Outfits

My 7 year old girl on the other hand likes to have a say about what she is going to wear - which I both love and hate equally.  Moms of girls you know what I'm saying.  Dealing with choosing outfits once a week as opposed to battling it out every, early weekday morning is both a time saver and a stress reducer.  In addition, because she likes to be in control of her own fashion she has a school clothes bin rather than a days of the week organizer.

Back to School Organization - Choose Outfits Once a Week

This way she can decide for herself which outfit she wears on a particular day - which makes her feel more like she's choosing her own clothes rather than "my mom dresses me".

4.  Carve out a mudroom space. 
The biggest improvement to our routine this school year will probably be our new mudroom space that I carved out of a hallway closet.

Back to School Organization - Create a Mudroom Space

Even before I created that space, I had some hooks on the wall to hang backpacks and coats.  Having a specified spot for those things makes going to and from school a breeze.

5. Post a monthly family calendar. 
The beginning of a new school year also signals the return of after school activities.  It's hard to keep everyones schedule straight, and I often forget to tell my husband about things like recitals or teachers conferences.   Having a giant wall sized chalkboard calendar in our mudroom space makes it easy for all of us to remember important dates and times.

Back to School Organization - Wall Sized Chalkboard Calendar

Having a monthly family calendar in a spot where every family member will see it helps everyone to stay on top of things and facilitates good communication.

Those are a few things have really helped us get back into school mode and have made our routine relatively seamless.  Do you have any tips on back to school organization?  Leave a link in the comment section below so we can all learn from each other.  I always think the best tips come from those moms who are in the trenches with me!


  1. I seriously love that giant calendar! It's always been my favorite of your projects! I really hope I can be as organized as you one day!

  2. Love all these ideas. I'm going to implement the homework supply stations and hopefully I can find a space for a mini mudroom in our small rental. Thanks for the ideas!

  3. I love the mudroom space you made from the closet! Here is a link to a blog post I did recently with some of the back to school organizing that we use in our home.

  4. I use the same closet organizer in my kids' closets for daily outfits that match (and include the dreaded underwear and socks-I have boys). It has been the best! Another thing that really helps is putting toothpaste on their toothbrushes and then seeing who really did brush their teeth. It's sneaky, but it works. I recently carved out a mudroom on a 3ft wall in the laundry room. It's amazing how a tiny space can keep you organized.

    1. Yes I'm all about using every inch of your home! I'll have to try the toothpaste trick! Thanks for the tip.

  5. Great round up, girlie. You rock. So organized and it's all so beautiful.

  6. ALL of these tips are genius!!! I will have to implement your outfit organization idea IMMEDIATELY as I also have a 6 year old girl who is quite opinionated about her fashion choices. Some of the outfits are...ummm...interesting. :-) Keep up the awesome ideas! ~Amy~

  7. Excellent tips! Thanks for sharing Artkive. I have clients who will love it!

    1. I swear that app is life changing! Technology can be so cool sometimes. ;)

  8. Dedicating the cabinet for your school going kid is really a great idea. One of my fried in London has followed the same for his child for the storage of his books In London. I have seen this thing done by the parents normally.

  9. Bless his heart! Haha, you've been in the South for a while now! I have to say the same thing about my 5 year old son. He can't match his clothes either. He also has a thing for putting on his pjs inside out and backwards. On purpose. 'Cause that is his style. At least that's what he told me. I kept thinking, "There's only a 50% chance you can get this wrong. How is it wrong every time?" Now I know. I need to get one of those closet hangers to put in his outfits for the week. Great tips!

  10. Luckily, our children wear uniforms so they know exactly what they can/cannot wear each day. With three in school this year, the best thing that we have implemented is scaling down on fixing lunches each morning. On Sunday afternoon, each child fixes five sandwiches for the week and then we stick them in the freezer (yes, even peanut butter and jelly freezes well). In the morning, they each pull out a sandwich and then finish packing the side things they would like, while I am fixing breakfast. Works like a charm and my counters are not crumbly every morning! I wish I had a space for a mudroom, but you enter from the garage into a small hallway ~ we can't have everything!


Be nice or I'll tell your mom! xoxo -C


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