Back to School: The Best Tips on Getting You & Your Family Prepared
As the kids head back to school, it can be a hectic time, trying to get everything prepared. Although overall home organization is the key to keeping things under control throughout the school year, there are also some great tips and tricks you can use to make things easier.
After speaking with dozens of parents, we compiled a list of some of the best ways to get and stay organized throughout the school year!
Tip #1: Take Inventory & Make a List… Before Hitting the Stores
Like any large shopping trips, taking a list ensures that, not only do you remember everything you do need, but it prevents you from buying what you don’t. So, before hitting the stores, see what items you already have lots of and others that you need to buy new. Do this a few days before shopping and add to it as you think of things.
Tip #2: Color Coding
By having each child pick their items in the same color, it’s easier for you, and more importantly, for them, to know exactly which items belong to who.
Tip #3: Supplies Drawer
Purchasing some school items in bulk can be a time & money saving venture. In that case, hold onto the excess and have the kids grab them as they run out (or lose them). Pick one drawer in the house that they know is for them and organize specific supplies that they’ll likely need; pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, pencil sharpeners, etc.
Tip #4: Family Activities Calendar
With so much going on, you’ll want to create a home base where everyone can see what’s happening at a glance. A large wall calendar is ideal. Or, depending on the number of kids and activities, you may want to have 2; one for on-going events and another for one-off appointments like the doctor or dentist. If your family is a bit older, you can consider doing this on a shared electronic calendar.
Memory Box/Photo Books
As every parent knows, kids come home with a ton a papers and projects throughout the school year. It can be a bit tough to decide on what to keep and what to throw away during the year so we suggest keeping an on-going bin of school projects. Then, at the end of the year, you or child can sit down and decide which projects to keep and what to get rid of. For large projects that don’t fit well into a storage bin, consider taking pictures of them and storing those.
You can also consider doing away with hard copies all together and taking pictures of all of their items throughout the school year and then making a photo book to capture the entire year’s memories. This is great way to preserve favourite projects without taking up a ton of real estate in your home. It also eliminates having to pare down so much, as you can take as many photos as you’d like.
Tip #6: Don’t Blow Your Budget in August
Throughout the year, kids will require specialty items for projects, replacement gear and, likely different sized clothing as they go through growth spurts. Budget accordingly so that you can purchase these items down the road.
In addition to that idea, at the beginning of each school year, take a picture of each child with the date and the grade they’re going into. That will help you sort through items later and keep everything with the correct school year.