Back to School: 4 Organizational Tips to Make Mornings a Breeze

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The week before school starts, which was yesterday by the way (gasp), I always make this promise:

This year we will be more organized when it comes to school ‘stuff.’ 

You know what stuff I mean: backpacks and papers and shoes, oh my!
Getting out of the door in the morning is a challenge. I’ve tired earlier wake times and making lunches in the evening. I’ve tried bribery (yes, I admit it).

Yet we always fall short because our things just aren’t organized enough!

Last year I made a few changes to help with the organization, and this year I’m making a few more.

Are you feeling a little frazzled in the morning? Do you risk tardy slips because someone can’t find her notebook or his homework?

Are you feeling a little frazzled in the morning? Do you risk tardy slips because someone can’t find her notebook or his homework?

You may just be too busy.

Or it might just be that you need some ‘organizational assistance.'

Check out these four tips for getting – and staying – organized throughout the year. Then leave your own in the comment section!

1. Stuff it. If your kids have to take the same thing to school day after day after day, stuff it in the backpack after homework time rather than waiting until morning to make sure those bags are packed. I know it doesn’t sound like rocket science, but trust me: when the kids are working on homework, having papers signed, making sure they have the clothes they need for a change of weather, packing snacks for the class, and keeping their notebooks and books and papers and pencils and pens together, it can be a challenge.

2. Contain it.  Next, keep all that ‘stuff’ in one area. Last year I created a nook where we hang all of our backpacks. This area also contains a crate for their library books, a hook for their jackets/sweaters/outerwear, and an area underneath for their shoes. Each night before bed our kids have to make sure they have put everything in their packs, laid out their shoes, and gotten their jackets hung for morning.

3. Board it. I’ve found my kids often forget the day of the week and what they might have planned on that day. (Let’s face it, mornings are tough and they don’t have the added benefit of two cups of coffee!) To make this easier, this year I plan to buy two dry erase boards to hang in their nook, near their jackets and backpacks. On this board we will create a weekly schedule. This will include what we have for and after school for each day, including dance class, PTA meetings, permission slips due, and special events. One glance the night before and we will know that we need our dance bag in the morning, so we won’t have to scramble after breakfast to find it.

4. Night Instead of Day. Though it takes a bit longer, the best thing we’ve found for getting out of the door in the morning is to have everything done at night before bed. We shower in the evening. We sign all papers and get all backpacks ready. Clothes are laid out and lunches are made, and everything is placed in the nook I created at the top of the stairs between their rooms before we go to bed. This way, all we have to do in the morning is eat, brush hair and teeth, and get dressed. It sometimes makes for a long night, but it’s well worth it when the alarm goes off.

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What are some of your tips for staying organized in an effort to save time on school days? Do you have something you have created – a nook, baskets, hangers – to keep everything together, or do you follow a routine that helps?

What do you think?

Back to School: 4 Organizational Tips to Make Mornings a Breeze

Kathy Murdock works as a full time writer and web designer. Recently planted in the middle of the deep south from the busy streets of Los Angeles, when she's not coding Wordpress websites or writing about women in business and thrifty motherhood, Kathy spends time photographing alligators, playing with her family, and running. ... More

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3 comments

  1. Profile photo of Amy Amy says:

    Love anything with organizational tips! Already doing #2, trying to encourage #4 with a soon to be 15 yr old isnt easy. Oh & winning a cookbook would be great! 😉

  2. Profile photo of Ronica Ronica says:

    Great article definetly doing the nook idea for my daughter she starts kindergaten next week an she and I are not morning people. We usually pick outfits out the Night before an get shoes hair ties everything ready as for the backpack… Not so much, I always forget it an so does my little One she likes to throw it in the back seat an leave it there. So im for sure putting hooks in the living room by the door so we both can See and remember to go through it. Thanks for the tips.

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