Change is always hard, and little kids are no different. They have been at home since April and are going back to school (with some major changes). Here are some tips you can work on this month to make the school year run as smoothly as possible.

Command Center

Planning out your week ahead of time can prevent conflicts when it comes to kids and their schedules. By creating a visual schedule you can keep the whole family informed of what is coming up! 

  • Spell out exactly what’s expected in the morning and after school with a routine chart. Knowing their responsibilities, allows kids to adjust quickly to the back to school routine!
  • Find an unused section of a wall or a spot next to the garage you see as you’re leaving. Use a calendar, bulletin, or dry erase board for to-do lists. A magazine rack or wire basket easily catches paperwork or mail. 
    • Chalkboard paint or cork sheeting can create the perfect area without breaking the bank!

Car Organization

  • You dream of shoes neatly lined up, but find they seem to accumulate in the back of your car.
  • Try a car organizer for things like shoes, extra snacks, tissues, or on-the-go breakfast. This will make your mornings less stressful and help you get them through the dropoff line.
  • Keep a pre-made kit in your car so that you always have what you need. Fill each with tech (spare chargers and batteries), first aid, and homework helpers (a calculator and pencils). 

Breakfast Station

  • By having pre-chosen options, you can feel good about what they eat while they have autonomy over their choices. 
  • Use a lower drawer of a cabinet or try a section of a shelf in the pantry. Choose a spot that isn’t in the way when you’re cooking and that is easy enough for them to reach. Clear bins on a shelf make it easy for kids to see and access snacks, cereal, or bars.
  • If your kids pack their own lunches, you can put these supplies in the same area. Don’t forget to add bowls, utensils, and lunch boxes so they can finish the job! 

Homework Station

Having an area just for homework gives kids to have a place they can go to start school work.

  • If you’re working from home, the formal dining room can be a great place for you all to spread out. Have systems so you can easily clean up the mess for a *socially distant* dinner party. Otherwise, the kitchen is a great place to allow them to work while you answer e-mails or get dinner ready!
  • Include storage like shelves, corkboard, pegboard, cubbies, baskets, and containers to keep the space tidy and everything in its place. Use bookcases, chairs that fit their size, wall shelves, pen holders, etc. Remember to keep things low for young kiddos! 
  • This is also a great spot for a task bin or homework caddy. Dedicate a place for papers and have supplies they may need ready to go in the area. Walking around trying to gather pencils, glue, and tape is a surefire way to encourage procrastination. Keep everything together in a DIY supply organizer and you’ve lost one big excuse to avoid homework. A college-style shower caddy is also a good way to organize these things. My favorite is using a lazy Suzan and some various pen holders to keep everything in its place.
  • Put lesser-used supplies on a rolling cart in a nearby hallway closet. This keeps things from cluttering up the area but close when you need them.

Need more? Check out some more back to school tips here: https://organizing-etc.com/uncategorized/back-to-school-routines-and-rhythms