Back to School Organization
During back to school season, life can feel a little… hectic. Implementing a few simple systems is the difference between dreading the school year and welcoming it.
Let’s walk through a school day together to find easy-to-manage solutions to common back-to-school problems. Here we go!
1. Getting Dressed for School
First, go through clothes with your kids. Donate anything that doesn’t fit. At Upstate Organized Living, we’re fans of Miracle Hill Thrift Stores. Trash anything excessively stained or unwearable.
Find patterns in the clothing. What categories do you see? T-shirts and long sleeves? Shorts and pants? School-appropriate vs. at-home clothes?
Then create a home for each category. Pre-made dividers are great for keeping smaller items like socks or tank tops together. I love expandable drawer dividers for a more customizable option. These let you customize the space each category lives in and help prevent the dreaded pile of t-shirts.
2. Getting Out the Door with Less Stress
What items do you need to get out the door each and every school day? Your kids? Your spouse?
All of these items need ONE place to live. A designated entryway “drop zone” is your new best friend.
(Bonus: these items will return to this drop zone later in the day.)
A combination of hooks, trays, baskets, cubbies, drawers, and shelves work together for optimal storage. Take advantage of vertical space! Try a designated hook or cubby for each family member. Keep a basket of out-the-door items like sunscreen, bug spray, dog leashes, and chapstick ready-to-go. Keys are happiest in trays, jars, or on hooks.
And shoes? Keep shoes off the floor in one area. Your #1 goal is to do what works for YOUR family. That may be a full blown mudroom, a small shelf riser, or a large basket for easy-on, easy-off shoes.
3. Coming Home From School – Drop Zone + SNACKS
You made it. The kids are back from school. They kick their shoes off and store their backpacks in the drop zone. (Good job, you.)
Next? SNACKS. Easy-to-grab fruits like bananas, grapes, and cuties and pre-packaged snacks (bars, applesauce, etc.) are quick for kids to identify and a cinch to grab without help from an adult.
Next, treat yourself to a storage unit that works for YOU. You have to put snacks somewhere. Why not consider the best options? Avoid boxes with complicated lids or square bins with high walls. Store after-school snacks on lower shelves or in lower cabinet drawers. Try a clear, appropriately sized bin that lets you see when you’re running low.
Let’s face it. Transitions are hard. Adjusting to new rhythms takes time. During back-to-school season, implement a few new products + systems into your life to reduce stress in your whole home. I know you’ll do great.
Heather Taylor, Upstate Organized Living