NEXT GEN: Organizational Tips and Tools for School Year Survival

Sep 03, 2014

Get Into a Routine Early — Going from the laid-back days of summer to the busy school days of fall can be a rude awakening.

Create Weekly School Lunch and Dinner Menus — It takes a little planning ahead of time, but creating a meal plan at the beginning of the week will make grocery shopping and lunch-making a breeze.

Make a Homework Station — Having everything your child needs for his schoolwork will help make homework time in your household less chaotic. To create your station, gather the supplies your child uses on a regular basis. Use a tray or box to neatly store your supplies, and keep it on your kitchen table or your child's desk for easy use.

Organize Closets and Dresser Drawers — Does your child dilly-dally when it comes to choosing an outfit for the day? This simple DIY closet project will make getting dressed every morning a snap. Create a hanger for each day of the school week, and have your child decide at the beginning of each week, which outfits she'd like to wear to school. Hang each one on the corresponding day, and she'll know exactly what to put on when she wakes up in the morning.

Set Up a Family Bulletin Board and Vertical Space — Create a bulletin board and use it to keep important papers in view, display artwork, and post schedules. Divide it into sections for each member of your family, so you can easily keep track of each of your child's needs. A vertical wall organizer with folders for each family member will also help save space while storing important school forms, homework assignments, and anything else you might need during the week.

Keep a Family Calendar — Whether you like the old-school pen-and-paper variety, or more tech-advanced apps and mobile calendars, choose one place to record all of your personal appointments, kids' activities, events, and reminders. It's also a great idea to have a calendar the whole family can access, so everyone is aware of others' schedules and can add their own entries.

Manage Your To-Do Lists — It can be hard to keep track of all your to-do lists — especially if you write them down on the fly on little scraps of paper! Free apps and websites like sync your family's to-do lists together, making it easy to share grocery lists, keep track of chores, and manage responsibilities from anyone's device or computer.

Designate a ‘mudroom’ — Whether you have an actual mudroom or just a spot by the front door or in the garage, create an organized space for your kids to keep shoes, backpacks, outerwear and sports gear. Simple hooks and baskets can do the trick and save you from scrambling each morning (and staring at clutter each night).

Create a Chore Chart — With the busy start of the school year, chores are tough to squeeze in! Print off this chore chart to hang on your fridge to keep your children on task. Mobile apps such as Chore Pad are also a great way to keep track of what needs to be done, and help to motivate kids by offering little rewards for each completed chore.

Content courtesy of Family Education