Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back To School: Get Organized!

I watched this great segment on the Today Show this morning.  It gave that push that I needed to get everything in order for my kids to go back to school on Monday.  I am bound and determined to get my kids organized so mornings run more smoothly than they have in the past.  This year will be even more difficult because school is starting 45 minutes earlier this year AND I have a daughter starting piano, so she will need to practice in the morning in addition to my son.
So, in my quest for organization I have made a few changes to our routine that will hopefully help mornings go more smoothly.
First off, I created our “In School”  Chore Chart.  (You can see a sample one here.  Use it to create your own if you want!)
1. Each IMG_0552child has a chore chart for downstairs as well as upstairs.  In the mornings, they will need to follow their Morning Routines before coming downstairs. And in evenings they will need to finish their Evening Routines downstairs before heading up to bed.  Why didn’t I just put it on one chart? Because my kids will go up and down the stairs so many times to look and see what they need to do and mark it off that they waste so much time!  By splitting it, no more running around!
2. Another thing that I am hoping will makes things easier is preparing not only for the next day, but prepare for the entire week on Sunday evenings by
  • Preparing their lunch menus for the week
  • Organize snacks
  • Pick out clothes they are going to wear for the week.



I don’t know about your kids, but mine are really picky about what they eat for lunch and they don’t want sandwiches very often. So I’ve had to come up with some other lunch ideas besides the good old PB&J.
  • Pasta with butter and parmesan cheese
  • Pasta Salad
  • Cheese and Crackers
  • Salad with dressing on the side (so it doesn’t get soggy)
  • Pita chips and hummus
  • Salsa with chips
  • Carrots with ranch dressing
  • Mini Bagels with flavored cream cheese or jelly
Some of these lunch ideas are going to take some prep work on my part (pasta) so that is why setting out the menu for the week on Sunday is a good idea. I purchased some small insulated containers at Walmart for items that need to be hot/cold.


My kids take a snack to school every day.  These need to be healthy and filling.  Sometimes my kids take packaged snacks (applesauce, fruit, granola bars) but other time they want things that need to be packaged (crackers, goldfish, etc.) so that is where the Sunday night planning comes in.


Clothes are always an issue for us in the mornings.  “What am I going to wear?” “I don’t have anything that matches.”  “I can’t find this shirt.” So this year I purchased some hanging shelves from Walmart for $10 and that way the kids can plan out their outfits for the entire week (underwear, shirt, shorts, socks) and there is no excuses for getting dressed quickly each morning.


Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork!  It gets overwhelming during the school year!  There is always homework sheets for the week, permission slips to be signed, special items that need to be saved, etc.  So find a good system to organize your paperwork that works for you.  For me, I have this.  I bought it at Target for about $12 I think.  I like to have things in the cubby’s that I use all the time and want easily accessible, like pens, markers, etc.  The filing section is great.  The kids can just put their weekly assignments in their folders and put anything for me in my folder when they empty their backpacks as soon as they get home.
IMG_0549 IMG_0551 
Hopefully this will give you a little inspiration to get you organized for back to school.  Please comment and let me know what solutions have worked for you.  The key to organization is to find a system that works for you and your family.  Not everything works for everybody!


  1. i LOVE these ideas! especially the morning/evening routine chart idea, where one is upstairs and one is downstairs. totally gonna copy!

  2. Great Ideas Amanda!
    I started using a binder this year for all their school forms, etc. The kids come in and slip in the paperwork into a pocket divider with their name on it and they I check it every night. After I sign it I just place it on top of their backpack and they put it back in to their folder to take back to school. Love the idea of the hanging clothes divider :)