Between caring for her newborn, tending to her 5-year-old and teaching college students, a typical day for Stephanie Burnham can easily go awry without proper organization.
That’s why when it came time to send her daughter to kindergarten, Burnham crafted a back to school organization system that her family could easily follow.
For all busy parents, staying prepared during the week can mean the difference between being on time or running behind because, well, kids are just unpredictable little humans. Here’s some expert advice from organized moms who’ve been behind, but learned how to easily stay on schedule.
Prepare for the School Day as Early as Possible
If time allows, organize for a school day the night before because you never know what unplanned events – a missed alarm, dead car battery, expired milk – the morning will bring.
Fill backpacks with any necessary homework, pick out school clothes and have lunchboxes at the ready.
“Mornings always tend to be hectic, and when stuff goes wrong, it can all go sideways,” Burnham said. “The shoes and backpack are together right by the door, and we grab everything right as we go.”
Create a Home Base for Everything to Avoid Clutter
If your kids know where to find and keep their school stuff, they’re less likely to lose those things and require more of your time.
“Kids are unpredictable and you never know what they are going to do, but organization can help,” said Holly Homer, who blogs about her three boys on her Kids Activities Blog.
Designate a shelf, basket or desk where they will know to keep and return their schoolwork every night to avoid lost papers and missed assignments.
Teach Your Kids by Having Them Help You Organize
Kids should be learning at school and at home.
Whether you’re packing lunches, organizing after-school snacks, or doing the laundry for clean uniforms, make sure that your kids are learning back to school organization systems with you.
“Give it time to make (organization) become a habit,” said Wendi Wachtel of H2O Bungalow. “No one likes change, so it’s all hard in the beginning.”
Good organization habits at a young age will mean even better organization skills at an older age (with any luck).