Well, it is officially that time of the year again. The birds are singing and all the colors look brighter. ;-) Yep, it’s back to school time! Unfortunately, the chaos that can ensue each morning can ruin an otherwise beginning to a wonderful day. So, to help keep the chaos down to a minimum, I am sharing some of my favorite back to school organizing tips, plus you can snag my free printable for the ultimate school planner!
(This post may contain affiliate links (*). That means that I make a small commission from sales that result through these links, at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.)
Back to School Organizing Tips for Study Spaces…
Having a dedicated place to send the kiddos for homework can really help to keep your home from becoming a madhouse. If your a homeschool mom, first, let me say that I feel your pain. Secondly, I know that versatility may be a big deal to you. Having a multi-purpose room is a big plus.
Using a table with a drop leaf* can go a long way towards that end. I also love the idea of this roll-away board. It is double duty because you can flip it over to expose a map or a cork board, and you can roll it away when you want a homier space.
If you want to install a desk unit on the cheap and easy, consider using the closet track systems that are available in most of the big box hardware stores. You won’t need an entire closet system for this DIY. Just a few individual pieces from any brand of track system* will work. Two shelves and a small set of drawers and you have an instant workspace that is completely adjustable.
This is especially useful for small children who need a lower set desk and shelving. As they grow, just raise the shelves to a higher level to compensate for their change in height.
Another great idea for keeping things organized on the cheap is to screw a few bungee cords to a wall. These are great for holding books or stuff animals up out of the way. I am partial to the graffiti bands* that are made from silicone. Not only are they colorful, but they come in a variety of lengths. So, you can customize to your particular taste.
You can also build a few quick and easy crates to use for storage. It is one of my favorite ways to store things, and they are quite budget-friendly.
Back to School Schedules…
(Photo by WallPops)
Having a wall calendar is a must for busy schedules, and can be especially useful for college students. An erasable one is best for making quick changes. Being able to see when book reports are due and who has an appointment on what date will go a long way at keeping your nerves from becoming frazzled. This and a variety of other wall organizers* are available from WallPops.
If you are more into creating a large, customizable dry erase board, check out my DIY on building one for a super cheap budget! Also, get my tips for keeping them looking new, year after year.
Back to School Organizing Tips for Small Children…
If you have a young child going back to school, or just starting out for their first year, being able to get them dressed each morning can sometimes be a trying event. If you have not experienced it yet, just let me warn you – there is going to come a day when they are not happy with what you want them to wear. Most likely they will be determined to wear something that is completely outside the realm of what you are willing to allow.
Mornings like this can leave you feeling like you are beating your head against a brick wall. So, having a plan in place before this happens can save you many headaches. Giving them options and a way to know what those options are in advance can work well.
Because, as with most people, small children like to have some say in what they do (or wear), I like to set up closets so that they feel like they are making the decision, when in fact I am making it. So, this is what I do: (by the way, this is just a suggestion. Do with it what you will). :-)
I have two levels in the closet, and each level is divided into halves (as above). Prior to the beginning of the school year, with the help of the child, I organize the outfits into school appropriate (further divided by weather). I place these outfits on the bottom.
On the top, I place the play and out of season clothing. I let them know that we are putting all the school outfits down low. They can choose what they wear, but only from the lower rack. They are happy to be in charge, and I don’t have to fight about their choices. (FYI: because I hang everything as outfits verses individual pieces, when I want to mix and match top and bottoms, I make changes during laundry time).
Back to School Organizing Tips for Mudrooms…
Ahhh, a place to catch everything that is thrown. That is how I think of my mud bench. This is probably one of the best things that a home can have for school age children. If you can further divide it up into sections, all the better.
Providing each child with their own private dump space can head off arguments and teach respect of others’ property as well (i.e. your space is yours and my space is mine. We can not touch anything or place anything in anyone else’s area).
If you do not have the space for a mud bench, sometimes just a few strategically placed hooks can serve the purpose just as well. Having a location next to the exit door can help prevent forgetting things.
If you have some extra space inside a cabinet, it can be converted into a catch all for coats and backpacks. The above cabinet is a good example of utilizing unused space.
Another great storage location is over a door. Placing a track along the length of a door allows for multiple storage components. Since these tracks provide the option of easy changes, this solution can grow with your child. You can get an amazing system with plenty of storage from the Container Store.*
Ulitmate Student Planner!
Okay, I know you are dying to know about the free printable. In light of your busy schedule, and your exhausted pocketbook, I am offering my ulitmate student planner printable. This planner is perfect for everyone from middle school all the way through college.
This printable contains six different sheets, which can be printed and placed in whatever manner that meets your student’s needs. I have also made these printables in three different colors – teal, pink, and gray. (colors may vary from based on your printer settings).
With this student planner, your student will be able to quickly see their class information – which room number, teacher, etc. They will also be able to create a weekly schedule. You will also find sheets to help with project plans and to help with homework and daily To Dos. Print as many copies as is needed for your student’s own personal needs.
This is just one of the many printables available in my printable gallery, which is available as part of my newsletter subscription. If you would like to receive a password to gain access to this and more, feel free to sign up and I’ll get one over to you!
Also, check out my instructions for making tear away notepads. This is a great way to use some of these printable sheets to create disposable pads. I like to do weekly planners like this.
CONGRATULATIONS to the Winners of our Back to School Summer Giveaway!
Our contest has ended and the winners were:
Natalie – $50
Cheryl – $25
Tammy – $25
If you did not win this particular giveaway, do not despair. Another will be right around the corner!