Looking for the best back to school organization tips to implement this year? Here’s a round-up of some of the top tips and hacks to keep things in order, and keep you and your family sane!
Let’s be honest, once summer is over and back-to-school time comes around, it can be quite overwhelming. Between back-to-school shopping for clothes and school supplies, packing lunches, after-school activities, and homework, it can feel like A LOT. Plus, balancing everything in your normal personal and work life as well, is just an added layer of all kinds of crazy.
Throughout my years of going through elementary, middle, high school and college, I’ve had quite a few rounds of “back to school.” I’ve come to realize that there are things that work, and there are things that don’t work. I’ve eliminated the things that don’t work, and put together this list of the best back to school organization tips whether you’re the student reading this, or the parent, here’s the solution to your back to school stress!
This post is all about back to school organization tips!
Best Back to School Organization Tips:
1. Wake up Earlier and Set a Routine
Do you have any idea how much more you could get done if you woke up just one hour earlier than normal? Mostly because if you wake up earlier and have an hour of time to yourself, you can prime yourself and get yourself in a state that will allow you to show up as your best self throughout the day.
If you’ve never heard of it, The 5 A.M. Club by Robin Sharma talks all about this. I highly recommend you read this book, or listen to the audio book. It basically explains the benefits of waking up at 5 in the morning everyday and how that is the answer to changing your life, and getting the results you want in your personal life, family, and at work.
The thing about waking up earlier, as mentioned, is that it gives you more time to relax, ease your mind, and get into a good frame of mind first thing in the morning, before everyone else in the house even wakes up.
Personally, in the mornings, I wake up and do the following to prime myself for my day:
- Make the bed (2 minutes)
- Make coffee (1 minute)
- Journal while having coffee (5-10 minutes)
- Gratitude journal (2 minutes)
- Read (30 minutes)
- Bible Study/Pray (10 minutes)
- Short Yoga to stretch/loosen up (10-15 minutes)
- Shower/Get Ready (30 minutes)
This whole process takes me about 1.5-2 hours, depending on the day. So if I wake up at 5 am, I’m ready to rock by 7. If I wake up at 6, I’m ready to go by 8. You get the picture.
Whatever it is for you, waking up early WILL benefit you. It’s time to take for yourself to prepare for the day ahead so you can show up for yourself, your kids, your family, and at work, as your best self!
Waking up last minute and rushing out the door is no way to live, and I can assure you that it will NOT help you in anyway stay calm, centered, grounded, or organized.
2. Utilize Your Sundays to Plan
Another important back to school organization tip is to use your Sunday’s to plan! Get a planner – and each Sunday, use 30 minutes or an hour to really reflect and plan out your week ahead. You can plan your work schedule, life schedule, kids schedules, and even your meals. Write out any appointments, birthdays, and everything you need to be aware of or keep track of that week.
“A Sunday well spent leads to a week of content.”
I cannot stress the importance of doing this. It has helped clarify things so much for our family and keeps everyone on the same page. In our house, we have a large paper calendar written on the wall. Each year, I update this from the previous year with things like birthdays, dental cleanings, annual appointments, anniversaries, etc. As life goes on, I add all important things to it, sports schedules, new appointments, and new things to remember. What I like about this is that it allows everyone in the house to see what’s going on in the family and stay in the loop. It also gives a snapshot in one large view so it’s easy to see. A tip though is to only write permanent things like birthdays and stuff in pen! I write everything else in pencil to keep it neat.
Each month, I compare my digital calendar on my phone to the large written calendar to make sure they match. This is because I mainly use my digital calendar on the go. When I’m at the doctors, I add follow up appointments to my iPhone calendar, and ALWAYS set it to alert or remind me the day before so I don’t forget. This has been a HUGE help. I share this calendar with my husband as well, so we both use it and can always see what each other has going on. Each month, I update the large printed one with anything new I’ve added to the digital one.
All in all, this is what I do and what works for my family. Find what works for you and really use your Sundays to set that time aside and plan out your week so you know each day what needs to be conquered.
3. Meal Plan Each Week
Also, on Sunday’s, we always meal plan for the week. We usually mostly only do dinners, but you can do all meals or even work and school lunches if that’s what’s needed. We use this handy meal planner below.
And each week, we flip through our Recipe Binder to see what we should make for dinner each day of the week. We write down the meals for each day, then make a grocery list with all the needed ingredients for each meal, not including ingredients we already have of course.
This system has been SUPER helpful in reducing waste, saving money and saving time. We now know what meat to pull out each morning, if it’s a crockpot recipe, we just throw it in before work, etc. No more “what’s for dinner tonight?” Now, you’ll know exactly what will be served and what needs to be done to prepare it. You can even post this on the fridge or somewhere everyone will see for convenience.
If you have a large family or any picky eaters or special diets, you can also get everyone involved in meal planning and have everyone think of a meal or make sure everyone approves of what’s on the meal plan for the week. That way when Tuesday comes, you aren’t having to switch things up last minute or have any temper tantrums. Obviously, just find what works for you and your family.
4. Get Everyone On Board
Touching on this again, on Sunday, make sure everyone is involved in the weekly and menu planning. Make sure everyone knows where they need to be and when, how to use the calendar, coordinate rides, and responsibilities. You can even use this time to set up the chore chart for the week.
It’s important that there is time set aside for everyone to be on board and on the same page. You can do this during dinner on Sunday night or set a specific time aside with each person to go through the week.
I really believe that being intentional about this process and making sure everyone in the house is aware of what’s going on will help reduce so much stress, confusion, and miscommunication.
5. Use a Chore Chart
As mentioned previously, use a chore chart throughout the week to delegate tasks to everyone in the house. It’s important that everyone pitches in and contributes to the household. You are a FAMILY after all. Family means you’re a team, and everyone contributes to the overall goal and functioning of the home.
Using a chore chart makes it crystal clear what the expectations and responsibilities are for each member of the house. Whether you simply leave a post it note on the kitchen counter of each person’s tasks for the day, or you use a legitimate wall hanging chore chart, just use something.
You simply cannot do it all alone. Delegating tasks to maintain the house will make your life so much simpler, organized and way less chaotic. After a long day at work, if you come home to a vacuumed house and empty sink, you will feel WAY less stressed and more happy than coming home to a disastrous mess.
Now, if this is something your family isn’t use to, you may need to put in some work to transitioning from “mom does everything” to “we all chip in” but with time, I’m certain your family can make this switch and that in the long run it will bring your family closer and make your home function smoother.
There’s something to say about everyone chipping in and having responsibility. It even makes everyone more cautious and careful about leaving a mess around the house because they know THEY’RE going to be the one to clean it, not you.
6. Give Yourself Grace
Okay so this might not really be a tip about getting back to school, but this is an overall LIFE TIP we all need to hear on repeat.
Give yourself some dang grace sister!
You are only human. We are all only human. And we are ALL doing the best we can with what we know. So when you feel overwhelmed and like you just don’t have it all together I encourage you to step back and take a few deep breaths. No really, deep breathing is a great way to re-center yourself and chill tf out.
Yes, we should all strive for growth and improvement and it’s great to continue to learn and better yourself. But at the same time, we can’t strive for perfection to beat ourselves up about all of our shortcomings. Some days won’t go as planned, actually most days probably won’t. But as long as you’re living as your true and authentic self and you are trying, then you should be able to go to sleep at night. Give yourself grace. Cut yourself a break. Whatever you want to call it. You’re trying, and you’re enough.
Never forget that.
If this section really hits you deeply, then you probably need to read Brene Brown’s, The Gifts of Imperfection (below). Literally such a great book about loving yourself and how to stop striving for perfection and accept and come to love the imperfections of life.
7: Delegate or Outsource Where Needed
This is super important overall life and organization tip. Here’s your friendly reminder YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL ALONE. Let me say that one more time. YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL ALONE. Chances are, you’re someone with incredibly high standards and expectations for yourself that you literally try to build Rome in a day and get discouraged when you can’t.
Let me break it down for you.
If you work 1 hour away and work hours are from 9-5 so really 8-6 is when you’re gone from the house. And you do this Monday through Friday. PLUS, you drop your kids at school at 7:30, and you get up at 5am to do all your personal stuff and get ready. Then when you get home, you want to clean the whole house and cook a whole ass dinner, and still have time for family time and fun and then make time for your husband, and on and on and on. I mean c’mon girl, really? You literally cannot do it all.
You want it all, but don’t have the freakin time.
You’ve got to delegate or outsource. Get a nanny to drop the kids at school to give yourself the extra 30 mins to prep dinner.
Hire a cleaning lady so you don’t have to clean after an exhausting day at work. OR, even better, delegate chores to your kids! Ask your partner to prepare dinner!
Use Amazon Fresh for grocery delivery to save yourself the extra time grocery shopping. You can use this link to get one month of Amazon Prime for free so you can try out Amazon Fresh, which is included with Prime!
You can also use a service like Hello Fresh which plans all your meals for you and delivers the recipes and ingredients to your doorstep.
There are so many back to school organization tips you can do to simplify your life and GET HELP where needed. So I guess the answer is simple.
You CAN have it all.
You just CAN’T do it all alone.
When getting back to school, organize your life by delegating and outsourcing to make sure everything gets done but still saving your sanity and loving and serving yourself and your inner happiness.
I hope these organization tips really help you as the whole back to school time of year approaches and life get’s crazy hectic again.
Just remember to slow down, take care of yourself first, so you can show up to life wearing all your different hats with a full bucket and actually enjoy life rather than rush through it like a chicken with your head cut off.