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6 Mom Hacks for Back to School Organization

This is our first Back to School season in our new house! We are one week away from our kids starting school again and the next 6 days are going to be a whirlwind of preparations. I have high hopes for this being the year I stay organized all year long. This new house is a lot more conducive to being organized in many ways so half the battle is already won for me!

1- I have an actual laundry room upstairs instead of a small laundry closet. I have 3 laundry baskets for the kids dirty clothes- one for whites/lights, one for darks/colors, and one for uniforms. The kids just toss their dirty stuff in the correct basket and it magically gets cleaned, folded and put away for them. 

2- I have a really big pantry instead of 2 small ones. All the lunch making stuff has a home, all the snacks are separated into containers for the kids to pack their own lunches. I can see immediately what needs to be replaced.

3- I have a whole hallway closet dedicated to kids school stuff. We have 2 coat closets and I took the smaller one right off the kitchen and turned it into the kids school closet. Bookbags have hooks, jackets have hooks, shoes have a rack. It’s amazing and life changing.

4- I have an office. I smiled while I typed that. I have a real dedicated space for my office. All the files, my laptop, the printer…it all has a home!

5- The kids all have huge closets! Maia and Zoey both have walk in closets and Mason’s closet is really long. It makes it so much easier to keep organized! 

So all those things have already given me a leg up on last year! I also have implemented other systems to make everything run smoothly this year. 

1- Calendars & Planners- I have 3. I know, it sounds like overkill but I promise you there is a method to my madness. I have a large wall calendar that is color coded for every appointment and reminder. I have a large planner that stays on my desk in the office because that’s where I am when I make most of our appointments. I also have a smaller planner that stays in my bag so I can easily schedule follow up appointments while we’re out. I used to have a calendar app on my phone until it crashed and I lost every appointment. That will never happen again. 

2- Lunch Planning- My kids would love to buy hot lunch every day. I would love to have them buy hot lunch every day. But at $26 per week per kid, that’s not happening. So I’m committed to packing lunches 5 days a week times 4 kids. I’ve created a system to make it easier. I have organized all the supplies- thermoses, ziplock bags, plastic forks and spoons, etc and created an entire lunch area in our pantry. All of the kids favorite snacks are organized. Things I buy in bulk such as Goldfish, Animal Crackers, Cheez-its, etc have their own plastic containers so the kids can pour them into ziplocks. Things I buy pre-packaged such as Pirates Booty, Cookies, Fruit Snacks, etc have their own tubs on the shelves. The kids can easily pack their own lunches and make my life easier!

3- Closet Organization- Now that the kids have bigger closets I upped my organization game. I bought Mason and Zoey the hanging organizers with 5 shelves. They’ll pick out their week’s worth of uniforms on Sunday’s, add them to the organizer, and I don’t have to fight with kids all week about uniforms! 

4- Dinner Planning- I’m back on the meal planning train. I did good this summer with cooking at home and not eating out but I didn’t really meal plan. I just bought a bunch of ingredients and made dinner with whatever worked together. Ha! Easy for the summer but not sustainable long term during the school year. So I’ve already made my meal plan for the first 2 weeks of August. I’m doing 2 weeks of planning at a time because it works better for the school year when last minute meetings and things pop up. I have added a bunch of new recipes to my list to choose from and I can’t wait to share them. 

5- Paperwork Organization- Paperwork for 4 kids is a nightmare. I hung my beloved magazine rack on the wall under my calendar for school papers that need attention. I have my white hanging file basket in the office for papers that I need to keep for reference but don’t require immediate action. And then I have my big file baskets where I transfer papers that need to be kept after each semester- things like report cards, test scores, etc. I’ve gotten into the good habit of adding things to my calendar immediately and then throwing the paper out rather than letting a month’s worth of paper pile up on the counter. 

6- Bathroom Organization- This year for the first time Tyler has his own bathroom, which is a blessing because he’s the slowest and the messiest. So the 3 others will share the hall bath upstairs. Zoey and Mason both shower at night and Maia showers in the mornings. To cut down on the amount of bottles in the tub I bought each of them shower buckets. They keep their soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc in the bucket with their own washcloth. I store the buckets under the sink next to their individual dental care baskets. When they shower they take the bucket into the tub with them. It’s working great so far!

So those are my Back to School organization hacks for this year! T minus 6 days until chaos ensues in my house!

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