8 Ways to Get Everything Organized for Back to School

Best Ways to Get Everything Organized for Back-to-School Time

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It's that time of the year again when the whole family has to transition from the slow-moving days of summer to morning rush, getting to school on time, and juggling after-school activities. Here are some great tips for organizing everything to help you hit the ground running and stay on track the whole school year.

Get Organized for Back to School: Streamline Your Morning Routine

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Before the first day of school, do a couple of trial runs to see if you need to adjust your morning routine to make it more efficient. Have your child practice brushing her teeth and getting dressed with a timer and make it a game by racing to see who can get ready the fastest.

Get Organized for Back to School: Pick Out What to Wear

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The night before a school day, get into the habit of checking the weather report to see what you'll need (rain gear, a sweater, etc.) and put it by the door so that it's ready to be scooped up on your way out. Have your child pick out an outfit (shoes included) and put it on a chair in her room so that she can change into it quickly in the morning.

Get Organized for Back to School: Plan the Week's Menu

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On weekends, sit down with the kids and plan a menu for the week. Then make a shopping list and go to the grocery store together. Not only will this save lots of time during a busy school week, but it'll give kids a chance to have more responsibility and independence and help them develop healthy eating habits. And helping with the food shopping will also give them a sense of what things cost and teach them about money and family budgets. 

Get Organized for Back to School: Pre-Make Breakfast and Lunch

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Have a lunch packed and ready to go, and plan what you're going to have for breakfast the next day. Bonus tip: Lay out the breakfast place settings on the table the night before so that you have one less thing to do in the morning.

And if you have time, set aside some fruit and veggies and hummus (or other favorite nibbles) for your child's after-school snack.

Get Organized for Back to School: Set Up a Homework Area

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One of the most important things school-age kids need is a quiet and comfortable place to do homework. Before the start of school, talk with your child about where she wants to set up her homework area. It could be in her room, at the kitchen counter or table, or in her reading nook. Where doesn't matter as much as the fact that it's quiet and she can work there without distractions.

Get Organized for Back to School: Set Up a Central Calendar

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We may all have dates and appointments set in our phones these days, but it's much easier for mom, dad, and the kids to have everything in one place so there's no double-booking and no one misses an important event.

Put a big family calendar in a central place so that everyone can see all the important dates right at a glance. You can color-coordinate it by designating each family member a certain color pen or pencil (red for mom, green for dad, and so on), and list every big event like a school concert or a soccer match.

Get Organized for Back to School: Separate After-School Activity Bags

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Does your child head to karate or soccer after school? Does he have music lessons? Pack up his gear the night before and have everything ready right by the door so that you don't have to hunt for a missing cleat or water bottle or sheet music after school. Helpful tip: Designate a separate bag for each activity so that you always know if something's missing or you need to wash a uniform.

Get Organized for Back to School: Set Up School Supplies in the Car

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Whether your child remembers that he forgot to do an assignment the night before or wants to get a jump on homework while he's en route to an after-school activity, you'll want to make sure he has some extra school supplies on hand. (He may not be able to reach his backpack easily or he may need quick access to a pencil, eraser, or paper, so keep a zip-up pouch of extra supplies tucked in the back of one of the front seats.

And if your child plays sports or music, you'll probably want to carry snacks and equipment or sheet music in a bin or a car organizer to keep everything neat and organized.

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