Back to school: organization tips that work

The new school year is fast approaching. At our house, we are trying to be as organized as possible before the school year starts. I have learned from experience that it is easy to GET organized, but so much harder to stay that way. Today, I’d like to share some tips for staying organized this school year.

1. Prepare for the next day as soon as you get home.

When you walk in the door, go ahead and start prepping for tomorrow. Put up your bags, pack tomorrow’s lunch, and get tomorrow’s clothes ready. Nothing good comes from being in a hurry or waiting til the last minute. Make it easier on yourself by getting your “next day prep” done early.

2. Manage your paper clutter

File what you need to keep and shred or throw away what you don’t need. Paper clutter can get away from you and multiply quickly. It’s better to keep ahead of it by not letting it accumulate.

3. Write it down! Use a calendar

This one is two-fold. Record things in your calendar, but you also need to make sure you’ll see it often. What’s the point in writing it down if you don’t look at it again? Use what works for you- we use both a wall calendar in our kitchen and a daily planner, but others will use a command center, Apple or Google calendar, or a chalkboard. There’s no right or wrong approach.

4. Plan meals in advance

This is an area where I am trying to improve. Planning your meals in advance has a lot of benefits: you’re more likely to eat at home, you’ll spend less on food, and you’ll probably eat a much healthier meal. Some people prepare all their meals for the week on Sunday and others pick one day a month to prep freezer meals. Again, choose the option that works best for you and go from there.

5.Establish a weeknight routine that works for you

Keep a loose but not rigid routine that works well for your family. If it’s too rigid and there is no flexibility, you won’t stick to it. If it’s too flexible, it won’t help you. I recommend getting ready for the next day, then do the homework and chores.

After those things are finished and you’ve had dinner, you have free time to do something that brings you joy. I like to use my free time to read, hang out with my family and our dogs, exercise, or just take a walk. Everyone needs hobbies- even if it’s something small. Everyone needs joy.

6. Perform regular “tune-ups”

Getting organized is easy, but staying organized is less easy. At least weekly, pick one closet or drawer to straighten. It doesn’t have to take long or be a big undertaking. A little at a time is perfect.

What do you do to stay organized during the school year?

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