One of my favorite times of the year is back to school. Even walking into an office supply store gives me the back to school jitters all over again! This year, there are several things you can do to start the year off successfully and reduce the amount of anxiety that comes with the big schedule shift into fall.
1. Evenings can get so congested at the start of the school year. Everyone is settling into their new schedules and getting a handle on how the days have changed. Create more time for yourself by planning a full week of slow-cooker meals for that first week. Not only does this mean that the whole family gets a comforting, hearty dinner at the end of each (very new) day, but also you’re free to address issues, homework, or new sports schedules. This seven vegetable minestrone soup is a great place to start, or you could check out my mass of other slow cooker meals.
2. Use a hanging closet organizer to plan out your little ones’ weekly outfits. Every section is a day of the week and can hold everything from undies to shoes. There will be far fewer “creative” outfits since you can pre-plan them all together on Sunday night.
3. Create a homework station somewhere other than your dining room table. This will keep you focused on dinner and keep the kiddos focused on their tasks at hand. Even a small writing desk with all of the essentials is enough to give them a space of their own and allow you to keep an eye on progress.
4. Assign a stacking file organizer for each child’s “actionable” paperwork. Ask them to put any important papers from the day in their assigned organizer. Permission slips, tuition checks, or any other important papers that need your eye won’t get lost in a stack of mail.
5. Instead of unpacking this bag and repacking that bag, just keep separate packed bags for each sport or activity— the soccer bag, the ballet bag, the tutor bag, the Spanish club bag, whatever. Grabbing the assigned bag will mean that a lot less will get left behind, and since the kids will know which bag goes with what, you won’t have to be the one running around the house looking for those cleats…again. These totes are big enough for bulky items and are cool enough not to squash your style, in case you end up carrying it (because you know you will).
6. For those of us who don’t have mud rooms, I love the idea of using a credenza for organization. Sure, they’re usually for media, but lower cabinets make great cubbies to corral book bags, coats, and shoes; and the best part is that since there are closing doors, you won’t have to look at the mess inside! Out of sight, out of mind, right?
7. Keep a monthly wall calendar with little Post-it notes for everyone’s events and appointments. I like using sticky notes because they’re easily moved if a time changes. I like that this allows everyone to be accountable for what is going on in the house.
For more home decor inspiration from Erin, check out her blog House of Earnest.