Here at Hugs HQ, the only thing that stops our school yer totally falling apart is some semblance of organisation. But let's face it, if you're too rigid, it all falls apart very quickly.
1. Create a drop-off point for backpacks, books, and assignments.
Establish a space for your kids to put their backpacks, lunch boxes, and other school items. Ours is literally just a space next to the fridge but at least we always know where all their things are.
2. Set up a parent inbox where your kids can put papers you need to sign.
I used to work for the government so I though I knew what paperwork was but having two kids at school has opened my eyes to the horrors of notices, permission slips, fundraising flyers and the like. There is nothing worse that not knowing if you've handed in a form or not on the morning of the event so save yourself with this really easy trick. Ours is on the kitchen counter where we unpack the kids bags and make their lunches.
3. Use a sheet protector to create a dry-erase task board and insert your kids’ to-do lists.
We use it to know what special events are coming up, which days they have sport and library etc. and even what chores need to be done. It helps keep the wheels turning without too much thinking.
4. Make early morning routines easier with a hair-styling kit.
If you have a child who need a fair bit of hair maintenance in the morning (like our beautiful Thing 2), then knowing where everything is and having it part of the morning routine is just common sense.
5. Choose outfits for the week, then store them in a hanging organizer.
I thank all the powers that be for school uniforms but if your child doesn't have to wear one, then this means you have one conversation on Sunday night and you're good to go!
6. Skip buying individual snacks; buy in bulk and portion out at home.
We do this because we use a Yumbox to feed the kids. We just make sure we've got enough of everything before the week starts and between the Yumbox and the Tupperware, making lunches is a breeze.
7. Keep library books in one place with a designated library-book basket.
Our kids love to read. We have thousands of books (and I'm not sure I'm exagerating). Therefore, a cold-chill goes down my spine on library day when I hear, "I can't find my book"...problem solved.
8. Put each child’s school work into a separate bin, and sort through it later
It piles up and with busy lives, it's hard to know what to do with it at the time you get it. At Hugs HQ, we used to throw it in a cupboard but then it's a right mess. This solution means you make obvious choices of keep or dispose at the time, but don't mess up your entire home over the year until you can do a proper stocktake.
9. Take pictures of your child’s artwork and create a photo book.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but let's face it...not all art is created equal. You kids will often bring home art that you know is a keeper and it goes straight onto the fridge and into your heart. But the other stuff? Now you don't need to upset anyone, you will always have the memory without the physical evidence.
10. Put your kids on their new wake/sleep schedule a week before school starts.
This is obviously not an ongoing thing but it certainly gets the year off to a good start. We also try to keep them close to their schedule during mid-year breaks.
There you have it. School starts soon...Good Luck!