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Back to School Organization

Operation-Organization-Collage-Day 2
It’s that time, isn’t it!?  Kids are heading back to school!  Which means back to school organization time!  My favorite. :) I know a lot of schools have started already.  My kids start on Monday and like always, I have mixed emotions.  Not quite ready for waking up early, packing lunches, homework and a jam packed schedule, but definitely excited for a bit more structure and routine around here.  I also can’t wait to have a few quiet hours to myself again during the day!  This mom needs to get on a better work schedule.  Blogging from 10:00 p.m. until 2:00 am each night (the only calm and quiet around here) can only be sustained for so long.  :)

Today I’m joining Amy and Christi at 11 Magnolia Lane (love them!) as part of their Operation Organization Back to School.  So much fun!  I love to organize year round, but the start of a new school year makes me especially excited about organizing ALL the things.  Such a great time to set new goals, implement new systems and get your house clean and organized and running like a well oiled machine!  Today I’m sharing a few things I’m currently doing to get us all ready for a new school year!
I haven’t taken a recent picture, but most of our summer to-do’s have been checked off!
Time to put our daily checklist back up in our office.  I like to have a list out and easy for my kids to see that details what they need to have done each afternoon after school.  This way I don’t have to nag and remind them about things like cleaning out their lunch box, feeding their turtles and loading their backpack for the next day.  They make sure to do everything on the list each afternoon and if they finish it all and still have some time, they can play.
If you don’t have a chalkboard or large space to hang to-do lists, another option is making each of your kids their own chore chart checklist.  (That was a tongue twister!) :)  These charts worked so well for us!  You can read more details on our chore charts and also see what I used to motivate my kids when they were younger here.
It’s also time to make sure the school supplies are organized and easy to use!  Nothing like new crayons and sharpened pencils. :)
We live in our office/craft room and this space goes from being a complete disaster to perfectly clean sometimes daily!
I’ve been working hard the past two weeks to get this space clean and organized and will be sharing more details on how I’m organizing all of the cupboards/drawers soon.  Setting up a clean counter space for kids to do homework for the new year makes such a difference.
This organized craft cupboard has been a dream.  It always looks this clean even with my kids in and out of it all day because they know exactly where everything goes.  If you don’t have a place for all of your paper and miscellaneous school/craft items, take some time to round everything up in one place and organize it all together.  In my previous house I was short on space and just used a kitchen cupboard.  You can see details on both of my craft cupboards here.
Moms all know that one of the biggest school headaches comes from all of the paper kids bring home.  The notes!  The forms!  The school work!  The permissions slips!  It’s never ending.  I have several ways I tackle paper in my home and I’ll be sharing more details soon, but one thing that has always helped us is having a set slot for each child to hold their ongoing homework and important papers.
My kids know that anything important they need to save for school will be in their hanging file!
Aside from paper, having a place for kids to keep their shoes and backpacks is another life saver when school gets rolling.  At the end of the year we gave our mudroom a major clean out so it’s all organized for a new year!
You can see details on how I’ve organized this space here.  If you don’t have a mudroom, check out this post to see how I created a make shift mudroom in my previous house where space was a premium!
Something about a new school year and buying new school clothes makes me want to clean out EVERY single closet in our house.
I shared details on my 10 year old’s closet yesterday in this post!  Went to a really happy place with my label maker on this one. ;)

Those are a few things you can do to help keep your kids on track once school starts, but what about you?  I love the start of a new school year because aside from organizing things for my kids, it’s a great time to get organized myself.
This week I’ve been organizing all things digital!  I’ve been cleaning off my computer desktop and organizing my picture folders.
You can see how I organize pictures on my computer in this post.
I’ve also spent some time reflecting on how I’m spending my days and what I can be doing better and more efficiently.  You all know productivity is one of my favorite topics!  Part of the reason I love that topic so much is because I feel like I still have a lot to learn in that area.  (My summer books have been fabulous and have helped a lot btw!)  One thing that really helped me last year was implementing my “week ahead prep” every Friday afternoon.  I’m going to be adding a few things to it this year that I’ll share at some point.  This made a huge difference for me as far as being prepared for each week ahead of time instead of scrambling day to day.
This visual to-do list I made for my office has also been a huge help to me.  Dumping your brain out this way is so therapeutic!  I don’t have to remember or think about all the details of my projects and to-do’s because they are right in front of me on this chart.
While I sometimes struggle with productivity, keeping my house clean and organized comes a bit easier for me.  If this is a goal for you this year, I shared my best tips on how to keep your house clean and organized in this post.  I hope it helps!
Also last year I wrote a post that included 10 things I do each year to get ready for back to school.  Some things are repeated in this post because I do a lot of the same things each year. :)  But there are also a few other things I’ve done in the past in that post that I didn’t mention today if you want more details.

{My little buddy’s new 1st grade wardrobe}

I seriously can’t believe my baby is going to be in 1st grade this year!  Fingers crossed I can get through drop off on the first day of school without having a complete and total meltdown like I did last year when he started Kindergarten.  Seriously!  I was a hot mess.  My husband had to take me to breakfast to calm me down and make sure I was going to make it through the day.  I almost didn’t. ;)

{Is it Friday Yet/Hello Friday/The Struggle is Real}

{Girls’ Back to School Wardrobe}

7th and 5th grade for these two. Middle school!  Time needs to slow down.
I hope these tips help with your back to school organization and get the new school year off to a smooth start!  Be sure to check out my friends’ blogs to see how they are getting ready for back to school!  Inspiration galore.

Now off to enjoy our last few days of summer!  The pool, these three kids and a big pink flamingo are calling my name. :)

Amy & Christy from 11 Magnolia Lane
Amanda from Dixie Delights
Laura from Duke Manor Farm
Becky from Organizing Made Fun
Abby from Just a Girl and her Blog


Sara from Sincerely Sara D
Julie from Less than Perfect Life of Bliss
Becky from This is Happiness
Sam from Simply Organized
Lauren from Bless’er House
Erin from Sunny Side Up (that would be me and you’re here) ;)

*affiliate links used

xoxo, Erin
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31 thoughts on “Back to School Organization

  1. Great round up post, Erin! I’m back to working so my time is at a premium and my energy level is pretty low when I get home. I so appreciate your tips at being more productive. I have a 10th and an 8th grader this year. What?! Seriously, where did the time go?? Next week is when it gets serious as football season starts and my 10th grader is in marching band! LOL Hope you have an awesome start to your school year!
    I hope you make it through that first day with your little big man!

    1. Oh my word Jeanne.. I can feel how tired you are from your comment! First few weeks back are so rough. I absolutely love a good marching band at a football game! I was on my high school and college dance team and danced at all the football and basketball game half times. When I think about every game and performance and competition my poor parents had to sit through! Oh my word! They were saints! :) Hang in there cutie! xo

  2. Love all these great ideas and tips, Erin! Best of luck as you start another school year. We start Sept 1st here. I have a 5th grader as well. So much change ahead. Hope you have some fun plans for the last weekend of summer!

  3. Oh Erin, I thought I was organized. You got it going on girl with all your lists….something that I need to do for the blog instead of just scribbling it down. Your children and precious and look just like you. I hope they have an amazing school year and that you had fun poolside.

    1. Thank you so much Laura! List are my favorite. :) Absolutely loved teaming up with you on this cutie! Can’t wait to read your post! xo

    1. Oh Mackenzie! I wish I could give you a big hug right now! And a box of tissues. :) I know I will be in the same boat on Monday. First day is so emotional! xo

  4. I feel like I repeat myself but I seriously loved it!.. I’m not kidding I read your blog then I go organize. ..I just need you to be my neighbor lol

    1. Heidi! You are such a doll. Thank you! I wish we were neighbors too! Although we might not get all that much done. ;) Happy weekend! xo

  5. I definitely need a morning and after school checklist this year! It will mean I don’t have to nag to remind every day:) Your organization is awesome – I LOVE that family office room!!

    1. Thank you so much Krista! So fun to hear from you. Oh my word I know! The morning and after school checklist is a HUGE help. I get so sick of nagging! Happy back to school cutie! :) xo

  6. Erin you have motivated me BIG TIME to get more organized! When back to school happened in our home two weeks ago, the boys still had last year’s backpacks hanging on their hooks in the mudroom with all of the old school stuff (and lunch boxes…gross!) from end of year. I have a “pencil” drawer in our kitchen that is kind of the catch all that is always a hot mess, not matter what I do. So I’m planning on tackling that one this week. Love all your inspiring tips! Hope the kiddos have a great first weeks of school!

    1. Thank you so much Shauna! Oh my word.. I’m a little slow on comments here, aren’t I!? Back to school has been brutal this year! We have lots of hot messes going on around here too. ;) Love you cutie! xo

  7. Hey I am in love with your light fixture in your school/homework room. Could you please tell us where you purchased it?!

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