I’m not sure how it happened, but the calendar says it’s time so it must be true. For many of us, the start of a new school year begins today. Crazy to think how fast the summer has gone! Although I will miss the lazy mornings, the long, sunny days, and the relaxed vibe of summertime, I know our family needs the structure of the school routine. It may take a few days (or perhaps even a few weeks) to find our rhythm, but I know it’ll all fall into place.
This year I’m hoping to avoid frantic mornings and unnecessary meltdowns by following a few key things to stay organized.
- Make mornings easier. There never seems to be enough time in the mornings to squeeze in everything that needs to get done. To help give yourself a few minutes of peace, do all you can ahead of time to make mornings easier. Pack lunches the night before and have them ready to go in the fridge. Pick out outfits or lay out the school uniform the night before to avoid the “I have nothing to wear!” battle in the morning. If you can, plan for breakfast, too. Take stock of what’s in your pantry, fridge and freezer so you know what you can serve once the alarm goes off. Remember that Ashley’s Pastries offers a wide assortment of breakfast options – from pastries to donuts to muffins – so you can always pick up to have on hand to serve fresh in the morning. And don’t forget to program the coffee maker the night before so your coffee will be hot and waiting by the time you get to the kitchen.
- Have a designated spot for everything. When it’s time to rush out the door, there’s nothing worse than a missing shoe or misplaced backpack. Help avoid a frantic search by having a designated spot for everything – backpacks, shoes, coats, sports equipment, etc. and make sure each item goes back into it’s spot when you’re done with it. To help with this, utilize baskets in a closet, hooks on the wall near the door, and shelves for shoes. If you have multiple school-age children, make sure everyone has their own designated hook or basket or bin so they know exactly where to put their things. This not only helps everyone locate what they need, but it can also help with unwanted clutter all over the house. Bonus!
- Write it down. With so many items on our to-do lists these days, it’s easy to lose track of what needs done and who needs to be where and when. To help, write it all down, and keep it in a central place. Find what works for your family, and then use that system! That could mean a giant calendar in the kitchen, a dry-erase board in the hallway by the back door or syncing phones and tablets so everyone has access to a shared calendar. With older students, this helps everyone to be accountable for practices, project due dates, important meetings and appointments, and family events.
What other tips and tricks do you have that work for your family? Share them with us – we’d love to hear from you! And we hope, as you bid farewell to summer and wave goodbye to your students when they board the bus, that it’s a great first day and the start of a wonderful school year.