Get Organized for Going Back to School

I know the last thing you want to do with your children in the summer is think about how to get organized for going back to school. However, I assure you that a bit of preparation over the next few weeks will pay off big time once the first day of school hits.

Summer can offer the downtime you need to prepare for the new school year. If you have limited time or don’t know where to start, you could hire a professional organizer to help you declutter. When working in a home with school-age children, professional organizers almost always find a collection of school supplies, artwork, notebooks, and more. Typically, the children dumped their stuff somewhere on the last day of school and promptly forgot about it. Sometimes they chuck the entire backpack full of school supplies into a closet. Then, by the time the back-to-school season comes, the backpack has disappeared under a sea of clutter.

It can be overwhelming. But don’t despair. Here are five easy steps to declutter and organize your children’s back-to-school stuff.

messy pile of school supplies on a table representing how to get organized for going back to school
Image by Gábor Adonyi from Pixabay.

1. Don’t Procrastinate! Do It Now

As with any time-sensitive project, it’s important to start now. Do not wait until the week before school starts. The longer you let these tasks linger, the more difficult it will be to find time to complete them. This week, set aside a few hours to tackle your kids’ school supplies. Please involve your children in this process. You might be surprised by what they decide to let go of.

2. Gather Everything

Take 15 to 30 minutes to go through your home and find all the leftover school-related items. You may find several years’ worth of stuff if you haven’t gone through this process or done it in a while. Please take a deep breath so you don’t feel so overwhelmed! Sometimes the hardest part of the process is putting everything in one place because it brings you face-to-face with the quantity you accumulated. And that can be a bit intimidating. But rest assured; you can do this by working on one step at a time.

3. Sort and Discard

Sort everything into categories. Keepsakes could include report cards, photos, awards, and some artwork, but please minimize what you keep. You will also have school supplies, backpacks, lunch boxes, clothes, and shoes. To help decide what to keep, ask yourself these five questions:

  1. Is this item dirty and/or damaged beyond repair? If so, let it go.
  2. Do we want to make space for it? Remember, you need to be able to find it again.
  3. Is there anyone else who may need it more than we do? Donating items to families in need is an important lesson to teach your children.
  4. Will a picture of my child’s artwork/creation be enough to help us let go? Digital pictures are a great solution, especially for larger items.
  5. Do we have more than we need? If you have room, keep the extra for next year. If not, please pass extra items along to someone else.

4. Make a List and Purchase Additional Supplies

Create a list of all your supplies for the new school year. Next, check off the items you already have at home. Then, head to the store as soon as possible and purchase what you still need. Don’t wait until the day before school starts when the stores are jammed with those unlucky people who didn’t get organized for going back to school.

5. Store Everything in One Location

Make it super easy to get ready for school by storing your children’s supplies in labelled bins in a closet. Use plastic zipper-seal bags to sort and separate items. Ideally, you should store items in several smaller, well-labelled bins so your children know where to find supplies when they need them throughout the year.

Once you have completed the steps to get organized for going back to school, reward yourself and your children with an activity you will all enjoy.

Leave a comment