The summer is coming to an end and as if its madness isn’t enough, the transition back to school can make life at home even much messier and busier. The program is now going to be a mixture of both the last days of summer and the school activities. The house is obviously full of those wet beach towels that have been in use during the holidays and those important school books & papers. Below are a few ideas that will greatly help you organize the holiday chaos before the school begins.

1) Clean the fridge out (& off) and then re-stock.

The first thing is to clear the front of your fridge by removing those already happened wedding invitations, those camp art projects etc. This will signal the start of the new season and leave that space for the phone numbers and other important papers that yours little ones will bring home from school.

Next, you need to clean the inside of your fridge by getting rid of all those leftovers from picnics and any other unnecessary stuff. Make some ready for grab–and–go breakfasts, packed lunches and even after school snacks. Anything quick will be very convenient mostly during those first days when the family is still adjusting to the new schedule. A basket full of fresh fruits will also come handy.

2) Organize the closets & clothes

A new outfit for the first-day-at-school is a childhood tradition. Before you make an addition to your little one’s wardrobe, it is good to go through the closet carefully and remove all the outfits that they have outgrown. You should also remember that the weather is probably changing soon and so check if your kids may need some new warmer clothes for the coming weather.

Clean & organize the closet and dresser nicely and it will be much easier for everyone to start the day every morning. It is important to create a laundry system and stick to it so that everything runs smoothly.

3) Create a scheduling center

This is your family’s Mission Control and should therefore be at the central place in your home (e.g. the entryways or the kitchen). You may need to keep things like a calendar, the address book, the filling system, notepads (used to take phone messages) and lots of pens because they often seem to disappear when needed.

Note that, most of the paperwork get sorted here before they are kept away, signed and/or sent back to school. You should therefore come up with a system for paperwork and let everyone familiarize himself/herself with it thus avoid any unnecessary confusion.

4) Make mealtime easy

Meal planning does not only help to save money & time but it also helps a lot especially during rush hours (for instance when running home from a PTA meeting or work).

Create a menu and do not forget to come up with a master shopping list for the week’s preparation. This will guide you on what to cook when everyone in the family is hungry and will ensure that you do not waste ingredients.

Keep the week’s menu on the fridge and this will not only remind you on what to cook but incase anyone wants to know what is for dinner, they can simply check from the menu.

The first few weeks of school are going to be quite busy so you should prepare some extra meals and keep them in the freezer and this will make things much easier. You can also set up a coffee station in the kitchen where the grown ups can easily grab a to-go mug.

5) Tackle the entryway and mudroom

There are a lot of stuff that come with school, for instance- lunch bags, backpacks, artwork, library books and even gym bags. The drop-off point for all these items will be the entryway or mudroom and will quickly become very messy if there is no system. You need to come up with a plan and let everyone know about it so that when they get home, every person knows their designated spot for their backpacks, shoes, jackets and any other item.

It is important to come up with these routines at the start of the school year so that when the school program begins, you will not have to run up and down. It may take sometime for everyone to adjust to the transition but if you have a good system in your home you will avoid unnecessary stress and focus on enjoying the new, exciting school year.

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