It seems like a lifetime ago that our ‘normal’ lives were disrupted by Covid-19 but now things are looking up ever so slightly. Among others, UK schools are set to open up from September which is only a few short weeks ago. After stockpiling school books, sports kits and uniforms in the back of the cupboard or the spare room during the lockdown, are you prepared for the back to school rush?
Let’s face it, going back to school after the lockdown is almost like a new school year and should be treated as such. This means there are many small details to sort through and keeping track of everything can often be overwhelming. After reading this article, you will be able to organise all those school goodies and get through the year with some amazing organisational hacks.
Preparing For Back To School
From storing papers and ensuring the kids do their homework to maximising time spent in the car and getting everyone out the door, these back to school organising tips can help.
How about no longer having to micro-manage everyone and everything? Well, these ideas could result in much smoother mornings, easier meal preparation and greater independence. That means you can have more quality time with the family instead of rushing around like crazy.
Preparing for back to school doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need to do is implement some of these organisational hacks at the start which will result in only spending a little bit of time on maintenance now and then.
Back To School Organising And Storage Ideas
As always, the big question is where the best place would be to start. The first thing you should do is tidy up the existing space so you can see what you have and determine whether you need more or less room. It’s usually in these sort of nooks and crannies where you can truly maximise on storage for school equipment and clothing.
Declutter Your Home And Clear The Cupboards
The best way to organise your home is by going through it one room at a time to avoid missing certain things in the process. Remember to first clear out what’s not needed from last semester before buying anything new. Here are a few simple home organisation tips when preparing for back to school:
- Items your kids haven’t used in a long time or won’t use any time soon should be sold, donated, given away or put into self storage
- Everything should have a place whether it’s the shelf, inside the cupboard, basket or drawers
- Before you go to the shop or online store, go through your child’s cupboard and any drawers to make sure they’re organised
- Get your child involved so they can try on items of clothing you may be unsure about
- Take an inventory of all the school goods your child has and what you need to buy
Create The Ultimate Homework Area
The lockdown has turned many parents into teachers and that means some may have already set up a dedicated homework space. This space should be within reach of their desk or work area so they can easily add or remove important items regularly.
Having a functional work space is important as it helps keep things organised, boosts creativity and productivity. If you haven’t, you first need to find a room or space in your home that works for your child. This will largely depend on your home layout, their age and how much assistance they may require.
If you don’t have a dedicated space for a desk, make your own mobile homework station. This can be a simple cart on wheels that you or your child can easily move in and out of the kitchen or living room when it’s homework time.
How to organise a homework area
Unlike a home office, a spot for the kids to do their homework can be in a communal area such as the kitchen, living room or at a desk in their room. Here are some essential tips for a good homework station:
- Organise the necessary tools and supplies in bins or baskets
- Colour code things if they are being used by multiple children
- Label every bin and basket
- Assign a spot to display artwork or notes of encouragement
- Be sure the space is well lit
- Hang a cork, magnetic or pinboard
The goal is to have a proper setup so your child can work in a more functional setup instead of from their lap or on the coffee table. This will help encourage good habits, better handwriting and space to spread out all their homework goodies.
Back To School Shopping
Shopping for back to school can be stressful which is why many of us want to get it over and done with as soon as possible. Thankfully, online shopping (eCommerce) is here to speed things up dramatically, making it super simple to buy school supplies and new clothes. Considering the current Covid-19 situation, most online stores have mobile shopping apps and offer delivery services.
School Uniforms and Supplies
Regardless of where and how you shop, try to involve the kids in the process as much as possible. It’s just easier that way as they might mention a few things you may have forgotten about. Make a list of the required or recommended supplies from the school and keep it handy while shopping. It will help keep you and your kids on track and it’s easy to cross items off as you work through the order.
If you see a back to school special, don’t be afraid to splurge a little and get more than what is required. Think about the accessories or supplies that children use most at school, such as markers, erasers and glue sticks among others. When the price is right, buy in bulk especially these particular items as they will inevitably run low faster than you realise.
Create A Functional Mudroom Or Entry Space
Back to school means loads of clutter, including paper, books, backpacks, coats, shoes, hats, scarves and gloves. The only way to keep the clutter at bay is by having a functional entryway or mudroom. A designated spot for each child’s backpack and belongings will make it easier for them to keep everything neat and tidy.
Even home without much space can have a mudroom of sorts. All you need to do is add a few hooks on the wall for backpacks and coats while adding crates underneath are ideal for shoe storage. By keeping everything you need at the door, you won’t have to run around the house looking for stuff when you are pressed for time.
Pack A School Essentials Bag
How often has your child forgotten something at home as soon as you get to school? You can avoid some of those situations by creating a range of school kits for the car. One can have spare chargers and batteries, another one for first aid or stationery like a calculator, extra pens and pencils.
Stay Connected And Plan Everything
Staying connected in today’s digital world is easier than ever, especially with family calendar apps to make sure everyone is on the same page with schedules. You can colour-code tasks, set up reminders and editable shopping lists so you’ll never forget when it’s your turn to do something. Four popular family calendar apps are Cozi, CloudCal, Timepage and DigiCal.
Digital calendars are powerful tools in your back to school belt but you can also be organised the old-fashioned way. Put important events or tasks where everyone can see the week or month at a glance. Use a dry-erase board, chalkboard or even index cards and hang it from a clothesline with pegs or pins. Keep things organised and easy to follow by colour-coding tasks for each family member.
Important Document In/Out Bins
With all the school paperwork, documents and updates that need your attention set up a simple in and out bin system. Your kids can put papers that need signing in the ‘Inbox’ and collect them in the ‘Out tray’. This makes it easy for you to go through and with some practice, the whole family can benefit from this system.
Recommended: ‘Smart Storage Solutions For School Equipment’
Back To School And Self Storage
During the Covid-19 lockdown, many of you probably stored school books, sports kits and uniforms at the back of the cupboard or the spare room. With schools going back in September, there’s no time like the present to take everything out, see what you have and sort what you need.
It’s important to plan for storage whether it’s at home, the garage or a self storage unit. At Space Centre, we don’t tie you to long-term contacts and there is no fine print or hidden costs. Our prices remain the same for at least 12 months and you can store with us without having a minimum rental period.
Our storage units are clean, damp-free, secure and accessible with facilities in Gloucester, Bristol, Stroud and Stonehouse. Visit our website for more information or contact us to reserve your unit and be ready for the back to school transition.