5 Organisational Tips to Get Ready for Going Back to School

Get ready for going back to school with less stress

If the thought of getting ready to go back to school starts to bring you out in hives, no fear. Today, I’ll be sharing 5 tips to help you get yourself and your kids ready to get back into the rhythm of school. Your kids can get organised, they just need a few tools to help them!

1. Give your kids a routine

This is the most important – and can often feel like the most difficult. A routine is essentially a series of habits. And just like any habit, it can take a while to create one. But once it’s created, it’s actually pretty hard to break – or even if you step away from it for a while, it’s super easy to get back to it. (Just think about drug addiction!)

So creating a routine for your kids involves doing a series of actions that occurs in the same order each time. It’s both simplistic and challenging.

The good news is, that kids generally thrive on routines. Your kids probably have a few routines they already do every day. They just might not be the ones you want (like going to bed late)!

When you start to introduce a new routine, you’ll need to start small. Just like with habit building, it takes a while for the actions to become second nature. So just start with one or two actions that are done in the same order (preferably around the same time each day). Then when those items feel comfortable and “normal”, you can consider adding another action to the routine.

And before you know it, you’ll be building a routine for your kids that they’re going through without you having to coax or bribe them to do.

Things like keeping track of when projects are due to be submitted. Or regular activities they have coming up in the week can be put into their own Weekly Planner.

Kids items

  • Weekly Planner
  • Note Cards
  • Note Paper
  • Envelopes

One other thing I should mention about building routines is that our brains repeat the things we experience as ‘good’. This means that when you’re building these routines with your kids, it’s important for them to experience the routine as something positive. If there’s a lot of shouting, frustration and negative energy around the routine, your kids are not going to want to repeat it. This will cause a lot of resistance from their brains to the activity in an attempt to keep them in a space which feels comfortable and safe. That’s what our brains are hard-wired to do.

So try and keep it positive and light-hearted. Realise that habits take time to build. Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet for this one. But once built, routines are hard to break and can easily be returned to even if you take a two-week vacation from them.

2. Create a family schedule

Following on from a routine for your kids, is having a schedule for the family. Family schedules change all the time. Kids after school classes move around when your kid moves up a grade. Or the karate or ballet school changes their timetable and you just have to go with the flow.

A Daily Planner page and Weekly View page inside our stationery club.

Creating a family schedule is a like getting a masters degree in Advanced Logistics! There are often a lot of moving pieces and somehow or other, everyone’s got to be where they need to be with what they need to have!

This is why it’s important, as a parent, to be organised. And that’s where a Weekly Planner comes in. I recommend checking out my other post called 4 Tips to Organise Your Week. There’s a lot of great information there to help you get a handle on creating a weekly schedule.

3. Prepare for the week’s activities

Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.

Alexander Graham Bell

In order to help your weeks run smoothly, you’ll want to prepare as much as you can in advance. There are lots of things you can prep before your week begins. Things like uniforms and activity bags for swimming, ballet, karate etc. You can also prep your meals or non-fresh items for lunch boxes ahead of time.

Whatever you can get done in advance is a good candidate for weekend prep.

I recommend taking two or three hours on a Saturday or Sunday to do this. Firstly, make a list of all the things you’re able to prep in advance – towels for swimming, snacks, uniforms etc.

5 tips to help you get ready for going back to school with less stress.

Next, think about what systems you’ll need in order to be efficient in prepping these items. Will you have a designated space for Monday’s items and another space for Tuesday’s things? Or will you have baskets to contain all of Jane’s items and separate one for John?

Think about what you’ll need and how it makes sense to prepare those things.

5 tips to help you get ready for going back to school with less stress.

Perhaps it could mean arranging uniforms inside your closet with a label for each day of the week. Or having a separate back pack for each of your kid’s different activities so they know that on “swim day”, they’ll just need to grab their “swim bag” and everything is in there and ready to go.

4. Plan the week’s meals

I can’t begin to tell you how much headache it saves having a menu for your month and your week!

After years of running a childcare business in my home and being a homeschool parent for over a decade, I’ve found that meals take up so much time and energy. That’s why I highly recommend having a plan for meals in your home. After all, everyone needs to eat, right?

I’m a huge advocate of automation. And I do this in a big way with my family’s meals.

A Weekly Menu and Monthly Menu inside our stationery club.

Depending on your preference, and your family’s preferences, you could automate meals in a few ways. If your family doesn’t mind having meals on repeat, you could create a menu for the month and just rinse and repeat that each month.

If your family is bit more like mine and they like variety, then you might want to create a few monthly menus that you use on rotation. How many monthly menus you create will depend on how frequently you want to rotate your menu.

In my home, I have four monthly menus – one for each season of the year. So our summer menu is a month long and I use that menu for three months before switching it out for our autumn menu.

You could go the seasonal route like me, or you could simply have three or four menus that you use on continual rotation.

Whatever plan you choose, automate this task! Once it’s done, you’ll never waste a weekend planning out lunch options and flipping through recipes books thinking about what to cook this week. Unless you want to of course!

5. Declutter small clothes and outgrown books and toys

Decluttering is a crucial part of getting ready for going back to school. That’s because kids grow SO fast and if you don’t do a regular cull of your kids old, worn out, broken or small items, you’ll soon be drowning in mess and clutter.

Kids are constantly bringing things into the home and it’s important to keep things in their rooms and in your home at a manageable level. When there are too many things, it’s a lot easier for items to get lost. When your kids has fifty shoes, their football boot can easily go for a walk!

So make a plan to declutter your kids room before the start of school. You might also want to do a declutter of the entryway and the kitchen as well. Use a goal planner to help you stay on track.

A Goal Planner page inside our stationery club.

Something I like to do is to keep a plastic bag in my kid’s wardrobe to catch all their small clothes. I tell my kids that if they put anything on and it’s too small for them, to toss it straight into that bag. That way, I don’t have to sift through all their clothes wandering what still fits them! It’s all in the bag and I can simply grab that bag and take it to the charity shop!

5 tips to help you get ready for going back to school with less stress.

When your home is decluttered, going through your routines, getting out the door on time and finding what you need when you need it, becomes a WHOLE lot easier!

Your kids can get organised for back to school, they just need a few tools to help them.

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5 Organisational Tips to Get Ready for Going Back to School

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17 Comments

  1. I feel like most things in life work out better when there’s structure and a plan. I’m not looking forward to getting my kids back into a normal bedtime routine.

  2. Love your idea about putting a bag for outgrown clothes in your children’s closets! I’m going to have to try that!

  3. Decluttering is what I need in my life! With twin girls we get so many items and mostly double. We have plenty of clothes and toys that can be donated instead of taking up space for new items. Thank you for the organization tips

    1. I hear ya! I really feel like my kids items reproduce themselves during the night! 😆

  4. I have promised myself that we are going to have a better schedule for our family this year. I like these suggestions that you’ve shared.

  5. I always regret it if I don’t prepare for the week ahead. I have a hanging organizer where I can put all the kids clothes for the week in on Sunday. This helps alot!

  6. Lynn Armstrong says:

    I am so looking forward to the kids being back in routine. You shared some really good ideas to help transition into that!

    1. I hear ya! Sometimes, I think we need the routine as much as the kids! Lol!

  7. It is good to have some strategies for going back to school. Helps to be organized!

  8. Jimmy Clare says:

    Great tips for sure!

  9. This is so pretty! I can’t believe it’s back to school time again! Thanks for this helpful post!

    1. Thanks! Yes, it comes around quick, doesn’t it!

  10. I can’t believe school is starting soon! This post made me want to organize my kids’ daily schedules and get back into a morning routine. Thank you so much for posting