As a parent, I feel that one of the most important tips for back to school is being organized. I have shared a lot of my tips in the past, however, there are still so many other tips that I haven’t mentioned. Most of these tips are very simple and will save you time, energy, money – and in the long run will save the environment too. Read on to learn my 6 favorite back to school organizing secrets – get organized now so the first day of school will run smoothly!
#1: Get Yourself Ready First!
Tip number one is the most important tip that I can give you – get yourself ready first! If you try to get your children and yourself ready at the same time each morning – you are going to be overwhelmed. When Eben was younger, I would get up a couple of hours before he did – while it may seem early, I was able to exercise, tidy up the house, shower and get myself ready – all before he woke up. I never felt stressed when something popped up – because I was ready, and I could jump in to help fix any of the morning mishaps. (and believe me, over the years, there were plenty!)
#2: Build Chores In!
All children should have chores. Chores are great on so many levels, they teach children responsibility, pride of ownership, it builds character, and what Mom couldn’t use a little extra help around the house. It doesn’t have to be a long list of chores, instead it can consist of making their bed, feed and take care of animals, tidying their bedroom and packing up their supplies for school. After school, you can add in a few more – walking the dog, unloading and loading the dishwasher, setting the table and helping pick up the house.
#3: Snack Station!
Giving your child easy access to the best, healthy snacks for school is easy when you incorporate a snack station in your pantry and refrigerator. When Eben was younger, we had a pantry snack station and a refrigerator snack station (you can see the lunchbox packing station here). It helped a lot too – because now that Eben is a teenager, he is pretty good at picking healthy snacks on his own.
#4: Breakfast is Ready!
Eben is not a cereal type of kid – he doesn’t like cereal, any cereal. Period. However, we don’t always have time or feel like whipping up a hot breakfast in the morning. Our solution, we make them ahead of time and either refrigerator or freeze them. This way he always gets his choice of his favorite breakfast items (these items are always healthier than a boxed cereal anyhow) and it makes for a quick and yummy breakfast time, with foods he will actually eat. And of course I also keep the refrigerator stocked with his favorite fruits and organic yogurt to go with breakfast too.
#5: Lunch is Ready!
If you have a lot of lunches to pack in the morning and find yourself spending too much time on it, consider packing your lunches the night before. Consider making a little more dinner, and packing the leftovers for your child’s lunch. Eben always loved this because he would have much rather had shish-ka-bobs, or a homemade soup for lunch over a sandwich any day! It is also a great way to give your child’s lunchbox menu a lot of diversity, the lunch is ready to go and your child is more likely to eat their lunch everyday.
#6: Bag the Equipment!
When Eben was younger, he had swimming as his P.E. activity – instead of running around every Friday morning looking for his swimsuit, swim shirt, goggles, sunscreen, and towel – I packed everything together in a bag and it stayed there. When he brought home the wet clothes on Friday afternoon, I would toss the entire bag in the laundry room and wash and repack the swimming bag for the following week. Then, it would go on a designated hook in our mudroom and would be ready to go. This same tip can be used for any sport or activity that your child has particular clothing for – just pack it and forget it.
What eco-friendly and time-saving secrets do you have for back to school?
Please leave your comment below – they support us all in living a greener lifestyle.