Affiliate links to products I love may be included. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s that time again! I cannot believe my little girl is going into 1st grade! It’s cliche to say, but time does pass so quickly. Even though this is only my second year sending my child to school, I have ten years of experience as a teacher and know how important it is to start the year on the right foot. Here are a few tips that I have learned as a mom, professional organizer, and former teacher.
These are life. Especially in the lower grades and Pre-K, labels can help save you time and money. I personally use the company Name Bubbles, and I am obsessed with the durability, customization, and cost of these labels. I use them on everything that I buy for my kids. Pro-Tip: Keep some extra labels around for field trips, shoes, or any other items that are purchased throughout the year.
2. Create a set “drop zone”.
You do not have to have a custom mudroom, but you do need to think ahead about where you would like to create your routine. I promise it helps to think through these steps: When you come home, where do kids typically put their bags? Is the current system working? If not, how can you adjust this system to alleviate some of the morning and after-school hassles? For us, this meant adding hooks and a bulletin board by the garage door. Even if we do not come in through the garage, I make sure to remind my children that bags are put up by that door. Even at age five, Emma was able to follow the process and it was a huge help! We never lost a backpack or spent precious morning moments searching for school items. Sometimes all you need is a few hooks to create a system. The other key to “drop zones” is consistency, especially in the beginning. Remind kids each day where their shoes, bags, or clothes go, and it will start to become a habit…eventually.
3. Go through your kids’ clothes before the school year begins.
Eliminate early morning issues by weeding out clothes that are too small, stained, or otherwise ruined in some way. This has been the biggest help for my children and my clients’ children as well. If you take out clothes that cannot be worn, it makes getting dressed so much easier!
4. Rethink your routine.
Many of my clients have children in private school, and often we create a separate closet for their uniforms. It might seem silly, but it saves so much time keeping uniform pieces together! No one needs an actual coat closet in Texas, lol, why not turn it into the school uniform closet? Or use that closet for school bags and supplies? When you start to think outside of the box, you can rework your routine and reduce some of the daily stressors in your life.
5. Stock up on extras but don’t go crazy.
Your child will most likely need extra pens/pencils throughout the year, but you don’t need to overbuy much else. I frequently find long forgotten school supplies in clients’ homes. This can be a waste of space and money. If you do want to stock up on supplies, make sure to put them in a place where you will remember what you have. I’m all for a good sale, but try to only buy what you will actually use.
I hope these tips help you and your families to have a successful school year!