Our Favorite Organizing Tips for a Smooth School Year

Happy Monday Tuesday!  Did you have a great long weekend and soak up those final summer days?  I actually refuse to believe summer is over and plan to continue on loving up our nice weather every last day that I can.

So.... the boys went back to school this morning!  It is always so bittersweet and I got a little teary during our family dinner last night as we chatted about how quick the months went by and thinking of how quiet the house would be during the days again.  Yet at the same time, it will be so wonderful to get back to a good routine and find a productive groove again.

In celebration of the back-to-school season, I thought I would round-up some of my favorite posts for organizing with kids throughout the school year.  We didn't do anything new this year because last year we finally buttoned things up and had a good thing going.  No need to fix what is not broken, can I get a cheers to that?

One of the best things we ever did was create a cubby system for the boys.  We used the IKEA Besta cabinets to give the kids a space for their everyday shoes / boots, backpack, lunch sack, study boxes and electronics.  These cubbies are low to the ground and right inside our front door, so they are easy for the boys to access and the clutter is concealed in a pretty credenza style piece of furniture.

Inside of each cubby, is a study box for each boy to use at the counter, table or desk while working on their homework.  Inside is everything they may need to get a worksheet or project completed, and I have found that giving them each their own prevents any "battles" between them.

When school projects go beyond the basics, or when the crafty mood strikes, our organized craft cabinet holds all of the rest of their art supplies.

To display their art projects and to keep track of those important daily school correspondences, labeled fridge clips do the trick to keep the entire family up to date.

What do you do with all of the daily schoolwork and art projects that come home each day from school?  I prefer to file away the best of the best in an annual file and recycle the rest.

Another item we like to keep within reach is reading material.  We have book stations all over the house and have especially loved these DIY crate book bins.

Our younger two boys like to do their homework wherever mom is.... our oldest prefers a quiet and private spot.  So, we accommodated his request with a work zone ideal for a teen.

Our oldest has also started to have a bit of a social life.  To keep track of sleepovers, football games, test days, etc... a DIY chalkboard calendar has given him control of his schedule.

What we have learned over the years is that dedicated zones / stations are the key to our success.  School cubbies work great for supplies while baskets and bins in the cupboard and fridge for packing lunches have been pretty life changing.  So easy to pull out everything needed to pack a balanced meal!

In fact, it works so well, we do it with our breakfast foods now also!

The breakfast and lunch bins streamline our mornings, as does having clothes set out for the boys ahead of time.  We let them select their daily wears, but have them do this the evening or weekend before {depending on the craziness of the week}.  This is one less battle to face in the morning when we have three boys to get on the bus in a limited amount of time.

And speaking of laundry, we still lovity love our laundry bin system

Cubbies for daily school gear inside, cubbies for sporting goods outside.  I guess you could say we are fans of cubbies around here!

Of course, all of these systems would fail big time if we didn't have some sort of routine in place.  A quick visual printable of our morning and evening routines for the boys creates consistency and prepares them for what is ahead each day {after school routine coming soon!}.

And for those of you who recently went school shopping and are trying to come up with ways to make the most of those empty shoe boxes floating around, I rounded up my favorite shoe box storage solutions for you below.

Wishing you all a super successful 2014 - 2015 school year!  I would love to know what other tips keep your school year running smoothly in the comments below.

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