You guys…I cannot believe how fast this summer flew by! I swear school just got out, but now we are down to the last few days before Henry heads back to school next week. As such, I will be spending some time this weekend implementing (or rather, re-implementing!) some habits and systems that help our school year run a little smoother. From establishing drop zones for paperwork, backpacks and lunch boxes, to creating a homework station and getting our family calendar back on track, I’ve got some work cut out for me. And while I’ve got back-to-school organization on the brain, I thought I’d share some of our favorite projects we’ve used over the years. If you’ve have a kiddo who has already started or is heading back to school soon, be sure to check out these smart and easy DIY projects that can help you get organized for the new school year too!
Projects to Corral Paperwork
Although a lot of schools are going paperless more and more, there is still quite a bit of important papers and schoolwork that comes through the door. Here are some of my favorite solutions for sorting and keeping track of it all!
Wall-mounted pouches can be hung anywhere around the house using command strips and labeled for a variety of people or purposes. Hang them near an entryway, mudroom or command center to quickly catch and sort paperwork or mail.
If you have a tendency to pile it or file it and forget it, Magnetic Memo Boards are a great way to keep important notes and papers in eyesight for the whole family to see. Add a monogram or personalize with your home’s colors to make it as pretty as it is functional!
Cork rounds give a fun and decorative twist on the usual cork board, making for the perfect homework and art display board in a kids room.
Labeled clip magnets are a no-hassle way to sort paperwork while keeping everything in sight on a magnetic board or refrigerator. Use vinyl or sticker letters to spell out the names and phrases you need the most, then clip items up as soon as they come in the door!
I tend to use and stick to systems that are just as pretty as they are useful. As such, covering traditional file folders with pretty paper is a fun and easy way to tailor boring office supplies to your tastes!
Last year, I used a “Back to School Binder” to sort and corral school and activity paperwork. Having everything in one tidy, accessible spot made finding flyers, permission slips, passwords and schedules a breeze. It lasted the whole year through, and we’ll be certainly using it again this year!
Projects to Help Kids Be Productive
Whether it’s in his room, our playroom, or family spaces, I like to have a spot where Henry can color, write, read and be creative. Here are a few of my favorite projects to help kids feel organized and productive!
These book boxes are up-cycled from cereal boxes and transformed with the help of some pretty green scrapbook paper. They are an easy and budget-friendly way to help kids sort books, papers, projects and more.
Make your own DIY Binder Dividers by cutting tabbed rectangles from your favorite colors of cardstock. Personalize and customize for all your needs with tape and a label maker!
Creating a caddie full of necessary art and school supplies is a great way to make sure your kids always have what they need to get their work (or artwork!) done.
Projects to Keep the Household Humming
The start of the school year also usually means the start of extra curricular activities, meetings, practice and more. Try these projects to keep your household humming along amidst the busy seasons!
Put an end to charger stealing and cord confusion with this couldn’t-be-easier labeling project!
Keep electronic devices in a central location by creating a simple charging station from a desktop organizer. I don’t have a detailed tutorial for you here, but you can create one by simply drilling holes in the back of the organizer and in each divider. Place a power strip in the back file and string cords through to the front files!
Install a series of hooks to create a drop zone wherever you need it (e.g., inside the backdoor, at the top of the stairs, in the garage by the door, or even in a child’s bedroom). Hooks…whether they are pretty or plain, stuck on or screwed in, help keep hats, bags, and more off the floor.
Ever since I created my All-In-One Kitchen Binder, my weekly meal planning and grocery prep has truly become a cinch. Assemble one for your family in order to keep meal time stress low and healthy meals on the table even on the busiest of nights!
If you like or need to plan and shop for an entire month’s worth of meals, consider monthly meal planning. Although it requires a bit of effort at the start of the month, your meals and shopping can then (somewhat) go on autopilot!
Whether you need a chore chart, a “before school” routine, or a way to display weekly activities for your child, printable chore charts are a great way to keep kids on track and accountable for their household responsibilities!
If you’re anything like me, you may not have cracked open a planner or calendar all summer long. And if…also like me…you’re finding it hard to get back into the groove of planning and scheduling, pretty planner stickers might make it more fun! Tip! These stickers could also be used on a family calendar to display various events, chores, and outings!
If you are gearing up for a new school year, I hope some of these projects got your wheels turning about what systems and routines might help your family get into a groove. If you’ve found something that works wonders for your family at this time of year, please be sure to share in the comments.
Creating a “command center” of sorts is another key element in our family for surviving the school year grind, but I didn’t include it on this list because that’s where I’ll pick up next week. I’ll be showing you how I’ve added in “sneaky” storage to our recently made over foyer, as well as share some of my tried-and-true tips for creating command centers that work! See you then!