Summer went by kind of quickly but I have to admit, it’s just about the right length for me. By August I’m craving some structure and routine back in our days. We’ve got a little time left to wing it and have some randomly timed fun and then my kids go back to their classrooms the last week in August. There are a handful of simple things I rely on to make life easier during the school year. Maybe you’ll find something new to power your school days, too!
My Essential Back To School Items for Moms
I know, simple, but really this is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I’m not an early riser by nature and my daughter gets on the school bus at 7:13am. That’s early to have everyone up and out the door so I’m thankful for that cuppa java to get me moving. My favorite k-cups are Donut Shop. I’m sipping one now while I’m writing!
A White Board (with colorful markers).
Darn it, I’ve gotten to the age where if I don’t write it down I forget it. I have a white board in my kitchen so when I need to remember to send the kids to school with money for a field trip or snacks for a party I can have it in my face regularly until I’ve taken care of it and erase it. The colorful markers aren’t a requirement but they make my endless lists a little more fun. This is the set that I have. You can grab them in Target, too.
A cork board.
My kids come home with papers, papers, and more papers. Just email me people! When they have a flyer I need to remember, like Friday is dress-like-your-favorite-storybook-character (can we please skip this next year?), I post it up on my cork board.Where does a person find room for all these boards? Actually, my whiteboard and cork board are a combo. You can also possibly find this at Target. That’s where I got it a few years back. The cork is around the edges and plenty big enough for me to tack up the current need-to-knows. I also really like that this one is magnetic. Those markers I mentioned above are also magnetic so they work great together.
A pocket folder.
Another simple one but this is a big time saver for me. I have 2 kids and use one side of the folder for each of them. This is where I store papers and info that I reference regularly or want to save. Things like the school calendar, school picture papers, report cards, awards they’ve received, yearbook order forms, log-ins to any online sites the teachers encourage the kids to use, bus information, and daily schedules can be found in my folder. I keep my folder in my kitchen since that’s where I am most of the time when I need to access that info, but you could keep it wherever you wanted to. At the end of the school year I’ve got all the kids’ important stuff in one place and I can empty it out and store what I want to keep (report cards, awards, notes from the teacher) and discard what I no longer need (yearbook order forms, bus information, etc.).
A small storage tote.
This one is yet another strategy to attack the paper monster that comes in with the school year. You know the story: The kids come home with all kinds of cool stuff they did in school – art projects, some worksheets, some pictures they drew with their friends. And they want you to keep it. Forever. Ain’t nobody got room for that. So here’s what I do: Special stuff, like a cool art project, I hang up somewhere to display. I love to see their art and I know how much it means to them to have it visible in our home. The rest of it we go through together and either decide that it’s trash or if we don’t want to part with it, it goes in a small storage tote. When the tote gets full, we go through it. The passage of time is a big helper as far as making parting with your beloved math worksheet a little easier to swallow. The kids are much more willing to weed things out and get rid of them. The keepers go in an art folder. Each of my kids have one and they’re good for a few years worth of school papers.
Last year my daughter lost her lunch bag. And not just her lunch bag, but a personalized Thirty-One bag that had her name embroidered on it and held inside her soup thermos, a water bottle, a cloth napkin, utensils, and reusable bag. Probably $50 worth of stuff. Gone. Mommy was not a happy camper, particularly since I thought it should have shown up SOMEWHERE. Ugh. I can’t help but to assume it was snatched up by someone and with the hopes that lightning isn’t going to strike us twice, my new plan is to label everything under the sun with my kids’ names. Mabel’s Labels is a great place to shop for labels and they recently starting shipping all orders for free. Names are going on coats, shoes, lunch bags and everything inside of them, backpacks, etc. You name it, I will be labeling it. Hardcore.
I’m lining all these little things up as I get ready to rock a brand new school year. Simple stuff, but I’m organizationally challenged and it works for me. Especially when I put those k-cups first! 😉
Tell me, what things power your school year?