Back to school time is just around the corner. If you’ve been taking the summer off from cleaning and organizing (as much as a parent can) like I have, some spots in your home may be getting cluttered and messy. In the last few weeks leading up to the first day of the new school year, I’m going to be hitting some spots to reset before school starts.
What’s a Reset?
Wondering what a reset is? It’s smaller scale organizing, simply putting things back where they go rather than a full-blown organizing project. Going all-in on organizing usually entails taking everything out, sorting through huge piles, and purchasing some bins.
Resetting a space keeps systems you already have but tidies them up. You’ll probably find a few things to let go of, but that’s not the goal. The goal is to hit the reset button on the organizing you did last time.
Resetting is a quick job that only takes a few minutes. Because I have systems in place, hitting the five spots to reset before school starts in this list took me about an hour.
Why a Before School Reset?
It’s not just school that starts when school starts. It’s a more hectic pace, it’s homework, projects, and fall sports. Nights get crazy. Weekends get busy.
When you do a before-school reset, you help set yourself up for success. An organized and decluttered home will help you ease back into school routines, keep evenings more calm and mornings less chaotic.
Finding essential items before you need them makes everyday tasks easy. Don’t get me wrong plenty of issues will arise, but at least you’ll be able to handle most things without fanfare.
Hitting some hot spots before school starts will help the transition go well.
Spots to Reset Before School Starts
Everyone’s spots to reset before school starts will be different, just as everyone’s homes and needs are different. Here are 5 places I prioritized.
The LAST thing you want to deal with in the morning is a clothing crisis. Checking closets now, when there’s less pressure, will help make mornings easier.
Check Sizes & Quantities
Make sure your kids have enough clothing to get them through a few weeks. Check socks, underwear, and shoes.
While you’re at it, make sure all kids’ clothing is organized neatly. Walk your kids through where the items belong. Doing this will ensure that kids can get dressed independently.
Depending on the kid and the situation, it may be a good idea to talk with your kids about what you expect them to wear to school. Talk about the followign topics:
- Which clothes are for play
- Which clothes are for school
- What to do with dirty clothes
- When shorts are okay and not okay
- Where sports uniforms are
If you don’t have a lunch station… why not? Haha.
What’s a Lunch Station?
A lunch station is a spot in your kitchen where all the lunch items are kept. Packing lunches is easy, and the kitchen stays less crowded (kids pack lunches after dinner while adults clean up, so that’s important for us).
What’s in a Lunch Station
Our lunch station includes:
- Lunchboxes (these are our favorite – they last years and are easy to toss in the wash)
- Reusable sandwich bags (just grabbed these – so inexpensive!)
- Thermoses (one of these per kiddo)
- Water bottles
- Small containers for snacks (similar to these)
Everything is low and easily accessible for the kids. We also make a big effort to use reusable products instead of single use plastics. We *try* to be as plastic-free as possible, but we can’t always do it.
To organize this space, take everything out, evaluate how useful the items are, and then put the ones you use away neatly. Group like items together and use a bin or two to contain smaller objects such as reusable bags and water bottles.
Show everything to your kids so they can find what they need when packing lunches.
The entryway is especially important to have decluttered when school begins because it’s sure to quickly becoming a dumping spot for shoes, backpacks, coats, and everything else the kids bring to and from school.
We created a backpack station on an open wall for kids to hang their bags — this helps keep them off the floor.
Minimize & Organize
Go through your entryway and remove any unnecessary items. Keep only the everyday shoes and other essentials. Put all non-essentials in closets and pull them out when needed.
Organize what’s left in the space. Instead of grouping like items, I prefer to group items by who they belong to in a mudroom. Each person in our family as a bin for their shoes, a hook for their coats, and a hook for a backpack.
Encourage kids to put away their shoes and hang up their backpacks as soon as they come in from school (they won’t, but you can ask anyway).
Having a dedicated homework spot in our home is helpful for streamlining out afterschool routine and maximizing efficiency when doing homework. We have a homework station, but a desk in a bedroom or a kitchen table work just fine.
Wherever your kids do their homework, keep it neat, simple, and well-stocked with everything they need to sit down and focus.
What to Keep at a Homework Spot
Our homework station also doubles as an arts and crafts area, but here are some supplies to make sure to include for homework:
- Lined Paper
- Plain Paper
- Pencil Sharpener
- Color Pencils
- Index cards
- Flash Cards (if needed)
Stock a caddy or a bin with these materials and then tuck it away when not in use.
Our last stop on the get-ready-for-school train is the bathroom. Choose whichever bathroom is most essential to your mornings.
Minimize & Organize
Again, minimize what’s kept in the bathroom keep mornings running smoothly, then organize what’s left. Make sure the essentials are accessible and the items you need are front and center.
We have a full bathroom upstairs and a powder room downstairs. To prevent kids from disappearing upstairs when it’s time to leave, we keep what we need for doing hair and brushing teeth in the downstairs bathroom in a caddy.
Spots to Reset Before School Starts
Once you get these 5 spots reset, the transition from summer to school should be easy breezy… well, as long as you’ve got the school supplies, new shoes, new clothes, lunch snacks, and the million other things you need.