Learn how to declutter and clean your home to make school morning routines less stressful with these four tasks you should knock out before August.
It’s that time of year again…the kids are going back to school. Some parents dread this day after spending all that quality time with the kiddos all summer, while others are counting down the days, hours, and minutes to a little quiet time. And some parents are becoming homeschool teachers for the first time ever. However your kids are schooling this year, it’s time for you to do some pre-work.
I’m not talking about clothes shopping and supply gathering and frantically searching fun lunch box fillers on Pinterest. Although you do need to do all that stuff, you also need to get your home in order. By checking off these 4 boxes, your home will be in the best shape possible for sending the children off to a new grade, and keeping you sane during the next month or two.
1. Organize Your Entryway
This is where the kids dump all their stuff when they walk in the door everyday, and somehow by the next morning, half of it is missing sending you in a frantic All Out Search for Kid One’s homework folder and Kid Two’s field trip permission slip. Oh and the car keys, where the heck did those things go?
By organizing your entryway to work for you, hectic mornings will be a thing of the past. Think bulletin boards for important papers and lists, hooks for coats and backpacks, baskets for shoes and science projects, a small table for lunch box lineups and quick grab-and-go-items (like your oh-so-essential extra large travel mug of coffee) and a bowl for keys.
No entryway setup is alike because no family is alike. Think about what struggles you personally face in the mornings and organize your entry to fix those problems.
**If you’re virtually schooling this year, don’t think you’re in the clear. You should still give your entryway some love to make your life feel a little more organized and in control. Plus, you’ll thank yourself when the holidays start to roll in and you’re running errands like a madwoman.
For a perfect example of a hardworking entryway, check out this post.
2. Declutter Your Pantry
Nothing is more stressful than coming home after a late evening soccer practice and trying to figure out what in the world to feed your family for dinner. It’s 7:00, you’re tired, the kids are dramatically saying they’re starving, and when you look in your disaster of a pantry, you give up and throw some frozen dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and fries in the oven and hope your husband isn’t too disappointed.
And what’s even worse is when you have to throw away all those great snacks you bought because they were crammed in the back and went out of date.
School year weekdays are tough when it comes to packing lunches, feeding really early breakfasts, and quick, easy dinner prep. A messy pantry can really slow you down and leave you on the brink of a kitchen meltdown. Save yourself the panic attack by cleaning up your pantry now.
Throw out anything old, donate things you doubt you’ll eat, and add some storage containers to make finding what you need even easier.
**This is especially helpful for kids who are schooling home alone while you’re at work. A well-organized (and labeled) pantry will set your child up for success so they aren’t eating Cheetos for breakfast and lunch every day.
Check out my well-organized pantry here for some inspiration.
3. Tackle Kids’ Bedrooms
During the summer, they were home all day and had all the time in the world to play and put things away when they were finished. But now that over half of their day is spent at school, playtime has been drastically cut down. In just a few hours, they have to eat dinner, do homework, attend practices and games, help with house chores, and try to throw in a little fun with Legos if there’s time.
So with all that to do in such a short amount of time, keeping their rooms clean is nearly impossible. They are stuck with a three hour long job on Saturday when they could be out riding bikes and spending time with you. I don’t know about you, but if I were a kid, that’s not how I’d want to kick off my weekend.
Taking time now to implement decluttering and organization strategies in kids’ rooms will make their evenings so much better.
Put action figures and small toys in canvas baskets for easy and fast cleanup and portability. Switch out bulky container storage with difficult lids for light, open-topped bins. Make sure they have their own hamper so clothes don’t end up all over the floor. And donate any toys and clothes they no longer need or like to reduce the amount of clutter.
To see how I organized my son’s room, check out his old bedroom tour here. And his most recent bedroom update here!
4. Create A Virtual Workspace
If your children are going to school at home this year, don’t think you have to clear out a full room and turn it into a Pinterest-level homeschool room. All you need is a desk (or table) and a few small storage solutions. I love adding a caddy to hold all the school supplies and magazine holder for notebooks and folders.
Read this post for all my tips on creating a virtual workspace for kids in a small area and see what I did for my own son last year.
Have The Most Organized School Year Ever
These easy four steps are sure to get your home ready for the Back To School week and save your sanity (at least a little bit), but to really rock the academic year, grab my printable School Planner from the Organized-ish shop.
This back-to-school planner helps you shop for supplies, prep for the first day, keep up with important school info, and track grades and projects along the way. It’s the perfect BFF for parents of all school-age kiddos.
And the best part is it’s a digital download, so you can buy it once and reprint every year. Head over to the Organized-ish Binder Kit Shop for more details.
Originally posted July 30, 2017, Updated July 2021
You just reminded me that I have a very messy pantry waiting for me at home! Ack!!! I try and try, but it’s so difficult to keep it tidy. I always feel like I’m trying to put a square peg into a round hole.
I need a “command center” to keep track of everything and a “launching pad” where I place everything that is headed out the door with us in the morning.
Great article! Thanks!
Brad Gandy says
We’re glad to help, Rachelle! Start with the area that bugs you the most, and go from there. That’s the best way we know to keep ourselves motivated, and we’re proud of you for taking care of your pantry now instead of at the last minute on a school morning.
Lee Russell says
I think I borrow some for the work, thanks for sharing 🙂
Brad - Admin says
Happy to help, Lee!