Tame the School Day Chaos with These 5 Simple Tips

3 mins read

It’s that time. School busses. Packed lunches. Homework. Do we love it or loathe it? I am sure it’s a sliding scale depending on the day, right? Every day can’t be perfect, but these 5 tips for creating systems and routine around school days will help you preserve your sanity while simultaneously giving your kiddos the skills they need to succeed every day.

1. Organize the Outfits

Start by setting your kiddos up for the week. Using a hanging sweater organizer, label each cubby with a day of the week. Have your child pick out his or her outfits for the entire week – including socks, undies, shoes and even that matching hairbow and place each one in the corresponding cubby. With one less decision (or maybe even argument that early in the day), your child will be at the breakfast table feeling less rushed and more ready for the day. BONUS TIP…spend a few minutes on Sunday with your child looking at the weather forecast for the week – it will be like mixing in science class with life skills and they will never know that this is called learning!

2. Prep the Pantry

Create a space in your pantry or in a cabinet designated for all things school day lunches – lunchboxes, snacks, protein bars, reusable containers, napkins…you get the idea. And keep these items within in reach for your little ones. And…unless you absolutely love packing lunches every day (in which case, I admire your drive)…pass this responsibility on to your children. Give them some guidance – 1 snack, at least 1 fruit or veggie, 1 treat, whatever that is for you and your family – and let them pack their lunch. You can sneak in that love note from mom when they’re not looking. BONUS: Have them let you know when their items are running low so you can add those to the grocery list. Less thinking for you…more independence for them.

3. Establish a Routine

Create an afterschool routine that works for you and your family. That may be empty your lunchbox, then snack, then homework. Could be play outside first then unpack and have a snack. Could be homework first. It’s up to you…but figure out what is best for your kids and stick to it. Kids thrive in predictable environments and daily tasks. Don’t hesitate to write down the steps of that routine and hang it on the fridge for everyone to see. Need inspiration…check out this cute list I found on Etsy.

4. Create a Drop Zone

In addition to that routine, create an afterschool drop zone. Give them a place to hang their backpacks. Whether you have a built in mudroom with lockers and cubbies or a simple command hook inside the door, this creates a very simple to follow routine. Where can they drop all the papers for you? Designate a space now – grab a magazine holder or a gorgeous basket that compliments your decor – and do this with the kids that first week of school so they get in the habit of using this system…while keeping your counters free of their clutter.

5. Stock the Homework Station

Finally…the piece de resistance…a homework station. Where is homework happening in your home every single day? Pick a space. Stick to it. And outfit it with everything the kids will need to do homework. Paper. Pencils. Calculators. Markers. Charging cables. Ipad Stylus. Etc. Knowing where to go and having everything they need within easy reach encourages independence in a way that is calm and predictable. You don’t need to have a room that looks like a classroom – grab a craft cart on wheels that they can pull on over to the kitchen table every day and they will be well on their way to magical homework bliss. (ok…ok…that may be a stretch…but you get the idea).

The bottom line to keeping the back to school chaos to a minimum? Have a system. Have a routine. And encourage your littles to be independent with both. Consistency in their little world helps to minimize anxiety and stress for both them and you and helps them build confidence along the way. Take a deep breath…break out those First Day of School Chalkboards and relish the 6 hours of quiet ahead of you each day friends! Happy School Days!

And…if this all sounds amazing…but you need a bit of help getting that pantry in order or setting up that homework space because the office needs to be completely overhauled and organized…we may know someone who can help! *wink wink

About the Author

Kathryn Gute is the owner of NEAT Chicago, Northwest Suburbs, with NEAT Method, a lifestyle service committed to providing a more luxurious and smartly appointed living space.

Recognizing that life gets hectic and that maintaining an organized home can become a challenge, Kathryn and her team design and implement customized solutions that are not only effective but sustainable and beautiful. They offer home and corporate organizing for all spaces and move/relocation services that ensure every detail is complete. Click here to learn more about Kathryn, give her a call at 440-668-0311 or send her an email at kathryn.gute@neatmethod.com.

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