Are you stressed out thinking about the chaos that comes with back-to-school? Organization is key! Here are 30 ideas for school organization at home that are sure to help – includes homework stations, backpack storage, and family commander centers!
The Back to School Chaos
“Mrs. Landry, I promise, I did my homework. I have no idea why it’s not in my backpack,” (said while pulling out a never-ending stream of white 8.5×11″ sheets of paper…).
If I had a dollar for every time I heard that during my teaching career, I could have quit long before I left to have my twins.
So many kids struggle with organization, and truth be told, it can be really hard to teach and enforce at home when, as a mom, you feel like you are just swimming in the chaos.
Organization and Systems are Key!
I’m a huge fan of systems and processes, and adding a few of school organization strategies to your home at the beginning of the year can be so beneficial to your child’s success during the school – and to your sanity.
Below are 3 ways you can begin to organize your child and your home to have it ready for the school year: homework stations, backpack zones, and family command centers.
Take a look at these ideas, get some inspiration, and see what is doable for your home. It’s not meant to put more pressure on you, but with just a little bit of pre-planning before the craziness of the school year starts, you and your child will be set up for a much smoother, less frustrating school year.
Many of these ideas overlap. You may want to put the backpack storage in the command center as well as some homework supplies. You might want to put backpack storage at the homework station. You’ll also see that you can mix-and-max a lot of the inspiration pictures as well. You really can custom-create what will serve your family. Whatever space and functionality work best for you – go for it!
At the end of the post, you’ll see a supplies list for some of the important items you may need to purchase to set up your home for school organization!
And be sure to visit the original sites. LOTS more ideas to help are there for your taking!
Other Tips and Routines for School Organization
Dinnertime Meal Planning – Dinnertime can be such chaos during the school year. Having your meals planned out ahead of time goes such a long way! Here are 30 Easy & Healthy Weeknight Dinners you can choose from to make life run a little more smoothly. And here’s my favorite way to meal plan!
Lunch Planning – Having lunches made the night before cuts down on a ton of morning drama. If your kids are old enough, add making their own lunches to their chore list. And having convenient healthy grab & go snacks (all organic!) ready can make things much, much easier. You don’t need to sacrifice ease for health!
Clothes Planning – Picking out outfits the night before also cuts down on potential screaming matches before the bus comes. Making sure clothes are clean and ironed can help a lot also.
Backpacks Packed the Night Before – Making sure homework is in the backpack and all papers are signed the night before also cuts down on drama trying to get out the door.
Breakfast Planning – Whatever you serve your kids for breakfast, having it ready to go ahead of time is key. Knowing what they are going to eat ahead of time makes a big difference. And it can even be something you baked and froze ahead of time, and now it just needs to be popped in the toaster or microwave.
Having something simple, even if it’s just cheese sticks or protein bars or yogurt pouches, something they can eat at the bus stop or on the bus will help them get started with some healthy energy.
Tips from Your Child’s Teacher
Home is just one side of staying organized for the school years. Teachers also have a lot of valuable input when it comes to having a successful, productive year. If you really want to up your game and get ahead of the curve, take a look at 10 things teachers wish parents knew!
Ok, let’s get ready to get your house ready for back to school!
30 Lifesaver Back-to-School Organization Ideas for the Home
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Having a designated place for homework goes such a long way in productivity for kids. It saves so much time when all of the supplies are right in one place, and they know that when they sit there, they need to get down to business. A few pointers for homework stations:
- Make sure your homework station is distraction free. It should be in a quiet place. No TVs. A cell-phone-free zone.
2. All the supplies they need should be within reach. This will save a ton of time, and it will also cut down on their excuses to leave the station to hunt down supplies (i.e. waste time).
3. If your child needs supervision, it should ideally be someplace where you can keep an eye on them, while you’re making dinner or doing something else.
4. You know your child. Whatever your child needs to be productive, provide it. If your child needs background noise, classical music is a good choice. If a timer would help, put one on the desk.
5. Get your child involved in decorating it and setting it up, so there’s a little more ownership there.
6. Identify whether your kids can work together or need to be separated. Separating might require a little creativity, but the time and energy you’ll save in drama and breaking up fights will be worth it!
This is just a simple caddy (you can find similar ones for cheap at Dollar Tree) with cups filled with supplies. Just having everything handy in one place really cuts down on wasted time (intentional or not!) trying to find supplies.
Here’s another supply cart that takes it up to the next level. A rolling cart can be moved to different locations, and you can definitely expand the items that will be accessible to your kids. This can be a great choice if you know your child has lots of different kinds of projects and needs lots of different kinds of materials.
This homework station has all the feel of a command center, but really focused on the child and what he needs to accomplish. I love the whiteboard with washi table for a calendar you can change up. Supplies are hung up for easy access, and each child has his own clipboard.
With a space like this, I think many kids wouldn’t mind doing homework! Bulletin boards, baskets, adorable curtain rods hung with buckets of supplies. This is amazing. This set up for 2 children, so if you know your kids can work side-by-side, this is a great option, without having to create 2 separate spaces.
The shelf above this desk does all the heavy lifting for organization. Color-coordinated baskets filled with supplies, books, and having a clean, non-distracting workspace is especially helpful for kids who are easily distracted.
If your kids can’t work side-by-side, this is a great space-saving option! A table divided by a bookshelf provides an organized area for both kids to work, without getting on each other’s nerves! Love this option!
Those foam tri-fold project boards are a great option if you need to separate your kiddos. It doesn’t have to be fancy – or even permanent – to provide each child with his own work area. I like this choice because your homework station can be at your dinner table, where you can keep an eye on them, but it’s easily removable for dinnertime.
This is such a great set-up using a table divided by a file cabinet. The clipboards hold all kinds of important info, and each child has his or her own bulletin board! Great solution for all the artwork they bring home!
The hanging buckets with school supplies are a real winner for homework stations, and this over-the-chair holder is another great idea to keep things neat and accessible!
This homework station is so kid-friendly and inviting! Bold colors make it super-interesting, and the clothesline type string with clips is another fantastic place for important papers or displaying artwork.
School Organization: Backpack Storage
This is the one thing that plagues so many moms – the backpack storage debacle. Usually, kids are running through the front door, backpacks dropped upon entry, and it just creates such a huge eyesore. Having a designated spot for backpacks not only cuts down on the mess, but it really helps when everyone is a rush in the morning and trying not to miss the bus. If everyone knows where his backpack is, it minimizes so much morning stress.
Ideally, if you can arrange to store jackets, shoes, and lunchboxes nearby as well, it will help so much.
If you have a mudroom, that’s a great place. Or, if your garage is conveniently located, that’s another fantastic spot. I know some houses aren’t really set up like that, so the trick is to find a functional location that looks neat. There are many ways to do that in an entryway space, or even if your front door opens right up into your living room.
One thing that I think really helps moms is to realize that, while we’d like our homes to look like something straight off of Instagram, the reality is that kids live there. It’s OK for it to look like kids look there. It can still be neat and organized, even if it has the ‘kid decor’ look.
So simple, clean and neat: a bulletin board for papers and a hook for the back-up. This is great if minimalist is your style!
This is a super-functional area, not just for the backpacks, but with personalized bulletin boards with calendars as well! This is a great solution if you’re trying to keep track of backpacks and other important items for several kids.
This is a super-cute locker storage area! You can see backpacks, jackets, lunchboxes, and shoes. I bet this goes a LONG way in getting the kids out the door without the chaos!
14| From Mom Trends
The shelf with the hooks is a perfect solution for any space you need to hang backpacks. The calendars above are an added bonus. If you’re concerned about style, the shelf is also another way you can add in some home decor without it looking too ‘school-ish.’ The plastic mats for shoes below solve so many problems at once (lost shoes, dirt trekked through the house, etc.).
Love this simple, stylish look for backpacks. Keeps things classy!
These pegboards with shelving above add a stylish, vintage look to the entryway. Again, having a shelf above the hooks is another to throw in some home decor to a functional space.
Here’s another win for the minimalist, clean look. Simple hooks, clean boards with initials and chunky clip. Covered all the bases.
This is a great example of using a small space to maximum functionality. Having 2 rows of hooks just doubled the storage space, and who even knows what kinds of magical things you can put in the bench while you’re at it? Great space.
This is another example of a stylish space that serves your needs. Again, 2 rows of hooks = double the space. And the paneling behind it just takes it up a few notches as far as style goes.
If you’re lucky enough to have this kind of space in the garage, this is ideal. Shoes, coats, backpacks, umbrellas, instruments – that never actually have to enter your house? This is every mom’s dream. Let your imagination run wild with this one!
School Organization Family Command Centers
For any organization geeks, a family command center is where it’s at. This one will probably help you more than the kids, but it’s really an essential for everyone. You can put menus here, bulletin boards with important papers, calendars with everyone’s important events – the sky is the limit here. Whatever YOU need to have at your fingertips at a moment’s notice should be there. I even keep a calendar of when bills are due posted (that doesn’t help the kids, but it sure helps me!)
This can also save on the million questions you get asked on a daily basis. Just point them to the command center.
There are SO many fancy and adorable office-type organizational ideas that this space can DEFINITELY be pretty AND functional.
Look closely at these ideas. Filter through them and see what will really serve your family best. You know your family best. You know what information and what items will help keep you organized. There’s so much inspiration here! This might really end up being your favorite space in the house!
A color-coordinated whiteboard calendar, galvanized buckets for supplies, and folders for each child. This is a perfect home base for a family info station.
First, I love the clean, black-and-white look. But this mom has her act together: calendar, receipts, coupons, budget, mail – so well done.
I love this example of combining a gallery wall with a command center. Decorative wall art along with all kinds of useful menus, shopping lists, and calendars. Well done, here!
24| From Hoarder
This includes all the farmhouse feels! Did you see that doorknob that’s holding the clothesline for the art?!? Love it! You’ve got a daily chalkboard calendar, baskets, buckets, a menu – pretty and functional. Two thumbs up from me!
This is a great area that has not only a menu, calendar and a bulletin board, but I love the chore charts that are included. The kids know exactly what’s expected! And the inclusion of a yearly family theme? Love it.
26| From Function Mania
This is a great example of a color-coordinated space for a command center. The wall art, calendar, bulletin board and the labels on the basket tie the whole space together. Coordinating colors is another great way to keep a unified look.
27| via Pinterest
These big chalkboards are amazing, and I love that they really are somewhat non-commital – so easy to change out a chalkboard! Storing keys as well as backpacks here pretty much ensures that this wall will get a look on the way in or way out. Great job.
This is another great example of a command center with a farmhouse look. This center has a space for each child, which makes it not functional but adds ownership to the area as well. Personalized wire baskets, hooks for backpacks and calendars really teaches kids to own their own space.
I just love this bright cheery space. “Happy” is definitely the word here! Labeled file bins, magnetic board, calendar, hooks and baskets – being organized definitely doesn’t have to be boring!
All the important elements here – bins for each child, calendar, chalkboard/bulletin board, supplies – and there ya have it! 🙂
Master Supply List
I hope you’ve gotten yourself some good inspiration for what you need to do to get organized for the school year. Next up is supplies. I suggest hitting up Dollar Tree or someplace like that first for some of these items. Make sure the quality is what you need, but for some generic basics, it’s a good place to start.
Next, my go-to is Amazon. Their prices are comparable with Walmart – or better – and free 2-day shipping for Prime members? Yes, please! (If you’re not a Prime member, you can get a 30-day trial here!)
Below is the master list of supplies you’ll need. Browse through the list and click for lots of options in each category!
For Homework Stations and Command Centers
HANGING ORGANIZATION SUPPLIES
WALL DECOR AND HANGING BOARDS
I am a sucker for a good organizational hack. There are so many ways you can really personalize these ideas and put them together in a way that fits your house and works for your family. As a teacher, I can vouch for the fact that school organization at home is essential for a child’s success. The more you can incorporate some organizational strategies at home, the better off your child will be.
I know parents and kids and teachers experience the beginning of the school year so differently, but having back-to-school organization systems in place make the transition easier for everyone!
Thought? Leave a comment – I’d love to hear them and chat!
If you think others could use these ideas, too, please pass it on! 🙂