Getting Organized for Back to School!
By Jacquie Ross

Getting ready for back to school can be bittersweet.  Summertime is a great time to connect with the kids and not to have to worry about homework, projects and afterschool activities, but a change of routine to a more structured day may also be welcomed.  However, if the upcoming school year brings on feelings of anxiety due to the chaos of last year, I have some valuable organizing tips to help smooth the way.

1.Back to School Supplies

Stocking up early on back to school supplies is wise and will prevent a last minute panic to the stores.  You can also save money by taking advantage of the sales and buying a little each week.  Purchase extra supplies to keep at home for homework and study time.  Try to also purchase your children’s backpacks early, so that you have a better selection to choose from.

2.     The Trendiest Dorm Room
Your teenager’s dorm room can be outfitted in style without breaking the bank.  Manufacturers are adding style to organizers geared for teens and have some great products to help your college student be more. 

3.     The Organized Hallway & Mudroom

If you’re constantly tripping over backpacks and shoes in your hall or mudroom, it’s time to get organized!  Make it easy for the kids to hang up their backpacks and put shoes away.  Use wall hooks, cubbies and baskets.  Kids love having their own stuff, so if you have enough space, give each child their own hook, cubby and/or basket and make it easy for them.  Check out the shoe storage options on

4.     Fully Equipped Study Area

Set up an area dedicated for your children to do their homework or study.  Good study habits will help them throughout their life.  Consider giving up an area in the dining room, or another area in the home that isn’t equipped with a television!  A quiet space with good lighting, a comfortable chair and one that includes all necessary supplies and reference books is ideal.  Office organizers with slots for files, books, pencils and manuals will help to keep the area neat and easy to maintain.

5.     School Papers Galore
As if we didn’t have enough paper!  When school is back in session, we’re bombarded with flyers, notices, permission slips, artwork and more.  What’s a parent to do?  For schedules and other reference material there are some great products available that will hold schedules, phone lists, to do notes, and more. 

Once you’ve set up your new organized systems, talk to your kids about their responsibilities to keep the systems up.  It may take a few weeks for them to get used to it, but once they begin to see how it makes you feel to be more organized, they are more likely to do their best to keep it up!

About the Author:

Jacquie Ross is a Maryland based Professional Organizer, writer and owner of CastAway the Clutter!  A member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, she teaches homeowners and businesses how to reclaim their time and space. Jacquie can be reached at Visit CastAway the Clutter to sign up for her free organizing tips at

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