August 30, 2013

Cute Back to School Organization


You stretch out before us all lazy and languid.  It’s hot, so we move slowly, content with drifting from thing to thing.  We spend hours on the porch, sipping dripping cold drinks from mason jars, letting the breeze blow over us as we sit in the shade. The little girls improvise sweeping tales on the front lawn.  We raise our hands, slowly, to wave at neighbors who pass by.  Sometimes, we even eat on the porch, balancing our plates in our laps while the little girls sit at a tiny pink bistro set.  At night, Big Daddy and I venture back outside after the kids are asleep to sit in the quiet and watch the fireflies.

Some days, we don’t change out of our pajamas at all.

But, as the days click closer to the school year beginning, I start to get antsy.  I start throwing stuff away.  I start thinking about schedules and organizing and cleaning the nooks and crannies.  September always rings in like a rebirth.  The air gets a little crisp now and then, a stray leaf turns from green to red.  The honey crisp come in and I eat one for breakfast with nothing else but some cheese or peanut butter.

There is something beautiful about organizing your family and home.  I know it seems like drudgery.  Sometimes it really IS drudgery.  How many loads of laundry can you wash?  How many times can you load the dishwasher?  Scrub the counters clean?  Serve a meal?  But, working towards having a peaceful and well ordered home is a lovely, lovely thing.  Well worth the effort.And, look, I’m shallow.  If I can have a cute organizational tool (or at least something that’s visually attractive) I’m more likely to use it.I’m terrible, I know.  I judge books by their covers too.  Seriously.

I love A Little Delightful’s Lunchbox Planner

We used this with great success last year. Incorporated with the school lunch schedule, it allows an easy at a glance list to take the thinking out of lunch packing. It also allows you to inventory your lunch packing supplies in advance, so you’re never scrambling in the morning to throw something together.

I also really like the idea of using simple checklists to keep the kids ordered. This one, from The 36th Avenue, is really cute.

Equally cute and useful, is this school morning checklist from Children Inspired Design. I really think these little lists are great for teaching your kids to learn to be autonomous.

You could easily print out copies of the above and laminate them. I decided to make my own version, but not include the checkbox so we could re-use them and the kids could see, at a glance, what they had left to do before school and bedtime.

For several years, I’ve used non-cute, but super useful plastic baskets in the pantry to hold food items for the kids. They’re morning oatmeal, healthy snacks and treats are easy to see and I keep them on a low shelf so they can make their own choices. This year, I’ve decided to utilize baskets in the fridge as well, so lunch making (and healthy snack choosing) is even more simple.

As an aside, I also saw a great idea of to make an “eat this first’ basket for fresh items that may be moving out of date. I loved this idea so much that I ran to the store to buy baskets the minute I saw it. It’s a great idea for getting that quickly expiring food out of the black hole of your fridge.

What are you doing to organize your home for a more peaceful school year? I’m always looking for new ideas!

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