Whether your kids are heading back to school for the first time since June, the first time in over a year, or the first time ever, you'll quickly realize how important it is to create systems that make the mornings and weeks smoother. Here are a few tips and tricks for all things back to school so that you can avoid the chaos and add some calm to the school week.
Two things are key: hooks and bins! If there’s one essential item for a drop zone, it’s a hook (or 5).
Hooks. Hanging jackets, backpacks, hats, and lunchboxes, keeps things off the floor and creates a designated space for each item. Make sure that they’re at a height where kids can reach them if you’re planning to have them hang them on their own. One thing that helps with growing kiddos, is command hooks — strong hooks that hold the weight but can move as your kids grow!
Baskets or Bins. Shoe clutter is tough and baskets and bins are the perfect place to corral the shoe clutter. If you’d rather go with all baskets in the drop zone, large bins are also great to house all of the backpacks and school items.
Lunch and Snack Stations
Whether you pack lunches and snacks at night or the morning of, it’s so helpful to have everything prepped and in reach. If you’re lucky enough to have an older child that packs their own lunchbox, this helps them choose the best options as well!
Fridge & Pantry
Keeping everything sorted, labeled, and in sight cuts down on time searching but also helps eliminate food waste. Having specific bins, zones, or drawers for each type of item helps avoid the perfect leftovers or your favorite fruit getting lost in the back of the fridge! If your kids are helping pack their lunch and snacks, it may be a great idea to create specific bins for each type of food so they can just grab one item from each — protein, veggie, fruit, dairy, etc.
Zones. Create zones for snack items and lunch items! Be sure to make it very clear to everyone where everything goes so that family members know where to find things. Once you have everything sorted into zone, LABEL the containers and bins! This helps remind everyone what’s in each area. One tip is to use images for non-readers so little ones can participate too.
Placement. Always think about where things are in both the pantry and the fridge. Healthy snacks usually go low where anyone (even your 4 year old) can grab them without climbing to the top shelf. On the other hand, things like treats or items that need to be cooked, usually get placed up high. Pro tip: use bins that aren’t see-through for those items! It keeps them out of sight to little ones :).
For more fridge and pantry tips and to shop my favorite pantry products, visit my Fridge and Pantry 101 blog post HERE.
The most important part of a lunch packing station is having everything in one space so you can easily see the lunchbox, grab the cup, pick out a few items from the fridge and pantry, then pack it all quickly (or at least that’s how it goes for us each morning!)
Cabinet or Drawer. Water bottles, lunchboxes, thermoses, bags… It can be tricky to keep it all organized. You’ll definitely want it to all live in one cabinet, drawer, or a combination of the two side by side. Here are a few of my favorite products to keep it all in line:
iDesign Linus Bins
Containers. Everyone has their favorites for school lunches! Over the years, I’ve noticed that some of the containers fit better within kitchen spaces.
We’re already starting to think about homework so make sure you’re subscribed to our email for updates about our next post: how to create a great homework station and organize craft supplies!