Whether you are sending your kindergartener off to elementary school for their very first day ever or your senior off to their last first day of school, the first day of school is often chaotic and overwhelming with to-do lists and checklists of items to bring to school and have at home.
10 Back-to-School Organization Tips
After a lot of years of first days of school (this year we are celebrating our first “first day of college,” yikes!), we have a little experience, practice, and some tips we can share to make that transition back to school life a little bit smoother.
Thanks to Name Bubbles for sponsoring this conversation on Back-to-School Organization. As always, all opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links.
Back to School Checklist + How to Use Personalized Labels
A checklist may sound daunting, but I promise it’s not—and it’s guaranteed to be shorter than the supply list you get from your child’s school. It’s just a quick way to visualize what to think about as you're getting organized for back to school, and what items you may have to shop for still. I’ll also show you why personalized labels like Name Bubbles make the perfect back-to-school labels.
Adjust Schedules to Get Ready for the Start of the School Year
We start preparing for back to school a week or two before school starts to get back into a routine, as our summers get unruly with late nights and summer fun. This includes getting back into a morning and bedtime routine. It can be hard, especially for little kids to switch gears (hello Daylight Saving Time) so a few days of transitioning will do you all some good.
Complete the School Supply Shopping List
Most likely your child has been informed of a list of school supplies they need to shop for, either for individual use or classroom group use, or a combination of both. If you start early, many major store chains have back-to-school sales and you can get what you need most affordably.
Order Personalized Name Labels from Name Bubbles
You will have items that you both need and want to label.Custom labels for school supplies like backpacks are a must for younger kids (have you ever seen the lost and found at an elementary school?). Name Bubbles make a variety of personalized labels for all types of purposes. Their press & stick clothing labels are perfect for things like hoodies and jackets.
Name Bubbles name labels are perfect for school supplies because they are waterproof and durable so they stick where you put them, even through multiple washes.
Go Back-to-School Shopping
Take an inventory of your child’s clothing, figure out what they still need, and go shopping before the start of school. That way, you can avoid the dreaded, “Mom, I don’t have any pants that fit,” meltdown the night before or morning of school and you also have time to put Name Bubbles on all of their clothing.
Don’t forget shoes, jackets, and backpacks as part of the school shopping trip. And this should seem obvious, but make sure you ask and make them show you what they have. As a mom of four teens, I can’t tell you how many times they’ve tried to pull the, “Oh, no, I don’t need [insert item here],” to a week later needing the exact item they told me they didn’t need.
Label All The Things!
Another way we use Name Bubbles labels to stay organized for back to school is by labeling ALL THE THINGS. Almost. Pencil boxes, water bottles, shoes, hoodies, jackets, backpacks, books from home, laptops, lunch boxes, sports gear, you name it.
My kids are old enough now that we will often just use a neutral tag that has their initials if it matters which child it belongs to or a tag with just our last name if it only matters that it makes it home to us. I detest when they lose a HydroFlask or something expensive.
When it comes to organizing things at home, like clothing, I have three girls, all about the same size in pants who would live in black leggings, “mom jeans,” or basketball-style shorts if you let them. And that’s great until they argue over whose pair of black leggings is whose. Enter Name Bubbles clothing labels and no more arguments over clothing (well, those pieces anyway).
Label Items for Medical Conditions and Food Allergies
If you have a child with food allergies or a medical condition, Name Bubbles has medical and allergy alert labels you can use to help alert adults and peers. There is even space to include your contact info. As someone with both, I love that Name Bubbles has included these in their lineup.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
Make sure that each child has a dedicated workspace/homework station before school starts. Depending on the setup you create, you may want to label some bins or storage for each child’s home supplies. If you’ve created shelf space for each child, consider Name Bubbles for each shelf to identify individual shelving spaces.
Create a Schedule for After-School and Evenings
This is another tip that seems obvious but is so, so helpful. Whether you have one child or 14, being able to look at the week ahead at a glance and see what is planned for your evenings is extremely helpful. Whether it is a sport, an art class, a project your child needs to work on, or a free evening, having things on a calendar that shows those after-school snapshots can be a stress-free way to quickly know what’s happening.
Related, it can be very helpful, especially for kids just starting school or starting a new school to have nothing scheduled after school for the first couple of weeks. The new routine can be hard enough, but adding activities, too, can be extremely overwhelming. You can thank me later.
Prep for the Morning the Night Before
You can use a checklist or you can make a mental list of your nightly routine. Either way, getting everything ready to go so you are ready to walk out the door in the morning makes less stress for everyone on a school morning. Put shoes and backpacks and jackets by the door that you leave. Make sure homework and school books are in the backpack and ready to go before you go to bed. If your child brings a snack that doesn’t need to go in a lunch box, put that in the backpack. Have your child pick out their outfit for the day and have it ready to go; some kids have a really hard time with picking what to wear.
Keep Extra Labels On-Hand
Keeping some extra Name Bubbles labels on hand is an easy way to organize last-minute back-to-school items or items that you acquire during the school year. We keep labels in the “drawer of requirement” in our kitchen and a sheet in the glove box of my car so I always have a label handy (also often easier than finding a pen in my car).
Free Printable Checklist
To make your back-to-school organization easier, we have a free download for you. Download your free printable Back-to-School Organization Tips Checklist. With this printable checklist of 10 Back-to-School Organization Tips, you'll be ready for back-to-school in no time.
Hopefully, these tips will have you organized and ready for back-to-school in no time. Do you have any favorite back-to-school organization tips? Share them below!