Getting Organized for Back To School- The Real New Year!

Does anyone else remember that old Staples back to school commercial, set to “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”? A gleeful father is filling a shopping cart with back to school supplies, while his less-than-thrilled children look on? I still laugh out loud when I see it. I love Back to School time! Fresh school supplies, new clothes and shoes. A new classroom and new things to learn makes this time of year feel like New Year”s more than January 1st!

Whether you think of back to school as “the most wonderful time of the year”, or long for an endless summer, this year it looks like kids are back in the classroom. What will make this year additionally challenging is that we will likely need to be prepared for remote learning as well, in the event of a quarantined class. Here are some tips for a smooth transition  from school break to first day.


  1. Start Early. This goes for nearly everything, from packing for a vacation to work assignments. As a reformed procrastinator, I have grown to love the feeling of preparing early. That said, I apologize this post may come too late to help those of you who go back to school in early August!  If you are like our family and still have weeks until the first day, now is the time to find those supply lists! One of the benefits of last year is that it is easier than ever to order what we need for curbside pick up or delivery. Making a fun tradition of back to school shopping each year (in store or online) by adding a treat or special lunch can take some of the work out of this chore!
  2. Make Room.  Now is a great time for a fresh start! Take the time to weed out those summer art projects and piles that may have accumulated during the summer before school shopping. It helps to keep it from feeling overwhelming to have all those supplies and clothes coming in (is it me, or have school supply lists gotten crazy long??).
  3. Don’t forget to edit those closets and dresser drawers! If there are clothes in there that haven’t been worn much all summer, chances are good they won’t ever be. (This happens to us every year. Right when I buy the kids a wardrobe of cute items, a friend will graciously and unexpectedly give us a bag of hand-me-downs that my children love and prefer to what I bought. Happily, I have friends who are thrilled to get our outgrown clothes!) And then there are the clothes that got TOO much love! Paint stained, mud stained, worn out and outgrown clothing can go before summer officially ends. Donate these items even if they are stained, most places will recycle fabric that cant be sold
  4. Shop Your Home. Organizing any school an art supplies into one place. This makes it easy to assess what you have that can be used or reused. It also creates one place where your family can look to replenish things they may need throughout the school year.
  5. Prepare For Remote Learning. While many kids went back to in-person instruction, the possibility of returning to remote schooling seems likely, if only for a temporary quarantine. Have a homework area/supplies/remote learning center ready to go, just in case. Rolling carts are a practical, cost effective way to store remote learning supplies for each child. By now we mostly know what worked (and what didn’t) for remote learning for our children. Hope for the best and prepare for the alternatives.
  6. Create a “Launch Area/Drop Zone”. Having an accessible, one-stop area for kids (and adults, for that matter!!) to grab and go on the way out the door is a huge time saver! Storing shoes, coats, backpacks and masks in one spot makes it quicker to get out the door. One can also be set up for adults with keys, sunglasses, umbrellas, hand sanitizer, etc.


Looking for organization help, and are you in the NYC / CT area? Go to to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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