This year will be the first year both my girls are in school all day long. Annie will be in third grade and Grace is going to kindergarten. (I’m both super sad about my baby leaving me and doing a happy dance at the same time because OMG the house is going to be so QUIET.)
The sentimental part of me wants to mark the beginning of school by doing some cute Pinterest-y ideas. The practical side of me says – Who are you kidding? Who has TIME for that stuff?
Are you sensing I’m a bit conflicted about a whole bunch of things lately?
I also don’t want to feel as frantically disorganized as I did much of the school year last year. Even with Grace just in preschool, the amount of paper that came home with my girls was completely overwhelming. I stressed out about all that paper and it stacked up in piles all over the house. I still have the last three months of the school year stuffed in a huge shopping bag to go through this week while the girls are at camp!
So, with my sentimental and organizational goals in mind, I took to Pinterest to find some doable ideas. Not too crafty, not too time-consuming, but things that this mama could actually handle. Here’s what I found:
6 Fun and Simple Back-to-School Ideas and Organization Strategies
Print out back-to-school signs for the first day of school: This is so easy to do and super cute. I love the idea of Annie and Grace holding these signs in a picture, and it’ll take me two minutes to print out the signs. (Get the signs at Bombshell Bling.)
Pack lunchbox notes: This I actually did last year. Annie loved them. And they are so easy! Just print, cut out, and write “Love Mom and Dad” on them. BOOM. You’re an awesome mom. I love these sweet ones from A Little Claireification, these jokes from Peonies and Poppyseeds, and these from Chickabug – which require you to write your own cute little note, which means I used them more at the beginning of the year when I was inspired with back-to-school glee.
Make a kissing hand: I think Grace is going to get a little nervous on the first day of kindergarten, and I think she’s going to miss me. (Or maybe I’m kidding myself.) Either way, she loves the book called The Kissing Hand, about a little raccoon who’s nervous about going to school. So I love the idea of making a kissing hand for her to bring to school. We’ll trace her hand, color a heart on the palm, and tuck it in her backpack. Awwwwww. (Inspiration from Fantastic Fun and Learning.)
Organize those art supplies: Last year Annie started using a lot of art supplies for school projects – so many that they overtook the designated art table in the sunroom. This year I’m getting a hanging shoe organizer and putting it on the back of her bedroom door. Besides keeping all that stuff out of sight, it’ll keep her special supplies away from her little sister’s curious hands. (Inspiration from A Bowl Full of Lemons, who uses a special, expensive organizer. I’ll just use a shoe organizer!)
Have one bin or basket for all papers that need action: Forms that have to be filled out, slips that have to be signed, birthday party invites, etc. etc. – everything that needs action needs to go in one, contained spot. This is one thing I actually did right last year. I have a wall-mounted storage bin like this one from Target. One spot for bills, one for Annie, one for Grace. It worked pretty well, but this year I want superglue labels to each spot to further help my scattered brain. Or splurge on a few elements from this Pottery Barn organization system:
Don’t deal with all the papers, artwork, etc. that come home: Well, at least not NOW. I’m talking about the stuff that doesn’t need action by a certain date: artwork, completed homework and projects, those sort of things.
First up: Buy a big plastic bin for each kid or get a set of plastic drawers. You can even fancy up the drawers if you’re crafty like that (see below), but I am going simple with plain old plastic bins. If I get inspired, maybe I’ll fancy them up. Someday. Maybe.
Stack everything in those bins/drawers throughout the year. Keep them in a convenient place so your kids can deposit their own artwork there (I’m keeping my bins under a table in the sunroom). Don’t stress about going through all that paper until you have some down time, like during school vacation weeks or even next summer. Just don’t sweat it – you’ll get to it eventually!
Next step: Get each kid an oversized art portfolio. Label each pocket with a school year, and when you sort through all the papers, file the keepers in there. Also get each kid a separate big plastic bin to put the odd-sized and bigger stuff in – school journals, projects, binders, things like that. I am just putting a paper divider in between the school years to keep them separated.
At the end of the school year, each kid’s special papers/art will get filed in their accordion folder and their bigger stuff will go in their plastic bin. Done and done. (Inspiration from Lorraine Brock and Kinder-Craze.)
Now Check Out this Fun Back-to-School Giveaway!
Since it’s time to head back to school, I’m teaming up with Boogie Wipes to offer an awesome Back-to-School Giveaway for kids and moms!
Three lucky winners will receive a backpack stocked with school supplies (and Boogie Wipes) and a Mommy Clutch – full of everything moms needs (including gift cards!)
How to Enter
From following Boogie Wipes on social media to instagramming a picture of your favorite Boogie Wipes products, there are dozens of ways to enter – and a few ways to enter every single day.
Complete the form below to get started.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Looking for More Great Back-to-School Ideas?
Visit the Boogie Wipes blog for six back-to-school ideas for parents, plus a coupon to save on your favorite Boogie Wipes products.
Giveaway is live Tuesday, August 5, 2014 until midnight on August 22, 2014. US and Canada residents only (excluding Quebec). Three winners will be randomly chosen and notified via email. Honest Mom received no compensation for sponsoring this event, and is not responsible for the delivery of the prize. Prize delivery is the sole responsibility of Boogie Wipes. This post contains referral links to Amazon.com. If you click on them and buy anything on Amazon, I can get a little bonus – which helps me pay the bills. So – thanks!
PS – Do you have any fun and simple back-to-school traditions or organization ideas? Share them – and feel free to link to your blog if you have a post about it!