Every year at back to school time, you tell yourself this is going to be “the year.” You’re going to get organized and stay that way the entire school year long. However, every year, within a couple of months after the start of the school year, it ends up falling apart. So, if you struggling to implement a longterm organization strategy for you and your family, try these key tips.

  1. Create a Back to School Routine

One of the biggest elements of staying organized is getting into a routine. Do you come home and drop the kid’s backpacks on the couch? Do you tell yourself you’ll deal with the paperwork later? If so, you’ll quickly find yourself scrambling to take care of those simple tasks every day.

So instead, try taking care of paperwork and homework as soon as the kids walk in the door. Also, make sure these are part of your routine:

  • Set out clothes for the next day, or even the next week. It’s easier to put together clothes when you’re not tired and cranky first thing in the morning.
  • Pack your kid’s lunchboxes, if necessary.
  • Thaw meat for dinner or throw a meal in the slow cooker, for those busy days.

As you get used to the new back to school routine, you’ll find it’s easier to remember to take care of those tasks every day. And over time, they’ll become a normal part of your day instead of something you have to stress about. The key is finding a schedule that works for you.

  1. Make Sure Everything Has a Home

There are sports bags, lunch boxes, backpacks and endless paperwork that comes home from school. So, whether your kids are in elementary school or high school, if you don’t have a home for everything, you may quickly find yourself overwhelmed by the mess. Instead, take the time to assign “homes” to those important items.

Place backpacks on a hook by the door or hang them from the back of a chair in the kid’s rooms. Create a file for important paperwork. When you know where to put things, you’ll find that it’s much easier to keep your home neat and organized.

  1. Implement Cleanup Time

You probably have the kids take care of homework every day when they get home from school. But what about cleanup? At the end of the evening, when they’re getting ready for bed, have the kids run through the house and take care of some of the basic cleanup tasks. Adding this to your regular routine will prevent you from having to struggle to get those tasks done later.

Getting organized for the new school year takes time, and that’s in short supply when you’re a parent. Fortunately, you can figure out strategies that will work for you. And before you know it, you’ll be in the middle of the school year and rocking it.