I have been prepping for back to school since….July, LOL! I REALLY like to get ahead of things so I don’t feel stressed or crammed, but we are also major homebodies and we don’t go out and do tons of summer things so we understand that these next couple of weeks before school starts may be hitting some people hard and causing some stress before a new schedule and lifestyle begins again!

Now, I went ham and completely deep cleaned every drawer and corner of our house, which is why I’ve been taking a month to get ready for back to school – LOL – but if I had to narrow down the things that are going to mean the most that we accomplished, I can think of five main areas that we cleaned up/rearranged/simplified to give us an easier transition from no-schedule summer to a back-to-lots-of-structure school year schedule.

1) THE CAR: It may not seem like the most important thing to get clean considering it’s just the hauler of kids back and forth but honestly it makes a HUGE difference to have a clean, simplified car to start the school year with when you start throwing the book bags and lunch boxes down in it upon pick up and you have kids who eat in the car and leave 7 million cheerios per car seat, LOL! When our car (including the front area where I sit) is clean for the start of a school year and we keep up with cleaning it out twice a month (TOTALLY DOABLE!) – it makes that back and forth constant hauling more pleasant. Some things to consider:

  • Having a hand sanitizer pump up front (our Thieves one is ready to go at all times in our car post YMCA/school)
  • Having a newly stocked thing of baby wipes and of tissues available
  • Getting those dollar tree rolls of trash bags in the car to keep it clean and picked up, especially when waiting in the pick up line! I always get to the school a few minutes early and clean the car up during the school year!
  • Take out the carseats, shake them, vacuum them out, vacuum the seat they’re in, too – you know those accumulate SO MANY crumbs lol!

2) Create/maintain a clean and simple “home base” up front next to the door: This is where our shoes are, our backpacks go in a basket together and sweatshirts/jackets are hung up. We have a file holder with our Lifeflow lists, a schedule of how Monday-Friday looks with the girls school hours, pick up times and activities and it’s a perfect little spot to put the mail, homework, etc! Keeping this area SIMPLE and CLEAN is so key! We put the water bottles there in the morning and anything else that needs to make it to the car and because it’s not cluttered, it’s easy to see what needs to get into the car with us.

3) Clean out the FRIDGE, FREEZER and PANTRY: Getting back to school means getting the kids breakfast experience to go as smoothly and efficiently as possible, LOL, making lunches, having dinner easily accessible and ready to reheat/put together quickly so everyone can get to bed on time. If you take an hour to throw away expired things now, simplify your fridge/freezer/pantry and start “fresh” knowing what you have and what you can make with what you have when creating your next grocery list, you can be mindful about what you truly need to buy and focus on simplifying your meal prep and grocery shopping!

4) Check your kids water bottles, lunch boxes, Tupperware volume, etc: Do you have dependable water bottles to send with your kids? Do you have enough sandwich bags, Tupperware containers for their school lunches, etc? Are their lunch boxes still in decent condition? This is one of those things I think slips by people as we’re always focused on the school supplies, backpacks and clothes! We make sure we have the right stuff to send with lunch to them. We LOVE the containers/Tupperware we find at places like TJ Maxx and Homegoods! We usually order water bottles from Target or Amazon. We love the Ello brand on Amazon!

5) Do a quick Fall/Winter inventory of your kids clothing: The last time I did this, it took me about an hour or so but it was SO worth it. As a family following Dave Ramsey and paying off our debt as quickly as possible…it’s important to me to not just buy clothes without knowing what we TRULY NEED or will get a lot of use out of. It has to be an intentional and thoughtful process. If Ellie has 10 long sleeve shirts, not only does she not need me to buy anymore, but we could probably move 2-3 of those to Autumn’s drawer and simplify what she has even further. My method for this is…dump out every single drawer, take inventory of what the kids are LOW on and create a reasonable number of how many we need to purchase (for example, Autumn has three pairs of leggings, and I know she needs at least 3 more for the colder season, add “three leggings” to the list of to buy for Autumn) and then we move on from there. I’ll usually check my email for a Carters coupon and get what we need! It’s also SO NICE not to have jammed drawers and have picking out clothes go more smoothly during the school year!

This blog post could have been ten times as long considering how stupidly meticulous I can be about organization and cleaning…but these are the MAIN things that make us feel the most prepared for jumping back into a school year with a new schedule and routine. Even if you do 2-3 of these things, I guarantee you’ll feel MUCH better about your space knowing what you have and where it is and starting the school year off right! 🙂

Hi pal! I’m an Outer Banks photographer, mom of three little mermaids, wife to my absolute best friend, founder of Homeless Looks Like (501c3 nonprofit) and I also run Outer Banks oils! I’m a Type One (Ennegram) and I make time for what matters most while soaking up all the salt air with my family. Thank you for stopping by the blog! 🙂

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Posted by:amandahedgepeth

Hey there! We're a husband and wife team who has the honor to document inspiring wedding days for the most cheerful couples around. We have three daughters lovingly referred to as the mermaid mafia and we love nothing more than salty beach days, laughing as much as possible and living the simple, good life.

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