Amanda Amanda is a married 30-something with three kids. She previously worked full-time as a clinical social worker in a homeless shelter for young mothers. She earned her masters degree while commuting to school and learned to share parenting and conflicting parenting styles with her husband. Now she is learning to manage her career, marriage, kids, and personal time. Amanda is also a writer, a continuously-trying-to-start-again runner, reader, cook, novice pianist, terrible housekeeper, and amateur juggler. She hates laundry. Contact Amanda by emailing

Getting my home back to school ready and organized after a summer of swimming, sand, camping, and ice cream seems like a monumental task. I started tackling this project today by surface cleaning the living room and kitchen. I’m doing laundry and sorting out unwearable and outgrown clothes, donating old toys, and organizing what few school supplies can make it another year. Additionally, I’m working on organizing our “morning launch pads” and getting those in shape for a new school year.

Back to school organization shouldn’t break the bank, if the thousands of Pinterest pins I’ve saved are to be believed! So, here goes. Ready or not, I’m getting my home back to school ready!

Getting Your Home Back to School Ready

Bags and Coat hooks

We don’t have a formal entry way, just a few hooks on the wall my husband installed for the kids’ coats and bags. This year we’re adding a few more hooks on the wall (my kids are taller than last year!) and repairing the ones that fell out from overuse. In order for the bag/coat launch pad to be ready, I also need to get my kitchen counters cleaned off so I have room for lunch bags. I started cleaning off my counters earlier this month, so right now we’re pretty close to that project being ready for school!


Shoes, shoes, shoes everywhere. All I see are shoes. We have a small house, so shoe organization is a major issue. We often end up with dozens of pairs of shoes by the front door. I’m organizing this area by installing shoe cubbies. I’m still going to *try* and have everyone keep most of their shoes in their own closets, but I know they will inevitably end up by my front door again. At least with the cubby they’re not lumped into a giant pile.

Information Area

Our information areas are separated into three zones, due to the size and layout of our kitchen: 1. ) calendar, 2.) important notes, and 3.) junk pile. To get these back-to-school ready and fully organized, I need a new calendar (our current one ends in August) and clips to hold invites to the calendar. Also, I allocate one cabinet door for each child and tape important notices from teachers to these cabinets. It’s a way for me to remember at a glance what’s going on with each kid at school. I need tape for all notices and items that go on each child’s door.

And the junk pile. Oh, the junk pile. The junk pile is the catch-all place in our kitchen for papers, mail, etc. My goal this year is to install a system to keep the junk pile better organized. I was thinking of getting a simple three- or four-hanging folder system to separate incoming mail from miscellaneous papers for each child. I don’t always have the time to immediately file artwork or homework that I want to save and this would be a good midway point. Also, thinking about it, it’s time we got a filing cabinet! A simple two drawer system would be sufficient for kids’ papers, my work papers, and our household papers.

General Cleaning 

General cleaning and organization started today with a surface cleaning of the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. I got the kids involved and the house is brighter and cleaner than it’s been in too long for me to admit. Before the school year starts, I’m going to pull out two or three Pinterest pins and try out those tricks and tips for easy deep cleaning.


Organization and getting ready for back to school also involve a change of routine. Lazy mornings will again be relegated to weekends, holidays, and snow days. We had a good routine that worked last school year and I’ll go back to it this year. We get everything ready the night before: the kids pick out clothes, I make sure backpacks are ready to go, we prep lunchboxes for the next day, and I set my coffee on delay brew. The next morning, I get up early and enjoy my coffee with the morning news. I feel bad for not running and sometimes manage to actually get out the door for a run or walk. Then, I wake up the kids about an hour before they need to be at school and harass them into getting dressed and eating breakfast. Then, we’re out the door with plenty of time to spare, or I’m yelling at them that we’re late and to HURRY UP.

So, with just a few tweaks and plenty of elbow grease, my home will be back to school ready and organized. Last year, I learned how to manage the routine of the day to day. This year I’m hoping to work on my organization skills. It’s my goal and what I need to work on. I’d love to hear tips from you in the comments!

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Category: Arts & Crafts

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