back-to-school tips

Organize your house for back to school

In Back to School by Angela AmmanLeave a Comment

Back-to-school tips for busy families

Back-to-school time means a sudden influx of papers, artwork, homework and reading logs. Dedicating a few areas of your house to school organization will help make mornings and evenings less stressful for the whole family.

back-to-school tips

Build a reading nook

A dedicated area for reading takes up only a small area in a home, but it can make a big difference in a child’s attitude about reading. Available books, a comfortable place to sit and a family understanding that readers should be left to read can serve double duty as a reading nook and a place for kids to decompress after a busy day.

back-to-school tips


The quiet spot doesn’t need to be complicated. Storing books with their covers facing forward can encourage interest in a variety of books. A simple beanbag chair — we love the Cool Beans! Bean Bag — and a forward-facing shelf make for a special reading area (Land of Nod, $99). The Tidy Books Bunk Bed Shelves are perfect for a reading nook (, $89). They store books and have room for journals, pens and bookmarks.

back-to-school tips

Design a homework center

Homework done at the kitchen island while scarfing down breakfast is bound to have a few mistakes — though all moms know the morning scramble for a forgotten assignment is bound to happen at least once in a while. Most of the time, kids shouldn’t have to worry about their notebook sliding into an errant pile of after-school snack crumbs. A homework center gives kids a place to work on their assignments neatly.

back-to-school tips

Having their own space, whether it’s a desk in his bedroom or a side table for her in a shared family space, gives kids a bit of responsibility over their homework. Start small, with a Utility Caddy that keeps pencils, scissors, colored pencils and erasers together on a work surface (, $25). Be sure the homework area has enough light with the Clip It, Now Clip It Good Lamp (Land of Nod, $29).

back-to-school tips
Stay organized with a family command center

One of the toughest parts about keeping kids organized during the beginning of the school year — and the middle and the end, to be honest — is making sure paperwork and important dates don’t get lost in the rush in or out of the door. Identify the door through which you enter and exit the majority of the time and set up a command center to keep everyone organized. A mudroom is a wonderful place for an organizational center, but any wall space or spare corner near your door works just as well — if you plan ahead.

back-to-school tips

You can build your own center, but Tidy Books has taken some of the guess work out of what you’ll need with the Forget Me Not (, $72). Even preschoolers can learn to hang their backpacks on the sturdy hooks, and reminder notices, permission slips and reading logs can be magnetically attached to the board so you don’t forget them in the morning. To maximize organization and minimize missed appointments, consider adding a calendar above the family organizer. We love the Oh! What a Week! Schedule Pad with its personalization option and bright colors (, $30).

What are your go-to tips for staying organized during the school year?

Meet the Author | Angela Amman

Angela Amman is a short story and essay writer. Collecting her family's stories is a gift-in-progress for her daughter and son, and she blogs at Playing with Words, capturing the craziness and beauty that weave together to create something extraordinary. As the co-director of Listen To Your Mother Metro Detroit, Angela is thrilled to bring others' stories to the stage and to celebrate the magic of words, storytelling, and the courage to share that magic with an audience. When she should be sleeping, she works on her latest short story collection. Her writing has been featured on Mamalode, Peacock Journal, and Scary Mommy. Her personal essays and short stories have appeared in her collection, Nothing Goes Away, and various anthologies.

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