It may not be January, but this certainly is the beginning of a new year for parents and kids. As they say, ”all good things must come to an end,” and so it goes with summer vacation. I love the lazy days of summer, but eventually I feel the “jello brain” setting in. I begin to look forward to…yes, you are reading me right…ROUTINE!

No one wants to start the school year spinning out of control. You’ll start to see the “Back to School” signs everywhere…but this entails much more than pencils and paper! Let’s learn how to help ourselves and our kids be more accountable and responsible for their success this year. So as summer vacation begins to pass its torch on to the school year, here are some of my best tips to get ready!

This post contains affiliate links. 


Child Sleeping

Are you and your kids still on a SUMMER SLEEP SCHEDULE? Don’t wait until the first day of school to feel the pain! Start early by getting them to bed 20 minutes earlier at night, and wake them up 20 minutes earlier in the morning until you are at your desired bed and wake up time.


Morning Routine

Mornings come quick enough and often have a way of surprising us with the unexpected. Sometimes this cannot be helped. So help yourself, and your kids, with a morning routine. Brainstorm, discuss it together, and use visuals if necessary.

TIME MANAGEMENT: Getting dressed

Making clothing choices at the last minute often leads to morning stress. With your kids, or on their own, choose tomorrow’s outfit the night before. No drama, no fuss.

ORGANIZATION: Command Center

Set the stage!

Having a “command center” for drop off and retrieval eliminates having to hunt for things last minute! Find a central location for all things school related and necessary to grab and head out the door. This would be the location for back packs, lunch boxes, books, etc. The night before gather up all your stuff and get it ready for an easy morning exit.

ORGANIZATION: Homework Station

Click on the above images to enlarge 

Let’s talk stations! Just as important as the command center is a calm, quiet location for homework. Create an area for kids to do their homework and have all the supplies close at hand. No more wasting time hunting for the pencil, eraser or scissors all over the house.

ORGANIZATION: School Table Top File

“Where’s my permission slip”? Sound familiar? Get in the habit of going through your child’s backpack each night to find all the necessary items that need attention. It is important to do this with your kids, because we want them to eventually to be responsible for doing this on their own. Teach your kids to be accountable. Have a table top school file and file accordingly. The silver lining…finding things in their backpack is a great conversation starter of what happened during their day.

More on this can be found here

ORGANIZATION: Lunch Box Station

Planning leads to healthier food choices for better energy and brainpower! Make lunches the night before. Set up a lunch station so kids can get used to picking up and retrieving their own lunch. CREATE A HABIT…ACCOUNTABILITY!


TELL LESS, ASK MORE! When you tell kids to do something it “boomerangs” right out of their head. Ask, and they have to think. Thinking links it to their memory –REMEMBERING.

Take a peek at this video. Help your kids to be ACCOUNTABLE.

And yes… pencils AND paper are important…so here are some of my favorite products.

Do your kids want a new Backpack that is different from all the others found at the local store? Check out Yoobi for some fun new school products. The best thing is…for every product you purchase they will donate to a school in need. It’s a win-win situation. Your kids will have something new and different, and so will underprivileged kids.

Tired of hearing…”I thought I had enough time,” or “How much longer”? I love this timer. It shows the passage of time, and the time remaining to visualize your time. Great for visual learners and adults too! Buy the timer itself…or the App (available for iPhone or Android)

Time Timer 8 INCH, 60 minute visual analog timer with flip out legs and optional alert

PLAN WITH A PLANNER! Paper or electronic…you choose!

See ALL your schedule in one place with this Order Out Of Chaos academic planner

Do you have an older student who needs help keeping track of his schoolwork and projects? Take a look at this app from


I am a Professional Organizer and available to help you organize most areas of your home; and more importantly, how to stay organized. No job is too difficult, and no one should ever feel embarrassed. With a Master's Degree in Child Development and 25 years of Parent Education teaching experience, my specialty is organizing families. Whether you are struggling with clutter in rooms, study areas, or getting kids to participate in clean up, I can help. My company name is my mission...Once you SEE how it is done, you will learn how to DO it! Follow my lead...and get organized!