Back-to-school season is a busy time and often means frantically gathering school supplies and clothes, making appointments and trying to get some organizational systems underway. It’s also a common time to move, as households move and settle into their new homes before the new school year starts.

With so many moving pieces, staying organized is essential to keeping your sanity as you create new routines. If you’re moving during the start of a new school year, read on for ways to stay organized and help reduce some of the chaos.

Eliminate before you move
When you’re moving, it can be easy to pack everything up instead of going through your items and determining what can stay and leave. While it takes more work on the front end to identify the things you can donate or throw out, it will be worth it when you move into your new home and don’t have to face that task. Editing down your belongings also means fewer items to pack.

Prioritize areas to organize
The start of the school year often means you’re extra motivated to have organizational systems and processes in place. When you move into a new house, prioritize the areas of the home that will make navigating the school day easier. Some common areas include:

  • Mudroom: The mudroom is the first entry point after a long day of school, work, sports and activities. It’s the place that corrals backpacks, coats, shoes, boots and all the miscellaneous items that inevitably end up coming home. Establish a system in the mudroom to keep this space running efficiently. Create a space for dirty shoes, wet rain boots and muddy uniforms.
  • Command center: A command center with a calendar, dry-erase board, bulletin board, charging station and a basket or drawer to collect paperwork will help keep sports schedules, permission slips and school calendars in order.
  • Breakfast section: Mornings can be the most chaotic time of day, so creating a spot where your older children can help themselves to breakfast can make the morning smoother. This may be a refrigerator drawer stocked with pre-made smoothies, drinks and perishable breakfast items or a low drawer filled with plates, bowls and any grab-and-go breakfast options so they can help themselves.
  • Snack station: Like a breakfast section, stock the refrigerator drawer with healthy after-school snack options, like pre-cut fruit and vegetables, and include a few easy-to-reach baskets in the pantry filled with post-activity snack options so your family can help themselves.
  • Homework area: Whether your home has a designated homework room or your family prefers to sit at the kitchen island, make sure everyone has the materials they need to tackle homework at home, such as a charger for any school-required devices, paper, pens, pencils, scissors, glue sticks, calculator, etc.
  • Laundry room: Give each family member a designated laundry basket to corral their laundry, and create a space for muddy clothing to prevent the larger messes from spreading.

Order all school supplies to your new home
If you order your school supplies online, use the delivery address of your new home if you’re already in possession. These supplies often come in small packages and boxes, so having them sent directly to your new address will help lessen the number of items you need to pack.

Do a practice school route run 
Before the first day of school, do a dry run of how long it will take you to get to the school from your new home. Whether your child will be walking, taking the bus or driving, plan out your daily route so you can be confident of how long it will take you to get to school.

Hire the professionals
There is no need to do it all yourself. Hiring a professional organizer or moving team can help create the necessary processes to implement them in your daily routines. This upfront investment can pay off as you navigate the start of the new school year and settle into your new home with less stress.

Moving is a stressful process, and the start of the school year can bring up big feelings for children, especially if it’s a new school.

Published with permission from RISMedia.