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As the back-to-school season approaches, parents are gearing up for the inevitable chaos that comes with it. Between school supplies, papers, artwork, and the never-ending stream of snacks, keeping everything organized can feel impossible. But fear not! With some clever organizational tips and a little bit of planning, you can get ahead of the clutter and start the school year off right.

On frenzied school mornings, making sure everybody’s fed and ready to go is a whirlwind. The aftermath? A disaster in the kitchen, less-than-nutritious lunches packed, and stressed and starving parents. Swap mismatched packaging for labeled, clear bins or baskets to store bulk goods and individually packaged snacks. This makes it easier for your little ones to grab a snack on their own, but it also helps you keep track of what needs to be restocked. A bonus – you won’t be unearthing ancient forgotten produce from the back of the refrigerator! Putting children’s plates, bowls, cups, and utensils in an easy-to-reach place also gives kids opportunities for independent eating, taking one more thing off parents’ to-do lists.

Finding space for school supplies can be daunting. Just like in the kitchen, clear, stackable bins can be a parent’s best friend. This keeps everything in one place, but also allows your child to easily see what supplies they have and encourages them to put things back where they belong. For tiny items, old baby food jars come in handy. A designated homework station with some select supplies and a calendar to keep track of important dates can minimize clutter and lessen the chances of losing important work.

Anyone with young children knows how quickly papers and art accumulate. It’s important to celebrate creativity and effort and to let your child feel pride in their work. A rotating display of artwork functions as an ever-changing gallery that kids, families, and visitors can see and enjoy. Store the rest in labeled file folders, binders with plastic sheet protectors, or lidded shoeboxes and plastic bins. Some families also photograph or scan art and compile it into bound photo books to flip through and treasure.

Back-to-school “stuff” can make it a stressful season, but it doesn’t have to be. With a bit of preparation and some simple storage solutions, families can face the chaos with confidence.

6 Ways to Get Organized for Back-to-School, Scholastic. – 15 Marvelous Classroom Organization Tips for Back-to-School, We Are Teachers. – 10 School Organizing Tips To Start The Year Strong (For All Ages), Educational Connections. – 16 Beautiful Ways to Store & Organize Kids’ School Work Memories, Organizenvy. – Organize and Store Kids School Work and Art Projects, Seng Nickerson. – Ideas for Storing Kids School Papers, The Homes I Have Made.