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Back-to-School Organization: Get Rid of the Summer Clutter

August 1, 2023 | Home Organization

When summer comes to an end and the school year is on the horizon, getting organized is key to starting the semester off right. If you’re the parent of a kid heading back to school, staying organized on top of preparing your children for school can be challenging. Every parent has a different strategy for keeping things in order during back-to-school season to avoid the chaos of frantically packing school bags or forgetting to pack lunches.

We’re here to help you start the school year off right. Read on for our back-to-school organization tips and decluttering tips, from deciding what summer items to donate to transitioning your child’s routine for the upcoming school year. 

How To Declutter Summer Items

Sorting Your Clutter 

In order to prepare for the upcoming school year, you’ll want to clean out excess summer items like pool toys, swimwear, and summer clothes. The first step toward letting go of some of the summer clutter is to create a sorting system.

Put out large cardboard boxes or plastic totes and label them Keep, Toss, Donate, or Store. Then work with your kiddo to decide what needs to be kept and what needs to go. If your kid is hesitant to donate or toss old items, try asking them the last time they played with or used the item. If their answer is more than a year ago, it’s probably safe to donate or toss. 

Donate Items in Good Condition

It’s happened to all of us: You buy your child a new outfit that just doesn’t fit or they quickly grow out of the clothing you buy. When you come across these like-new clothing items or unwanted toys, give them a second home with another little one by donating them

While many items are great for donation, like shirts, pants, and shoes, some things just shouldn’t be donated. Avoid donating undergarments and swimwear for sanitary reasons. Also, be sure to avoid donating stained, torn, or soiled clothing and opt for tossing or recycling instead. 

Stow Away Summer Items You’ll Reuse

Snorkeling gear, beach toys, and other summer items stored in a straw bag

Pack up summer items you plan on reusing next year, like swimwear, beach toys, and pool supplies, in a durable container like a plastic tote. Then label the box and find a climate-controlled spot in your home to store your items. If you’re simply out of room in your closets or garage, a climate-controlled storage unit could help. 

Create Organization Systems for the School Year

Transitioning from summer activities to the school day routine can be tough for students and parents alike. You may find your home littered with backpacks, coats, papers, and pencils or discover your child has already lost the pencils you bought.

With effective organizational strategies, you can keep your home tidy and your student on track. You may have to try a few methods to find one that works for you and your family, but we’re happy to give you some suggestions.

Set Up a Homework Zone

Young girl does homework at a desk

Creating a dedicated space for your kid to do their homework will help keep your home tidy, prevent them from forgetting assignments, and help them focus. Your child’s first instinct may be to do their homework in front of the TV or while sitting in the kitchen, which often leads to distractions.

Set up your child’s homework station in a quiet place in your home, ideally away from distractions. A spare room or secluded portion of a common room could work, or even a part of your child’s bedroom. Start with a desk and then add organizing bins for folders and books. Add some personal touches for a studying space they’ll love. 

Organize Your Entryway

Equip your entryway with an organizational system to prevent your kiddos from walking in and plopping backpacks and jackets onto the floor. Create what many bloggers have dubbed a drop zone in your entryway, where your kiddos can drop off jackets and bags on their way in. 

Utilize hooks or cubbies so you’ll always know where to find your kid’s school gear. If you have multiple children, consider allocating a hook to each of them for coats and bags, or use a cubby system. 

Establish a Daily After-School Routine

When it comes to having a successful transition into the school year, be sure to develop a consistent routine of things your children do after school each day, like finishing homework, taking a shower, reading, and more. Make chores and tidying part of your daily routine to benefit you and your child.

To help your kiddos remember their tasks, use a daily routine chart they can check off as they go. If you want to create a reusable chart, use a dry erase board or laminated paper. Consider incentivizing your kids to finish their daily routine with a reward such as a sweet treat, video game time, or time on the tablet.

Stay Organized With Metro Self Storage

If you begin the summer decluttering process and discover your home is simply out of storage space, a storage unit from Metro Self Storage can help you stay tidy. With month-to-month leases, you can store pool toys and beach gear during the school year and pick summer gear up again when next summer rolls around.
Find self storage near you and rent online today. To find the best self storage unit size for your needs, use our size guide. If you need more help renting storage, give us a call and we’ll be delighted to help.