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In this post, I'll share some clever tricks and tips for getting your home and your kiddos organized for back-to-school!

This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure.

Is anyone else excited by the slightly cooler weather we've had this week??? There have been hints of fall in the almost chilly mornings of the past few days...

The summer-to-autumn transition is my favourite time of year! Growing up, the end of August sparked my back-to-school anticipation. While other kids were relishing the last few days of a summer break gone-too-soon, I was badgering my parents to go shopping for school supplies and counting down the days until classes resumed. The smell of freshly sharpened pencils brings back so many fond memories!

I was (and still am) a huge nerd. I loved school and studying; I did ten years of post-secondary education of my own free will (well, sort well-meaning, but stereotypical tiger parents may have had some sway).


This fall is a special one for our family, as my son, Owen, starts kindergarten in September. I’m both excited and nervous for him.

I find myself embroiled in an almost nesting-level desire to get everything ready for this milestone. I've been on a mad hunt for tips, tricks and tools to make starting 'big kids' school' easier for my son (and for me!).

In this post, I'll share the best tools I've come across for getting your kids and home ready for back to school.

1. A Family Calendar

Having a kid in school requires a whole other level of organization. There are homework deadlines, school trips, and PD days that are tacked onto your already busy schedule.

While I have my personal appointments stored on my phone (Timepage is my calendar app of choice), I like having a separate, physical calendar for the family schedule.

Our family calendar is part of our command centre/kid's art display. Here, we jot down things like my son's doctor's appointments and our own personal appointments that affect each other's schedules. For instance, if I have a late afternoon lash appointment that requires my husband pick my son up from daycare that day, it will go on the family calendar. I'll also make him put it in his phone and then proceed to text him three times throughout the day to remind him of it...


Shop This Idea:

Dry Erase Calendar - $15.95 (


2. A Backpack Landing Strip

If you’ve read my post on how to keep an organized front entryway, you’ll recall that a landing strip—the first place you set down your belongings upon entering your home----is crucial to keeping the rest of your place clutter-free. This concept is even more important when it comes to kids’ stuff. A cubby, or set of hooks they can reach themselves, is all you really need.

My son's landing strip is in our back entry/mudroom (pictured above), where he has a mini coat rack at eye level. This helps with independence during his morning routine (that, and some prodding...okay, a lot of prodding!). Bonus: this area is hidden away from our main living area, so it doesn't add to our overall sense of visual clutter.

Side note: our mudroom is in desperate need of a reno, so this is the only part of it I'll be sharing until then! Anecdotally, my son asked why they call it a 'mudroom' the other day; I told him that in our case, it is literally muddy, not just from our soiled shoes, but also from the crumbling foundation that allows water to trickle in when it rains!

If you've got more than one kiddo, something like this (via Bebe a la Mode Designs) may work well:

3. Morning Routine Motivational Aids

Speaking of getting ready in the morning...

We need to keep a very close eye on my son as he performs his morning routine. He's likely to get distracted and abandon his tasks unless we ply him with frequent reminders; it's not uncommon to find him running around with his shirt or pants half-on.

We're hoping that motivating him with a reward for sticking to his morning routine will help!

Daily Routine Motivational Kit - $24.95 (

Also, I don't know about your kids, but my son seems to put his shoes on the wrong foot more often than odds alone can explain...we're talking 90% of the time. So, when I spied these educational shoe sticker aids, into my cart they went!

Educational Shoe Stickers - $7.99 (

4. A Compartmentalized Lunch Box

Lunch boxes have come a long way since my schoolgirl days. Gone are the awkward, single compartment clunkers.

I hope I'm not dating myself too much by telling you that this was my lunch box growing up.

These have been replaced by compact, compartmentalized Bento boxes, perfect for packing a lunch with something from each food group:

Yumbox Leakproof Bento Lunch Box - $29.99 (

Bentgo Bento-Style Children's Lunch Box - $36.62 (

The above lunch box is on it's way to us! If you've been following along for a while, you'll know how much I love parlaying my day-to-day errands into blog content!

5. A Compartmentalized Pencil Case

Tracking down an image of my childhood lunch box online, I couldn't resist doing the same for pencil cases! Does anyone else remember these pocket knife-like mechanical contraptions from the 90s??? I owned a couple of these and enjoyed playing with all of the buttons and compartments. Ah, pre-smartphone entertainment...