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    Every Little Bit Helps, So Here's 26 Cheap Things To Make The School Year Easier For Parents

    Closet organizers, snack boxes, chore charts, homework helpers, and more.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Some may have been sent as samples, but all opinions and reviews are our own. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A closet organizer to help your little one dress themselves in the morning. Although they love their favorite dino shirt, it's Wednesday and they wore it on Monday, so they'll need to toss it in the laundry. (Tip: You can also use this organizer for sorting home-school or after-school activities, too.)

    a reviewer photo of the organizer inside of a closet with a caption that reads have the week ready for school
    a reviewer photo of the organizer hanging in a bathroom

    Promising review: "I really loved this product. It made school mornings go a lot more smoothly and it gave the children more independence while getting ready. It is something we prepped every weekend and it made school mornings easy as well as those busy weekends with the kids' activities. Everything had a home and it was easy for them to just grab and put on so no more morning frustrations!!!!" —Jessica

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99

    2. A set of snack boxes perfect for picky eaters like my nephew who only eat the crackers out of the Lunchables we buy at the store. With these, not only can you save a couple bucks, but you can create their own version that features the foods they'll actually eat. 

    a product shot of the reusable lunch container and the set comes in a four different colors
    a reviewer photo of two snack boxes filled cheese, meat, veggies, and puff snacks

    Promising review: "Perfect for my kids to make their own Lunchables! The 10-pack is great because they can “meal prep” it and have it readily available for when they want an after school or a grab-and-go snack. I thought they would be flimsy, like the take and toss Tupperware’s but they are a little more durable. (Think of it as twice the thickness.) I bought the clear ones so they could see through the boxes and know what’s inside without having to open the lid. Fits crackers, cheese, pepperoni perfectly! Will definitely be a lot cheaper than constantly buying Lunchables and those Sargento Balanced Break snacks that cost almost $2 a box!" —MyMomShopsAtGoodwill

    Get a set of four from Amazon for $12.99+ (available in other quantities and colors). 

    3. A key and item locator you can use to find your keys, remotes, purse, or any other item that mysteriously goes missing at the hands of your littles. The last thing you want to do when rushing out the door is realize that you have no idea where your keys are. 

    Promising review: "I love this because it's so easy to use and does not require an app or anything like that. Just press the remote and you'll be able to find whatever you're searching for in seconds. This was a total life changer for me always having my kids grabbing my keys or my wallet etc etc. I would definitely buy this again." —Toots

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99.

    4. A cube timer with 15-, 20-, 30-, and 60-minute intervals that can help with time management. It can be used for cleanup time, screen-time tracking, or even time out when tantrums go a little too far. 

    the cube timer in pink
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Bought two of these for my kids to help them be organized in their studies for semester exams. They’d study for 45 then take a 15-minute break. Super easy to set the timer. Just put the time you want facing up!" —Busy Mama

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99+ (available in five colors). 

    5. Or, an adorable mushroom timer so cute your kids will be *begging* to use it. This timer has more timing options up to 60 minutes. It's great to help kids set aside time for quiet playing or reading. And, it's also great decor for their room!

    the mushroom timers in green and yellow and purple and pink
    Amazon

    Promising review: "My kids really enjoy utilizing this timer to keep track of the minutes while they work on their lessons." —Lee

    Get it from Amazon for $8.89+ (available in four colors). 

    6. A pack of slim reusable ice packs designed to fit in the smallest of lunches to help keep lunch cool. It's a super cute essential that both you and the minis can use. They also come in a variety of cute shapes so their lunch can feature a dinosaur, a unicorn, or maybe just a cute pineapple. 

    a product shot of the slim ice packs in the pineapple shapes
    Amazon

    Promising review: "They are still cool when my kids get home from school. They are very easy to clean. The size is perfect because if my kids want just a snack, I can give them one ice pack and if they want me to pack them a lunch then I have no problem fitting two ice packs in their lunchbox. Plus my kids LOVE dinosaurs!" —Ashley Brookshire

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (available in 10 styles). 

    7. A chore chart to keep the house functioning like a well-oiled machine. It'll help kids to keep track of their chores for the week and it'll help parents remember what they asked their kids to do. Who was supposed to gather up the laundry? 🤔

    This comes with a magnetic chore chart, six dry erase markers with magnetic caps, a magnetic dry erase board and a magnetic dry erase to-do list. 

    Promising review: "As the world continues to adjust to our new normal, there are many things we can do to help better manage our lives. During quarantine, I've deepened my appreciation for the need to set goals and aids to achieve them. Having a small but concise outline with a breakdown of daily and weekly goals has helped me. I came across these handy and magnetic lists and mini chalkboards. These helpful essentials has really assisted me with staying on track with all mommy duties and other matters. I have been homeschooling for 3 years now and in addition to my planner, I now have these little lists for my daughter which will assist in providing her an overview of both her school work and daily chores. They are neat, appropriately sized, and surprisingly, are very reasonably priced given the great quality. This is a first time purchase from JJPRO for me, and based on THIS product, it won't be my last!!!" —Marva M Lloyd

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99+ (available in bundles and options). 

    8. A pack of laminated math posters you can hang up on the wall that'll help visual learners engage with their homework. It's great for elementary through middle school ages. 

    Reviewer's photo of the charts hanging in their kids' room
    Reviewer's photo of their child homeschooling with the charts hanging on the wall

    Promising review: "Best math posters for preschool through third grade. It took me two weeks to decide which math posters I should buy from what company. I chose these because: 1) the content covered, and 2) the layout of the content is easy to read and process. They complement the math curriculums my children have, from simple counting and shapes (pre-school through Kindergarten) all the way to roman numerals, telling time and key words for solving math word problems. I also appreciate the colors used, the size, and the quality, as well as the price and how many you get — what a value! These are not double sided. They arrived flat, not rolled up. I HIGHLY recommend these to give that added boost of comprehension to your little ones whether as a teacher, parent, or both in my case." —YellowTulips77

    Get a pack of 12 from Amazon for $13.99.

    9. Or, Photomath — an app available on Android and Apple devices that can help your kids get the math help they need outside of school hours. The best part is that it doesn't just give the kids the answer, it walks them through how to solve the problem. It's like a personal math tutor. That's the screen-time we're into! 

    a product shot of someone taking a photo of a math problem via the app
    a product shot of the app giving a solution for a math problem
    Photomath

    The app is available on Android or Apple devices. There's a free option, or you can upgrade to the plus version of the app for $4.99/mo or $9.99/mo. 

    10. magnetic air fryer cheat sheet perfect for quick meals. Or, if you have older kids, it'll help them to prepare their own snacks or help out with dinner, too. Sounds like a plan. 

    Promising review: "Bought an air fryer several months ago which I haven't used a whole lot because it came with only a few recipes but not enough info on other items to cook. The Lotteli cheat sheet gives you cooking times and temperatures for a lot of your common everyday foods in a magnetized easy-to-read, two-sheet combo that fills in where air fryer pamphlet that came with the unit leaves out. I also bought an air fryer cook book but this only comes with specific recipes, whereas the cheat sheet fills in the void for quick basic needs. Very happy with this purchase! 😁" —B. Frank Smith

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in two colors and in Spanish). 

    11. A portable storage organizer ideal for holding craft and homework supplies. When it's time to make those science posters they'll find all the things they need safe and sound in their own bin. And, if you have multiple children in the house, they won't fight over whose markers belong to who. It'll make clean up a breeze as well. 

    a product shot of the storage organizer holding craft supplies
    a reviewer photo of two organizers holding crayons and markers

    Promising review: "We own a few of these now and have had our first one for almost five years. Very durable. We had names added to them with vinyl and they make great art caddies!" —Amanda

    "Love this to keep school supplies organized" —Gaby

    Get it from Amazon for $16.49 (available in four colors). 

    12. wrinkle release spray because waking up in the morning and forgetting that you didn't iron your work shirt when you have to get the kids to school on time has become an unfortunate routine. Now, you can get rid of those wrinkles without pulling out the iron or steamer.

    Promising review: "As a college student with a full course load, I'm in and out of my room all the time. This helps me keep my clothes wrinkle-free without having to waste time ironing them. It's also great as it leaves a VERY nice smell on my clothes." —Seth

    Get a two-pack from Amazon for $15.94.

    13. A microwave pasta cooker in case you forget to meal prep the night before. You can quickly cook pasta in the microwave, toss it with some sauce, and voila! Dinner is served. 

    pasta being strained
    reviewer bowl of pasta

    Promising review: "This is an excellent, easy way to make pasta, taking just 12 minutes in the microwave for a serving. It's true that 12 minutes seems longer on microwave time than it does when you're busy making the pasta the traditional way, but in reality, the time is cut in at least half when you take into account waiting for the water to boil. It's important to follow the instructions though and not use the lid in the microwave. Doing so won't hurt the product; it's simply that the container and lid will be just a bit too hot to handle when draining the pasta after you remove it. I found this out the hard way when I dropped my serving while trying to drain :). The cold lid, however, lets you pick up the container and it drains extremely well, pour into a bowl and it's perfect-cooked pasta every time. The measuring holes also keep me from eating too much, or wasting it. A serving is perfect, and lets me know exactly how much I'm eating." —Paul W.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

    14. A rapid egg cooker so you can boil, poach, scramble, or even make an omelet super quick. Now, you can finally fit breakfast into your family's morning routine. Picture perfect eggs every time, just look at the picture below. 👇🏽

    Reviewer showing boiled eggs after using product
    Reviewer showing cooked eggs after using product

    The rapid egg cooker allows you to make hard-boiled, poached, and scrambled eggs. It comes with a base, lid, measuring cup, poaching tray (for poached eggs), six slot boiling tray (for hard-boiled eggs), an omelet bowl, and a recipe/instruction booklet. Add eggs and water (depending on the type of eggs you're making) and your meal will be done in minutes.

    Promising review: "If you are on the fence about getting one of these, GET ONE. It really is as easy as it sounds to have a perfectly cooked egg, no guesswork. If you're particular about egg yolks like me and like them soft but not runny or raw, I've attached an image of a perfectly soft-boiled egg that was cooked as directed (I timed it, this one was 11 minutes. You don't have to time it at all as the buzzer will go off, just for reference). Makes healthy eating a breeze in the morning! Where has this been all my life!?" —rebecca

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in eight colors).

    15. A bleach-free no-scrub shower cleaner that'll let you spray and forget your shower, letting the cleaner do the work for you. Now that everyone is back to school, any help with household chores is greatly appreciated. Reviewers say it takes a few times to tackle big jobs, but it's definitely worth the buy. 👇🏽

    a before photo of a dirty bath tub with hard water stains
    an after photo of a cleaner tub after a treatment of the no scrub cleaner

    Promising review: "I love this product. I hate cleaning tubs. This product has made our tubs look new. I don't use it every shower, maybe every third. Just spray down everything after the shower, and forget about it. You DO need to rinse the tub before next shower due to the product making it slick. With other cleaners, the fumes always messed with my asthma. I have noticed that for some reason, I sneeze twice, because I have to spray shower doors while I'm still in the shower, but it never affects my lungs. I would recommend this to EVERYONE!" —Angela GIllaird

    Get it from Amazon for $18.61+ (available in two scents and a refill).

    16. An ingenious sandwich sealer essential for making your own dupes of Smuckers Uncrustables at home. Did we just save you money? I think so. 

    The sandwich cutter and sealer
    Reviewer's photo showing homemade uncrustables

    Promising review: "These have been a GAME CHANGER in this house!! My son has always begged me for Uncrustables but my wallet didn’t agree with them. I LOVE being able to make them at home and customize them to exactly what they would like them filled with! I make two weeks' worth of sandwiches at a time and store them in sandwich bags in the freezer so in the morning during the school year we can just grab and go! Love them!" —Katherine Smaczniak

    Get it from Amazon for $15.96

    17. A two-pack of truly spill-proof Contigo Trekker Autoseal water bottles in case the last water bottle you bought for your kiddo resulted in a sopping wet backpack full of soggy homework and snacks. Every parent knows that quality spill-proof bottles are hard to find. But, eureka! We've found one. 

    A child holding the water bottle on the playground
    reviewer's gif showing how the water bottle works

    Promising review: "These are great cups, we now have five of these for the kids lunches and I've never had one leak. They are easy for the kids to use and are the perfect size for their lunch bags." —burnem79

    Promising review: "I love these water bottles. My kid has been through so many water bottles with the same problem: either they were difficult for her to open or close, or they leaked and wet her backpack. These though are perfect: after drinking, she doesn’t have to worry about making sure the lid is tight enough since it closes by itself. Perfect size as they fit in her lunch box and bottle holder well. Highly recommend to any parent whose kid might not be the most careful with closing their water bottles." —SW

    Get a pack of two from Amazon for $16.50+ (available in five color options and a pack of three).

    18. A matching rainbow print personalized snack bag complete with a food-safe lining, both washable and reusable, that makes taking sandwiches and snacks to school eco-friendly.

    A personalized sandwich bag, snack bag and cutlery bag
    Tarrah At Home / Etsy

    Tarrah At Home is a small biz based in Warman, Canada founded by a stay-at-home mom with four kids that offers handcrafted storage solutions for your home.

    You can add one name, either first or family to this cheery bag. You can also choose your fave fonts and colors and add your notes in the personalization box when you place your order!

    Promising review: "Product arrived on time. My daughter loves the bright colors. The snack bag fits perfectly into her lunch bag. I love that it's washable and reusable. A great purchase!!!"—Katherine

    Get it from Tarrah At Home on Etsy for $8.66+ (available in multiple bundles and the option to personalize).

    19. A pack of sink extenders to help your little one reach the water by themselves so you don't have to strain your back trying to hoist them up morning and night. 

    A child washing hands in the sink using a sink extender on the faucet
    Gif of water flowing through a faucet extender attached to a faucet

    Promising review: "Must have for toddlers and small children! LOVE this! My 1- and 3-year-old love washing their hands now and my back gets a nice break. Adding the faucet extenders and a stepstool to our bed time/morning routine has been a godsend. Great bargain for the price." —TeaBea21

    Get a two-pack from Amazon for $11.49.

    20. A pack of high-quality, flexible Welly Waterproof Bandages perfect for staying prepared for your accident-prone kiddos who laugh in the face of danger, "HA-HA-HA-HA." 

    reviewer's photo of the bandage tin
    reviewer's photo of their child wearing the monster print bandage

    Promising review: "Bandages for the bandage-fearing toddler. Adhesive bandages are scary things for a toddler, so you're willing to try any number of tricks to get your little guy to put on one when they get a scraped knee or elbow. My 3-year-old son rightfully was afraid of bandages for good long while, but the fact that these are colorful and fun-looking means that he no longer hates getting a scrape because he can run inside and get a bandage from the box. They're not panaceas but they make the process a little easier. The monsters are particularly nice, and there's a few different sizes, patterns, and bright colors for your child to choose from. In terms of how they hold up as bandages, I've had no issues with adhesion. They even last quite well through hand-washings and even sitting in the bathtub without falling off. Can't recommend enough!" —The Huntington Book Depository

    Get a pack of 48 from Amazon for $6.99+ (available in 14 patterns).

    21. An all-natural detangler designed specifically for kids to help you tame their mane in the morning. It has a ~heavenly~ smell, is anti-frizz, and adds moisture and shine to their hair. 

    the detangler spray
    Amazon

    Promising review: "My girl has some frizzy, curly, easily knotted hair! We use this every night and morning and it works like a charm! Highly recommend and it smells GREAT." —JM

    Get it from Amazon for $6.68.