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    25 Back-To-School Organization Tips

    Calculus is hard but getting organized doesn't have to be.

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    1. Start by getting rid of as much junk as possible. Janky binders you've used three years in a row? Toss 'em. Old graded assignments? Shred 'em. Your raggedy backpack that's being held together by threads? Burn it. How else are you going to make room for this year's school stuff when your house is still cluttered with last year's?

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    Does the thought of cleaning overwhelm you? Read Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which is only $9.69 on Amazon, to inspire you to find things that spark joy — and get rid of the rest.

    2. Treat yourself to a HyperChiller, which will instantly cool your coffee, tea, and wine in seconds, because how can you expect to stay organized if you hadn't had your iced coffee yet? The best part: it's dishwasher-safe! This is going to be a long school year, but at least you have your caffeine.


    Promising review: "My wife loves iced coffee, but of course, unless you make it and chill it beforehand, then you need to make it and try adding ice which never works well. I bought her this and she LOVES it. Make a hot tumbler of coffee, pour it into this, and in two minutes or less she has a great (not watered down) iced coffee. Rinse it out and throw it back in the freezer for the next time. Well worth the money." —JimD_NH

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99.

    3. Hang a family calendar on the fridge so everyone knows who needs to be where at what time. It comes with six markers — enough for each family member — so you can color code each person's appointments. Plus, you'll also receive a free grocery list to make meal prepping easier.

    Promising review: "I really love this! My husband and I write our work schedules out and jot down the kids’ school activities and any appointments in between. The spots are big enough to fit everything but it’s not so huge that’s it’s awkward. It cleans easily. The bonus grocery list allows anyone to jot down something they see we need for the house and I can build our grocery list from that." —funnurseallie142

    Get it from Amazon for $17.95 (also available in a vertical board).

    4. Make early mornings a bit more bearable with an alarm clock that does it all. It has six alarm options plus it can play the radio as well as two USB charging ports so your phone is never far. Choose from five brightness options so you're not blinded in the middle of the night when you get up for water. And! There are two alarm settings, which we recommend setting for the weekend and the week so your alarm doesn't go off at 6 a.m. on a Saturday (unless you're a morning person!).

    Promising review: "This is a great little clock. I am amazed at the crystal clear radio reception and I didn't even open up the antenna cord. I love that this can be quiet or as loud as almost anyone would ever want. It is easy to set, easy to read, and is a great size. It does not feel cheap at all, very substantial for such a compact clock. Love all the different alarm sounds. I also like having two alarms so one can be for workdays and the other for whatever you want and you don't have to go messing up your settings." —VirginiaGirl

    Get it from Amazon for $25.99.

    5. Stock up on waterproof labels so you don't have to replace your kids' water bottles for the millionth time because someone at school keeps mistakenly taking them. They come with waterproof laminate seals that will protect your labels no matter how much abuse it suffers at the hands of messy kids.

    Promising review: "We're going on month nine and these things look great! They've been through the dishwasher countless times and they're not peeling, bubbling, anything. I love these and I absolutely intend to get another set when we have our next baby in a few months!" —Amber Zink

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99 (originally $9.99).

    6. Invest in a freezable lunch box that has a cold pack built into it. This way you'll save money because you don't have to buy a separate ice pack, plus no cold pack means more space inside for important things, like snacks! Chill it in the freezer for 12 hours the night before, and it'll be up to the task of keeping food chilled. Moms who are pumping also swear by it for keeping breast milk cold.


    Promising review: "I got this freezable bag for my daughter and she really likes it; it is handy to just fold up and pop it into the freezer. It keeps your food items cold for hours. It is easy to wipe out and is compact enough so as to not take up a lot of space in your freezer, because it lies pretty flat when folded. They have numerous designs to choose from. You can find one that is super cute or one that is a little more subdued if that’s more your style." —Deb Blanton

    Get them from Amazon for $23.99+ (available in 25 colors).

    7. Create a healthy snack station that'll streamline the lunch-packing process. Instead of rooting through the fridge each morning, simply grab one or two items from this bin to round out any lunch.

    You can recreate blogger IHeartOrganizing's fridge organization tip with any containers you have at home to prevent buying more plastic. However, we recommend this clear set from Amazon for $14.99 if you don't have any spare bins. We like these because they're transparent so you can see when contents are running low and it's time to go grocery shopping. Plus, they're versatile enough to be used in the rest of the house.

    8. Purchase a combination whiteboard and corkboard so you'll have a place to write family announcements and hang important papers, like permission slips.

    Promising review: "Put this up in our kitchen for family messages on whiteboard. I like the corkboard for posting school-related reminders/info. Easy to use and clean. I like that the whiteboard is magnetic, and the clip for markers is also good. Perfect size for what we needed." —Linda h

    Get it from Amazon for $9.94 (originally $11.69).

    9. Designate a hanging organizer as an "inbox" where your kids can leave forms that require your signature. No more groans when someone shouts "I need you to sign this!" literally two seconds after you've dropped them off at school.

    Promising review: "I love this organizer. Every time I find loose papers I just put them in the appropriate folder then when my kids are looking for their homework they know right where to look. Anything from disclosures, assignments, permission slips they know right where to look. Also if needed the folders can come out." —Chelsie Schwalger

    Get it from Amazon for $12.74.

    10. Install wall hooks to hold coats and backpacks. This way your floors will stay clear of clutter when the kids come home instead of turning into an obstacle course.

    Promising review: "We purchased drywall anchors separately to ensure it could hold multiple backpacks and it's done its job great so far! Makes it super easy to keep jackets and bags up and off the floor when kids come home each day! Love the style and color, it blends well with decor. Very happy!" —Momma on a budget

    Get it from Amazon for $19.01 (available in seven colors and as a two-pack).

    11. Set up a handy homework caddy that's fully stocked with paper, pencils, and anything else a student would need. This way you aren't chained to your desk if you want to do work.

    Blogger Organize Your Stuff Now used an IKEA dish holder, but you can use any container you have handy. We recommend buying some letter stickers, like these ones from Amazon for $4.50 so you can label the tops of your containers.

    12. Simplify dinner with a weekly meal planner so you don't drive to the grocery store after work and just sit in the parking lot wondering, "What am I going to make for dinner tonight?" You'll save so much time during the school year, plus you won't have to deal with the kids asking you what's for dinner the minute they get home.

    Promising review: "We are a crazy busy farm family and meals always get away from us. It's like we are surprised every day when dinnertime rolls around! 😋 So, getting organized with meals has been a big priority for me this fall. Thanks for a really cute and good quality product that is already doing its job! The kids love to walk by and tell everyone what's for dinner today and in a few days!" —professor

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    13. Prep meals the week before so you don't have to spend another 30 minutes once you get home whipping up a meal for the kids. One major time-saving tip is to make enough food to ensure that you have leftovers, which means you've got at least one other meal covered.

    A clear set of glass containers, like this nine-piece kit from Amazon for $32.99, can hold all your meals and leftovers with ease, plus they'll last you a lot longer than plastic containers.

    Check out our roundup of 30 easy meal prep recipes that take less than 30 minutes to make.

    14. Load a car organizer with your kid's essentials — wipes, games, hand sanitizer, water bottles, and easy breakfasts like granola bars — so you can grab your little ones in the morning and go. Plus, they'll protect the back of your seats from dirty shoes.

    Promising review: "Bought these to put entertainment and activities for the children I babysit and take to and from school. I also keep tissues and napkins back there for them. This is very durable and made of good material. It also keeps footprints off of the front seats!" —Nancy Le

    Get a two-pack from Amazon for $17.97.

    15. Prevent messes while carpooling or commuting to school with a handy car trash can. Whether it's crumbs from breakfast on the go or fast food wrappers from dinners on the way to sports practice, this little guy can handle anything you throw at it thanks to its leakproof liner.


    Promising review: "This has been a lifesaver in keeping my car clean with two kids! They now know if they have trash that it goes in this garbage can...not just thrown on the floor. It’s sturdy and doesn’t leak. Large enough to last a while before you need to empty it." —Danielle

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in three colors).

    16. Store car cleaning supplies and the kids' extracurricular equipment in a car trunk organizer so you can declutter your entryway and save yourself the headache of finding their jerseys five minutes before you're all supposed to leave. It's foldable, so you can store it when you don't need it, plus anti-slip grips on the bottom prevent it from sliding around the trunk.

    Promising review: "This organizer is perfect. There are pockets on the outside for random things like bandages and stupid stuff the kids have, but lots of room inside for blankets, jumper cables, etc. My daughter’s softball bag fits perfectly in one section, keeping the bat from bouncing around against the windows. And it does not slide AT ALL." —Annie Smith

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99 (originally $39.99).

    17. Cross off every assignment on your list with a handy weekly and monthly calendar that'll remind you of what's on your plate. No more panicking in class when your teacher reminds you that the big test is tomorrow; now you can mark it on your calendar weeks in advance so you have plenty of time to study.


    Promising review: "I am so picky when it comes to planners/calendars, and I bought this because I needed it for my classes this year. I love the durability of the front and back cover, so any spills/rain will not penetrate to the pages. The spiral is small and decent-sized so it won’t pull against anything. More than anything I love that it gives you room to write on the calendar page! My handwriting is big and most planners suck when it comes to sizing their spaces. Anyway this is a lifesaver for college and high school students." —Trehfaraj

    Get it from Amazon for $7.49+ (available in two sizes).

    18. Save time in the morning by using rack dividers to separate each day's outfit. No more standing in front of your closet, cursing the fashion gods and hating everything you own.

    Using blogger IHeartOrganizing's genius tip, you can conquer closet clutter and get dressed in mere minutes. Now you have time for more important things in the morning, like eating breakfast. Get 20 dividers from Amazon for $8.99.

    19. Buy a desk organizer that'll transform your messy work station into one where you'll actually want to do your homework.


    Promising review: "Helped make my office super organized. I LOOOVE this product. The drawer is perfect for any miscellaneous small items, and the top paper racks have been perfect for keeping my school materials from piling up around me while I'm studying. I have each section for a different subject, and an extra for various reference materials." —Rav n Hyo

    Get it from Amazon for $22.87 (also available in white).

    20. Stock up on colorful gel pens that'll make homework fun and help you color-coordinate your notes.

    Promising review: "Nothing gets me more in the mood to take notes at school than aesthetically pleasing colors with reliable hefty pens. The variety of colors is perfect for doodles and color-coding notes! The build of the actual pen has a nice and sturdy casing that feels like it will last for quite a while. Gorgeous colors, smooth flowing ink, and quick-dry is all here!" —Dreatra

    Get a pack of 14 pens from Amazon for $17.97 (originally $40.53, available in packs of four, 14, and 20).

    21. Clear clutter from your desk with an aesthetically pleasing pencil holder that doubles as a makeup brush container. It's even wide enough to hold your phone in case you really need to silence any distractions and make progress on your homework.


    Promising review: "I'm building an in-home office space in my bedroom so I need decor but not too much or too much color. THIS IS great! I love the marble finish; it matches my mousepad perfectly. I didn't realize it would have gold trim on the top, which I love. It's super sturdy and has a good weight to it." —Aidyn Doran

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

    22. Spend less time in the bathroom by keeping it organized. If everything has its place, you won't run around in the mornings looking for a hair dryer or your makeup bag.

    A narrow multi-tier shelf, like this one from Amazon for $35.80, is a great option if you're short on space in the bathroom. We recommend a set of storage baskets, like this four-pack from Amazon for $17.99 so you can keep everything separated.

    23. Make "Don't Forget" lists using Post-it notes. Then, leave them on the front door so you'll never head out without your homework again. These heavy-duty sticky notes are water-resistant, so you could even hang them on your bathroom mirror and take a shower without worrying that the condensation will make them fall off.

    Promising review: "I still cook large meals so I have to freeze them into smaller portions. These labels work really great in the freezer and even stood up to an accidental electric dish washing. The large labels leave lots of room for date and descriptions." —glswrp

    Get them from Amazon for $4.49+ (available in two colors).

    24. Stay organized with an accordion folder that'll keep your school papers in order and prevent your desk from getting cluttered. Plus, the smiley face will comfort you at least a little bit when you're drowning in coursework.

    Promising review: "I've been using this folder for nearly two to three months and I'm a college student with a lot of papers to carry. I was looking for something cute, easy to carry, that fits manila folders, and overall keeps folders from getting crinkly. This DID IT. I can't express how much I love this — I got a second one that is coming very soon! Nothing gets crinkled or bent and it is great. I can throw loose leaf papers, folders, or even books/small notebooks in here. It's adorable and a great color as well." —Alexa Viz

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99 (available in eight colors).

    25. Keep a jumbo-sized pencil pouch in the car as an emergency school supplies kit for just in case.

    Promising review: "It is bigger than expected and holds all of my needed school supplies: tape, two erasers, three pens, 18 pencils, four highlighters, scissors, glue stick, two pack sticky notes, two chapsticks, and a hand sanitizer! I definitely recommend this for someone with lots of supplies!" —CN, RN

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in three colors).

    Study hard, because these will all be on the test!

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    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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