Back to school means back to routine – and back to entryway clutter and morning chaos. At the end of a long day of school and extracurricular activities, if there’s not a convenient place to put backpacks, shoes, and jackets, they’ll likely end up on the floor. The next morning you’re faced with finding backpacks, homework, and missing shoes, all before rushing out the door to start all over again. Kill the clutter with some back to school entryway organization.
If you have the space, cubbies are a great way to organize your entryway. Each family member gets their own space with room for shoes, jackets, and backpacks. This is a great place to store anything that needs to go in and out on a daily basis, including keys, homework folders, and sporting equipment. If you have an electrical outlet nearby, install a charging station or basket, so everyone’s devices are charged and ready to go in the morning. This also keeps the kids – and adults – from staying up late playing on their phones.
Cubbies come in many pre-made styles, with shelves, hooks, and enclosed storage options. You can also hire a contractor if you would like a fully customized storage system.
If you’re running low on space or a cubby system isn’t right for your entryway, installing hooks along the wall can help keep your gear organized. Hang jackets, hats, backpacks, and lunch boxes up off the floor and out of the way. When installing hooks, keep in mind both the size and length of the items, as well as the height of family members. If your preschooler can’t reach the hook for his jacket, he won’t use it.
Installing a bench or shoe rack under the hooks helps keep shoes neat and organized in your entry. In wet or snowy climates, make sure you have a tray or other waterproof area to store wet or muddy gear so it doesn’t seep into the main living spaces.
Plan ahead for winter by designating baskets or tote bags for winter gear. Keeping each child’s hat, mittens, and scarf in a designated spot will help eliminate the lost-mitten hunt in the morning, and get everyone out the door faster.
Paper Storage and Calendars
Back to school also means back to the daily influx of paperwork. Notices, calendars, permission slips, and homework all come home each day. If you let them pile up, you’re sure to miss an important newsletter. Develop an organization plan before the school year begins. The entryway is a great place to store and organize paperwork as it comes in. Consider hanging some file folders on the wall for paperwork that needs action. As it comes in the door, quickly sort it into folders. Keep a recycling bin nearby for papers you don’t need to keep. Remember to go through the files every couple of days to stay on top of everything.
The entryway is also a good place to keep your family calendar. Hang a bulletin board, dry-erase, or other calendar on the wall, and write all the family’s appointments on it. This will help keep everyone organized and on track all year long. It’s also a good place to write reminders and hang messages for family members.
With some simple entryway organization, this year’s back to school time can be easy and clutter-free. Consider the space you have and your family’s needs when planning, to make sure the space gets used efficiently. Encourage the kids to put everything where it belongs each night, and enjoy a hassle-free morning.