Are you feeling the need to be better prepared this year to help the transition from summer vacation to school? Here are a few ideas to get your home set for school.

Designate an area at the front door for schoolbags and jackets by using hooks, a coat rack, or a bench. Use names tags or pictures to allow each child to have their own area. Include a list of items that need to be in the school bag. This will help to keep the children organized and responsible for their bags. In the evening, or upon entry into the house after school, place schoolbags at the entrance area. This will allow a smooth morning out the door with no searching for lost schoolbags.

Create a family station in the kitchen or the main room. On the wall, you can use a family calendar, cork board, weekly menu board, clock, or timers. This area will become the spot to jot down school events, hot lunch menus, pin school communiqués and coordinate everyone’s schedule.

Another way to get organized at home is to set up a homework area. Use a basket for pencils, erasers, highlighters, and scrap paper. Designate a section of the dining room table or office desk for homework time. This will be useful to your child so they can be independent in starting their homework while you make supper or prep school lunches.

Set up your pantry and fridge to help make lunch packing and afterschool snacks a breeze. Use labeled baskets or containers in the pantry to indicate afterschool snacks. In the fridge, designate different shelving for different types of food. One section for fruit and another one for vegetables.

As the summer days are coming to end, start creating a nighttime routine before school starts. This way, when school does start, the evenings will be a calm transition to bed. This can include winding down after supper, bathing, snack, and bedtime story. If the kids are younger, take advantage of reading a bedtime story to teach simple sounds and words. If the kids are older, this a perfect moment to pick up a few of their favorite chapter books. As much as possible, avoid blue-lit screens as this can be a stimulant and prevent healthy sleeping patterns. Be consistent with the nighttime routine.

Lastly, practice a morning routine. Plan an outing for which everyone in the house needs to be up and out the door around the same time they would normally need to be ready on a school day. This is like a practice run. Have them practice getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing their teeth and grabbing their bags. This will help iron out any issues that may arise.

No matter how many children are in the family, being ready and organized for back to school will benefit everyone in the home. Wake up in the morning to an organized morning routine and go to bed with the relief that everything is set up for the next day.