Oh back to school time, we knew you were coming. We saw all the signs at Target reminding us to grab pencils and notebooks, we had the anxiety dreams we overslept and missed the first day of school, and my children have hit their limit of quality summer sibling time. So yes, it’s time, but are we ready for those crazy mornings where we’re tossing shoes and socks at everyone and two seconds before the bus comes, we realize our kids are wearing their breakfast on their shirts? No, but it’s here anyway.
So here’s to a new school year and not having to ask your kids to brush their teeth more than five times in a row. How are we going to do all this? I have NO IDEA, but these back to school hacks are a good way to start!
Breakfast On-The-Go Hacks
Make ahead breakfast sandwiches are super easy to make when you use this hack. Cook a dozen eggs by baking each in a muffin tin. Using a lightly greased muffin tin, crack one egg into each cup and bake for 15 minutes on 350 degrees. Build your sandwich with English muffins, cheese and ham. Freeze the sandwiches and wrap in foil for later or heat and enjoy.
No one wants to wash a pile of dishes in the morning. So cut down on breakfast mess by mixing pancake mix for the week, placing the batter in smaller freezer bags, and store in the fridge. Just be sure to leave room for the batter to expand. When you’re ready to make the pancakes, cut one bottom corner of the bag and squeeze the mix into a hot pan. You can even add fruit or chocolate chips for fun flavored pancakes.
Running out of time in the AM but still want a breakfast smoothie? Here’s how to make one in no time at all. Start by chopping up and freezing all the ingredients for a smoothie in individual sandwich bags—this is a great weekend activity. When you’re ready to make the smoothie, grab a bag from the freezer and throw the ingredients into a blender, mix in juice and enjoy!
How about yummy oats that you don’t have to cook? Mix equal parts milk, yogurt and rolled oats with a banana and some cinnamon. Place in the fridge overnight and in the morning, add fruit or nuts and serve.
You’ll never have to worry that food in a thermos isn’t still hot at lunchtime. Start by filling the thermos with almost boiling water and put the lid on. Let it sit while you pack lunches or serve breakfast. Then heat the food hotter than you would normally serve it (this is super easy for me since I overheat everything in the microwave). Finish by dump out the hot water and adding the food. Now you have hot food stored in a warm thermos, which makes the perfect hot lunch.
In a lunchbox packing slump? Use your kids’ thermos for food other than soup. Line the bottom of the thermos with a paper towel and add hot chicken nuggets. The paper towel helps to keep the nuggets from getting soggy and will yummy at lunchtime. Just don’t forget the ketchup!
Keep apples looking fresh at lunchtime, start by using a knife or apple corer/slicer to cut around the core. Then put the apple back together and wrap a rubberband around the apple. Hours later, the apple will still look and taste fresh.
Clothes and Uniform Hacks
Choose outfits for the entire week and store each outfit in a section of a hanging sweater organizer. Be sure to include socks, underwear, and hair accessories to make the morning even easier. Write out the days of the week and post on each section for extra site word practice!
Loop a soda can tab on a hanger and attach another hanger to the other side of the tab to create a double hanger. For after-school activities, hang all uniforms pieces and practice clothes on these hangers to save closet space and stay organized.
Bathroom Organization Hacks
Cut an over the door shoe organizer to fit inside a door of a bathroom cabinet. Give each child a row on the organizer to store all their hair brushes, hair products, hair accessories, tooth brushes, toothpaste, or anything else they use to get ready in the morning.
Affix a magnetic strip to the inside of the cupboard door and attach bobby pins and hair bows to the strip to save space and help with organization.
Hacks for Getting Out the Door
Create a “last minute” station using milk crates near the door. Using shoeboxes or plastic containers, store socks, hair accessories, change, quick grab snacks like applesauce pouches or granola bars, and a stain stick or baby wipes for those last minute needs or messes.
Give kids the perfect place to hang their backpacks by using command hooks or decorative towel hooks inside a closet or on a wall to create a backpack nook.
Change the locked picture on your phone to a written note with your kid’s schedules, pickup times, and drop-off times for a quick reference at the beginning of the year.
I hope these back to school hacks help you stay organized during this crazy time of year! What other ideas do you have?