Are you in back to school mode like my family? If so, this post is designed to help you start the school year organized and ready to go! If you don’t have kids going back to school, you may just find an idea or two for yourself…so keep reading. Ahead you’ll find a check list of back to school prep activities. At the end is a free printable checklist to use to keep yourself organized as you get your crew ready for the new school year. Sound fun? Let’s get started!

Collect supplies Stock up on School + Craft Supplies

Take advantage of the stores being chock-full of fun and inspiring school, craft, and office supplies. If you have kids in school, use these supplies to create a well-stocked homework or craft cabinet, and save yourself trips for extra supplies throughout the year! If you don’t have kids going back to school, now is a great time to declutter and refersh your own stash of creative supplies.

To-Do List

Declutter and inventory craft / homework cabinet. (Or set one up! For more info on how, read this blog post and this blog post.)

Checklist + Project Ideas to Get Organized for Back-to-School


Take stock of supplies. Inventory any supplies left over from last school year, and then…

Make a list of supplies needed for school and home.

Shop for needed supplies. Before hitting the store, check your mailbox and online for coupons and sale fliers!

Restock and organize craft / homework cabinet.

Label and pack school supplies in your child’s backpack (or an even larger bag, if necessary) for transporting to school.

Order new backpacks (if needed.)

Make new backpack tags. (Visit this blog post for ideas.)

Declutter the Bedrooms

An organized kid’s room will help you both get each day off to the right start! Here’s a quick checklist of things to do to get the bedrooms and closets school-time ready!

To-Do List

Go through the kids’ bookshelves. Clear out old books they won’t want to read again, and make space on the bookshelves for new books and reading materials.

Tub of books

Have your child try on clothes to see what still fits.

Make lists of clothing needed for school, weekends, and special activities such as fall sports and outings.

Set a day to go shopping and in the meantime, keep your eyes open for sale fliers and coupons.

Shop for clothes and shoes.

Update your Family Message Center (or set one up!)

A family message center will help you keep track of the many moving pieces known as your life with kids! If you don’t have a message center in your home, read this blog post for details on what to include.

Family message center

To-Do List

Set up message center (if needed). (See this blog post for more info.)

Update the family calendar.

Update (or set up) a household reference binder. If you’re already using one create space for the new paperwork about to make its way into your home. Clear out last year’s classroom info, old sports schedules, and anything else that’s outdated. If you aren’t yet using one, this FREE download gives you step-by-step instructions for setting up your family reference binder.

Clean out any papers from the past summer and file notes for next year. Ask your kids which camps and activities they most enjoyed this summer, and capture those details for next year.

Declutter (or set up!) a Lunch Center

A lunch from home is often a healthier alternative for your child. So make it easy as pie to make lunches for your kids this school year by following these simple steps.

Lunch center

To-Do List

Create a spot in the pantry and the fridge for lunch-making supplies. (See this blog post for more ideas.)

Create some lunch box notes!

Check lunch-boxes and food storage containers.

Purchase new lunch-boxes and reusable food containers (if needed.)

Create a list of lunch ideas. 

Take Care of Business

To-Do List

Make appointments for haircuts, the dentist, the doctor for sports physicals, etc.  Do this now to get first dibs on convenient times, and avoid having to take your kids out of school.

Register the kids for their fall activities such as sports teams, music or art lessons. And while you’re at it, sign yourself up for a class, too!

Click this link to download a free printable back to school checklist like the one shown below. You will need Adobe Reader which is available here

Back to school checklist

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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