It’s August and everyone knows what that means! Yes, that’s right. School is right around the corner. Now is the perfect time to get your home organized for the new school year. Even a few small changes can make those busy mornings and full calendars easier to manage and get everyone started off on the right foot!

Set up a dedicated space in your home for each family member’s backpacks, coats, shoes and other belongings. There’s no need to remodel your home if you don’t have a mud room! Use a closet or other space and head to your local hardware store and purchase bins, shelving units, shoe storage and hooks as space permits. Have different colored bins and folders on shelves or in cubbies for each family member to collect and store all permission slips, lunch boxes, homework, library books, art projects and other important items.

Set up a designated snack station in your kitchen. Whether it’s a shelf in the pantry, a cabinet, or a drawer, keep snacks in bins without lids so kids can easily see what’s available. Make one of the lower shelves of your refrigerator a kid friendly zone. It’s a great place to keep healthy snacks like fruit, veggies, yogurt and cheese sticks in plain sight so kids can make smart nutritious choices. It also provides a go-to place to grab those refrigerated items for packing lunches on busy mornings.

Create a study space for your children. It doesn’t have to be a desk – the dining room table or even part of the family room or kitchen works. Use a rolling cart, bins, drawers or a cabinet to store school supplies in a central location. That makes it easier to find the stapler, ruler, index cards and other items needed for school projects and assignments. You might want to consider adding a comfy reading area where kids can enjoy their own quiet space to read – whether for a school assignment or relaxation.

For more efficient family time management, create a centralized place for all family schedules, calendars, and invitations. An event calendar can help keep track of after-school activities, appointments, meetings, volunteer work and more. Choose a calendar format that is efficient for your family. Use a paper calendar with large squares or a pre-printed whiteboard calendar that lets you easily transition to the next month. You can also take advantage of today’s technology and input all important dates into a compatible calendar and then sync phones and computers so everyone has access to the same schedule.

We hope these tips help prepare your home and family for the busy days and months ahead. It’s time to get ready to have the best school year ever!