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Summer’s almost over! But maybe you’re looking at your house and seeing swimsuits and flip-flops and VBS crafts to box up before you dive into a new school year.

Jump start your home organization with these tips.

Make a ListMake a List

One thing that will help you organize your home is organizing your schedule.

That’s easier said than done, though, isn’t it? So start with a list.

Each day, write down the absolute, most important, non-negotiable things to get done. We asked a mom of 25 years for her list, and here’s what it looked like:

  • Devotions
  • Coffee
  • As much school as possible before lunch
  • Slow down to listen to what each child is saying
  • Get everyone out to exercise
  • Everyone does a chore
  • Take breaks
  • At least one load of laundry
  • Plan meals for the next day

Your list will probably be different from hers, but it gives you somewhere to start!

One Drawer a DayOne Drawer a Day

Choose one thing to clean out a day. If you do that, you’ll spend a lot less time wading through the chaos, and a lot more time figuring out what works for you!

And then clean as you go to maintain the organization you have (especially in the kitchen).

What if it’s one of those days and you just don’t have any time to put things away? Keep one main basket to throw the clutter into from that day. Then put it all away right at the end of the day instead of letting it collect.

Less Is MoreLess Is More

When you’re going through a box of old binders, folders, templates, and school supplies, don’t start by getting a trash bag and deciding what you don’t need anymore.

Try it from a different angle. Pull out what you do need instead.

Look at what’s left and see if you need it. If you don’t need it, you won’t use it. If you’re not using it, it’s clutter.

Plastic Bins, Mason Jars, & MorePlastic Bins, Mason Jars, & More

Put toys, d├ęcor, and last year’s textbooks in plastic bins. Seeing things stacked in a box in the closet will feel more organized than seeing the same things stacked without a box.

But get creative with your storage, too.

Use over–the–door shoe–hangers to store school supplies next to the kitchen table. Or loop shower–curtain rings over a hanger to store scarves, keys, and sunglasses. Try using Mason jars to organize pens, pencils, or bathroom supplies. Lazy Susans can also be lifesavers in your pantry, cabinets, or even your fridge.

Label EverythingLabel Everything

Never underestimate the power of masking tape and a Sharpie.

Label “memory” bins for each child to put his cards, pictures, certificates, childhood blankets, and other special things.

Also, localize what you’re organizing. Try keeping all the boxes labeled “toys” in one room, or all the little baskets of medicine on one labeled shelf in the bathroom cabinet.

If you’re labeling binders for old schoolwork, stay true to the way you organized them. (You’ll save yourself half the work when you don’t have to go back and reorganize.)

Clothes Pins, Safety Pins, & HooksClothes Pins, Safety Pins, & Hooks

If something’s normally flung on a chair, you probably use it often enough to stick a Command hook on the wall to give it a “parking spot.”

Here’s a tip for socks: leave a basket of clothespins next to the dirty–laundry basket, and have your kids clip their socks together before tossing them in.

Pin loose buttons, paperclips, and even other safety pins together, then keep them in a jar in your school area.

Ready for CollegeSet Up the Night Before

Have everyone set out their work and supplies each night. If you’re going somewhere early in the morning, pack up the car.

Try asking the kids to pick out their outfits and put them on the end of the bed at bedtime. Wearing PJ’s all day can be a blast, but it also can make it harder to stay organized and keep on schedule.

Get Everyone on Board

If you’re hammering down on organization for its own sake, your family probably won’t catch your passion.

Show them the why’s and how’s, do it alongside them, and slowly they’ll realize why organization matters and pitch in without your asking.