What do I love about school holidays? Not tripping over my kid’s school bag. Not being late because they couldn’t find their homework. Not wondering how their sunhat has disappeared … again!
Keeping kids organised during the school year may sound like a lost cause but it can be done. One of the best tips is to create a “backpack station”. Basically, it’s an area in your home where the backpacks, school shoes, homework, etc can be stored, making it easy to find everything for the school day. A place for everything and everything in its place, right?
Where to put your backpack station?
Positioning the backpack station near the door is the most common and practical place so the kids can kick off those shoes and dump their bags as they enter the house (and vice versa). If you drive for the school run it may be more practical to have it near the door to the garage.
Available space will have an influence on where you ultimately set up your backpack station and aesthetics can play a part too. As we don’t have a lot of space by our front door, my backpack station is inside my kitchen pantry which makes it easy for grabbing lunch boxes and I can hide it all away out of view.
What a backpack station needs
How basic or grand you make the backpack station will depend on the space you have and your budget, but you don’t need to spend a fortune to create a tidy and practical space. Some of the things you can include are:
- Hooks or cubbies for backpacks (low enough for the kids to reach them)
- Hooks for raincoats and jackets
- Storage for shoes
- Storage for hats, swimbags, PE uniform, etc
- Bench or seat for putting on shoes
- Drawer or tray for homework and school notices
- Blackboard or noticeboard for reminders
You can give each child a dedicated space or use communal boxes for shoe storage, etc. Add some personal touches like an initial letter or name above their backpack hook and dress up the area with a framed piece of your child’s artwork or a family motto.
A handy tip is to put up a before and after school checklist so the kids can see at a glance what they need to do, ie empty the lunch box, put homework in tray, etc. This gives them some personal responsibility and means you don’t have to repeat yourself every day.
Written by Julie Scanlon
Julie is Editor for Kidspot NZ and our MVP. Her hobbies include laughing uncontrollably at her own jokes, annoying her family by asking questions about movie plots, and never taking anything too seriously. She speaks a little Spanish and a lot of Yorkshire.
Favourite motto to live by: “It ain’t nothing but a thing”