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Keep the School Year Organized with the Touch of An App

Digital Swaps to Organize Kid Art and More

It is the first day of August, can you believe it? I feel like this summer is just flying by. It is also the first summer in a while that we have had so much planned. We are taking advantage of the STEAM program at our local library, crafting at Michael’s craft store, enjoying a new yoga class and walking through new towns to find hidden art. My kids could also live in the swimming pool if I let them. It makes for a lot of extra laundry, but I love how much they enjoy passing the time playing and laughing.  

Each year, I spend most of the month of August enjoying the last bits of summer while organizing our home for a new school year. I am in denial that my kids are going to be second graders this year. I feel like I was just sending them off for the very first bus ride to school. But I do feel like now I kind of have a better sense of how to organize things in my schedule and my home.

My kids are collectors and they LOVE to pour over old photos and art work, so they try to keep EVERYTHING. It doesn’t help the clutter factor when they come home from school with SO many papers. It can really consume space quickly. This year I am going to try to swap in some digital systems to organize our chaos and plan ahead. Here are some ideas we’ll be trying this new school year.

ARTWORK- This will take over every bit of space in your home. At some point you won’t even know you have a refrigerator. I am choosy about what I keep in our special storage box, but after three years of elementary school it is already starting to fill up. We have an art gallery where art work is displayed for a week before I keep or toss. DIGITAL SWAP: There are tons of phone apps that allow you to click a pic and either save it, or create a coffee table book filled with your kids art. The artwork lives on and you free up space in your home.

PAPERWORK – paperwork is always sent home with only one or two days of a deadline. I think this is to create a sense of urgency so parents will send back right away. So often kids either forget to hand in paperwork on time, or they lose it. DIGITAL SWAP: Fill out paper work as soon as you receive it and snap a photo of it. When your child’s teacher sends a reminder that it is overdue you can email it off immediately. Use an organization app like Trello that allows you to upload photos of receipts and documents to save in individual categories.

SCHEDULES- Having more than one kid in sports or activities means keeping track of different time schedules. No one wants to be left behind, miss a game or have to walk home. DIGITAL SWAP: Keep track of important dates in your Google calendar, or use a family app like Cozi. Set reminders for practice times and keep track of away games. Sync your calendar with your co-parent/partner/grandparents or babysitter. This helps keep everyone on the same page.

MEALS – I am a HUGE meal planner. It saves me so much time and money having our meals and snacks organized for the week. During the school year I also plan and organize my kids’ school lunches.  I don’t mind packing their lunch, but I admit the day they buy pizza in the cafeteria, is my favorite day of the week. DIGITAL SWAP: Use a meal planning app like LaLa Lunchbox to keep lunch menus organized. Your kids can help you with the planning and get to feed their digital monster.


Phwew, that feels like a lot less clutter already! I also hope it frees up some time for me to enjoy doing other things. Maybe I’ll start meditating.

How is your back-to-school planning going? What apps do you use to keep your family organized?

The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest. 

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