Simple Tips for an Organized and Enjoyable School Year

Simple Tips for a Simplified School Year

A simplified school year is the best way to enjoy this period of learning and growth. The only way to simplify the school year is to stay organized, prepared, and focused. Between all of the activities, events, and schedules that come and go throughout the year … it all quickly turn into chaos. Keeping track of it all can be simple, with some planning and focus.

Over the years, I’ve found that implementing a core organizational system is a sure way to simplify the school year. My focus is to have a simple system I can regularly follow. Then, as deadlines pile up, and papers and flyers arrive, I always feel in control if I stick to this system.

This is the organizational system I’ve been using for years. The more I use it, the more efficient and simplified the school year becomes. My hope is that you’ll find it helpful too. Whether you follow my system as is, or modify it to fit your needs and style, I hope you’ll feel more in control each school year because you’ll have a system that works for you.


The first step I take to simplify the school year, is to organize our calendar. As soon as the calendar for the new school year is released, I enter all events relevant to us into our family calendar. This includes school events, vacation days, no school days, and of course the first and last days of school. As the school updates its calendar throughout the year, I update ours too. Not only is this helpful for keeping up with school events, but also for planning our personal events around it.

The key is to keep a regularly updated calendar, to take away the stress of uncertainty and potential for missing important dates.


No matter the school year, there’s plenty of paperwork brought home. Even with the use of computers in the classroom and at home, there’s still paperwork involved. Rather than let it take over my home, I plan for it in advance:

  • Keepsakes: I use a file storage box for keepsakes from throughout the school years. That’s one box per student, not per school year. The box contains:
    • School pictures, certificates, awards, report cards, special artwork, special projects, etc.
  • Temporary: I use a small box to contain all of the graded classwork, homework, and tests brought home. As graded paperwork is brought home, I review it and immediately store it in this box.
    • At the end of each school term (not school year) I do a quick review of the stored paperwork, keep a few pieces for the keepsake box, and throw away the rest.

The key is to define a set location for paperwork, and not let it pile up on a desk or table at home

Command Center

My command center system works two ways.

  1. Digital: Documents are stored in computer files.
    • One folder per student
      • One subfolder per school grade
        • One subfolder per school subject (Language Arts, Math, History, etc.). This is where all digital assignments and projects are stored for the school year.
    • One folder for school documents
      • One subfolder per school year. This is where general school documents are stored.
  2. Paper: A hanging folder organizer or an accordion file organizer work well.
    • This is where temporary paperwork that needs an action gets stored. Label each file according to your needs. Some examples:
      • To Do (to review, to complete, or to sign), Schedules, Events/Invites, etc.
    • Once the action has occurred, throw away the paper. If it’s something you signed and need a copy of, scan it and save it in one of the digital folders (see above).

The key is to have a designated location for all documents needed. The easier it is to find what you need, the less stress throughout the school year.

School Supplies

The beginning of the school year is a good time to organize the school supplies that will be used at home. Anything that needs replacing gets replaced, and new supplies required for the school year get purchased. Don’t complicate things by buying too many school supplies. You’ll just be sorry to have more items to put away and organize throughout the school year.

The key is to have an organized inventory of school supplies to avoid overspending or being unprepared.

Meal Plan (Snacks and Lunches)

If you prepare snack and/or lunch meals on a regular basis, then you know that planning a variety of meals is important. At the beginning of each school year, I put together a list of snack and lunch ideas. Each list has ten food items on it. Throughout the school year, I make sure my refrigerator and pantry are regularly stocked with at least five items from each list. Mixing-and-matching those foods throughout the week and occasionally including dinner leftovers, guarantees a regular variety of snacks and lunches.

The key is to have a plan and routine for simplifying the task of creating numerous snacks and lunches throughout the week.

Whether you’re managing a student’s school year, or you’re a student yourself, I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. My goal for sharing the ways I’ve simplified each school year, is to help you simplify yours.

What are your tips for an organized school year?

If you like this post, you might like 5 Ways to Simply the End of School Year.