5 Hack-to-School Tips with Merry Maids [plus] GIVEAWAY! **CLOSED WINNER NOTIFIED

Disclosure: This is a sponsored partnership with Merry Maids. All opinions are 100% my own.

School is back in session!

Gone are the summer days of sleeping late, no homework, snack bar lunches at the pool club, bedtime after 8PM and wearing swim suits all day long!

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I’m going to be honest with you, I love having the kids back to school because it really helps put me and my family on a schedule. As much as I love the “ease” of summer, I love having organization and order and routines set for the next 180 school days. As you can imagine, it’s not always easy getting the kids back into a school routine. With 5 kids, it’s important for me and my husband to make sure we’re working as a team with our family in getting everyone off and out the door for school in the morning with ease. We rely on some great parenting hacks that make the mornings and afternoons seamless.

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I’ve partnered with Merry Maids to share with you some of our favorite “Hack-to-School” tips to make this back to school time easier on everyone in the family. Since I know how important it is to have a clean and organized home, especially during this time of year, I’m SO very excited to be working with Merry Maids on this series because they are truly the experts!

Are you ready for some great “Hack-to-School” Tips!?

1. Backpack and Lunch pack designated area.

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We started doing this last year and it has been amazing! When the boys get home from school, they have a designated area where they must put their backpacks and lunch packs. There’s no tossing the backpacks on the living room floor. There’s no laying the lunch packs on the kitchen counters. Every child has their own designated hook for their bags and are responsible for putting them away.

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This cuts down on me and my husband taking the time to unpack and put everything away for the kids. Since we don’t have the room to build or create cubbies in our entrance way for each child in our family, we thought hooks would be the next best thing for us. It works like a charm. Everything is neat, organized and off the floor and it makes the boys feel good taking on the responsibility of putting their own things away where they belong.

2. Lay it Out (the Night Before).

Mom Hacks for Back to School

I love this hack for kids! My mother used to do this for me and my siblings when we were kids and I started doing this when my oldest son was in Kindergarten (5 years ago!). It’s all about laying the clothes out the night before. This has cut down on so much time in the morning with the kids because there’s no phrases like, “I can’t find anything to wear!” I take each one of my sons the night before and have them pick out an outfit for the next day. We even pick out the socks, too! I then lay all the outfits out in a row for the 4 boys. It works like a charm for everyone.

Mom Hacks for Back to School

In the morning, they wake up – brush their teeth, style their hair – get dressed and head right downstairs to breakfast! Seamless morning! Merry Maids also shared with me another great way to do this, too. Empty one of your kid’s dresser drawers before the school year starts. Compartmentalize the drawer with cut up cardboard pieces for five days of the week. Then work with your child to lay out five outfits and place in the drawer so they are ready to wear, saving time each morning. Either way you choose, this is such a wonderful way for school mornings to be quick and easy, even if your child wears a uniform. Just lay everything out neatly the night before. They just grab, dress and go!

3. Lunches packed the night before.

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Last year all 4 of our sons were in school together for the very first time. It was the first time we were making 4 lunches in the morning. Each one of our sons loves different types of foods in their lunch. As much as we tried to just give them all the same food, they weren’t eating it – so we had to make sure each son got what they really wanted to eat. It was taking me and my husband so much time in the morning because we were racing against breakfast for everyone, backpacks packed for everyone, bus stop timetables… too much! We started making their lunches at night and just having everything set to pop into their lunch bags in the morning. I can’t tell you how amazing this has worked for us! Lunch packing for us in the morning is just that – just packing it up! At night after the kids go to bed, we actually have the time to pack everything up and make everything special for them. This has been a morning life and time saver for us!

4. Back to School laundry ease.

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My children literally live in their bathing suits all summer, so my summer laundry is pretty easy – it’s just bathing suits, towels and shorts/tees. As soon as school starts up, it’s time for the laundry ti pile up again! It does take me a long time to do laundry because we have 7 people in our family! Merry Maids has an awesome Hack-to-School Laundry Tip that they shared with me and I started doing it last week… Mesh It Up: When dirty clothes pile up after school days and activities, have your kids place them in individually labeled mesh bags to sort clothes with ease. This is also a great solution for sorting socks when doing laundry, so they don’t get swapped or lost and can be easily returned to their rightful feet. What I ended up doing was purchasing laundry baskets to help them sort. One is for tees and shorts, one is for socks and undergarments, one is for me and my husband (we don’t require that much laundry!) and one is for Victoria.

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This was laundry sorting and then folding us super easy and quick! Not to mention – it’s already sorted for putting away time, which is the part that takes me the longest to do! I love this hack! It’s all sorted pre-laundry!

5. Chore Chart.

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My sons just started having chores last year. They’re 7, 8, 9 and 10… so they are absolutely old enough to be able to help out and do stuff around the house. The only problem was with my “chore assigning” was that I had to explain every single day what everyone was expected to do… and then hear the, “UGH! Mom!” So I did created a CHORE CHART/LIST on our basement door for everyone to see and everyone to always be in the “know” about in our family. I was trying to find the best way to display the chores, so my husband thought that using chalkboard paint on the basement door would be the best thing… and it was! It has done wonders for us! Everyone knows what to do each day and it has helped keep everyone on the same page!

Check out this GREAT Back to School Tips that Merry Maids has shared with me, too! This is a wonderful checklist to print and keep out for your family!

Back to School Tips

I’m ALSO excited to share with you this INCREDIBLE GIVEAWAY!!!!

GIVEAWAY:

I’m BEYOND excited to have this incredible Merry Maids GIVEAWAY for my readers!!

I shared with you some of my favorite “Hack-to-School” hacks with my kids.

How can you enter to win?? EASY!!!

Now tell me, what are some of your favorite “Hack-to-School” hacks that you do with your kids?? SHARE with me some of your favorite organizational hacks for a chance to win!!


—–> One grand prize winner will receive a free Merry Maids home cleaning provided there is a Merry Maids location close to their home up to $400.

I will choose the winner on September 19th, 2015 at 5PM (EST). The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my emails from (Audrey523 at mac dot com) that they have won!

5 Hack-to-School Tips with Merry Maids [plus] GIVEAWAY! **CLOSED WINNER NOTIFIED was last modified: June 19th, 2017 by admin
SHOWHIDE Comments (105)
  1. I love all your tips some of them I do but my sanity always comes from getting up an hour before everyone else to be prepared

  2. I always did everything the night before,,laid out clothes,pack lunches,,shoes and backpacks in the right places,,even to what they were going to have for breakfast,so the next morning all they had to do was just get up and dressed grab a bite and out the door,,it allows them to get a few extra minutes in the mornings that arent stressed,hunting for everything,,its all done the night before,including baths

  3. 1. Get clothes out for the week and iron them
    2. Prepack lunch the night before, sometimes I can do two lunches
    3. Make sure papers are signed for school and backpack is by door the night before
    4. Have a preplanned breakfast menu for each school week

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  4. I love to put a blackboard by my back door with a list of activities for the week so we don’t forget sports practices and doctors appointments.

  5. My favorite organizational hacks are to create my own filing system for papers that kids will bring home from school. If you have multiple children this will come in handy! In the garage we have a sports rack so all of our equipment goes there and not into the house. It helps to have a homework station so it helps set a routine and their stuff isn’t all over the kitchen table or their room.

  6. I make the next day’s school lunch as soon as we get home from pickup. The backpack gets emptied and tomorrow’s lunch gets made right then while my son is changing out of his uniform. Makes things simple and I don’t have to worry about later in the evening.

  7. I lay out our clothes for the week immediately after they are washed and dry and hang them up in the closet.

    Snacks and lunches are packed each night and are ready to go in the morning.

    Bookbags and handbags are put in the same place each night so we can easily find them in the morning.

  8. I LOVE the blackboard chalk idea for chores. I do make lunches the night before and make sure backpacks are emptied with everything signed put back in and we have it by the door ready for the morning. My new implemented idea is that I made a list for my boys so they “remember” everything they have to do in the morning. I have a picture one for the 4y.o. since he’s learning to read and a check list for the 7y.o. This has helped since he’s newly diagnosed with asthma and getting him to do his nebulizer had been difficult. Five days in so far and I’m not feeling like we’re racing every morning.

  9. We use a dry erase board to keep track off activities and times. We also have a set time for when things need to be done

  10. Love all of these hacks!

    I cut up a bunch of fruits and veggies at the beginning of the week and individually portion them out so my kids can easily grab them to take with lunch or for a healthy after school snack! #MomHack

  11. AS SOON AS WE GET HOME MAKE THEM TAKE OUT ALL HOMEWORK OUT OF BACKPACK AND PUT IT IN THEIR BEDROOM, SO ITS NOT FORGOTTEN IN THE DINNER RUSH

  12. One of my Hack to School tips is to have a major cleaning day on Monday after the weekend and then the rest of the week seems easier when the kids are in school.

  13. Plan what you’re going to put into the lunch box each week, shop the ingredients and in the pantry and fridge, add a plastic container that can house all of the food you’ve bought especially for the lunches.

  14. Papers – touch once and done. Empty the backpack; do homework; sign permission slips; etc; then enjoy the rest of the day. That and getting up 2 hours before the kids for a little prep time.

  15. packing lunch and laying out the clothes they will wear and what i will wear saves SOOO much time in the mornings. Neither of us are morning people! also i highly recommend a coffee pot with a timer.. so coffee is ready when i get up 🙂

  16. We always make sure that lunches are packed, clothes are picked out, and his backpack is ready to go the night before! I have breakfast planned the night before so that come each school morning we are ready on time!

  17. Upon waking her up I always give my daughter one thing that she has to look forward to for the day…that gets her going and motivated to take on any task that stand in her way 🙂

  18. I prepare as much as I can the night before and get up earlier than everybody else in the morning to have some peace and get things done.

  19. My daughter is away in college so I’m home free now! I do LOVE the individual laundry bag(s) idea tho! Genius!

  20. I pretty much do the same as you. I do as much as I can the night before. I also get up a little earlier than the girls so that I can have a little time to myself before the mad dash begins. Thank you!

  21. Love your tips! I make lunches and lay out clothes for the next day as soon as we get home from school. We are just starting the chart/sticker system for chores etc.. and it is working!

  22. I portion out crackers, grapes, etc on Sundays for the week’s lunches. A drop zone for backpacks is a must as well.

  23. My major / favorite “Hack-to-School” hack is having the laundry separated. That is my least fav chore but I have 6 laundry bags , 2 for each person in the house…..1 dark and 1 light/white. I find that each person gets their own 2 bags back and that way, they can put their clean clothes away themselves.

  24. Post-its on the inside of front door with reminders for the next morning. Like remember library books to return, or remember gym shoes!

  25. We put out outfits and bags the night before and I have to put them in the minivan or else my daughter (2yrs old) unpacks them in the mudroom! It makes it easier in the morning though!!

  26. The first thing I do when the kids come home is check pockets and backpacks – that way if I have to make cookies or cupcakes (or are responsible for certain items for an event), I have time to prepare in advance. I prepare as much as possible the night before for each school day – it makes life a little easier and peaceful in the mornings. I have the kids take their baths at night to save time in the mornings, otherwise, I fear they would be late a lot. I also prepare their lunches the night before as well. I try to change things up so their lunches aren’t boring. Another important thing I do is reward the kids for their efforts and give them praise for all the work they do both at home and school.

  27. I do what many people do, preset. I have lunch for the day ready the night before, same goes for breakfast and clothes being ready to go. Saves a lot of time the morning of school.

  28. Prep! Same as here, making sure lunches are packed the night before. I also preset my coffee maker the night before so my coffee is fresh and ready when I wake up!

  29. I like all of your tips. I also like to organize a work area with things kids need-scissors, crayons, etc. You spend less time searching and more time doing homework

  30. School days are always hectic! To help, I make sure everything they need – jackets, school bags, instruments, etc – are in ONE place by the front door the night before. No “I can’t find _____ or I don’t know where my ____ is” in the morning. Thanks!

  31. Because a lot of important papers that my kids were supposed to bring home were getting lost, I created a note/paperwork file box by the front door so my kids can remember to put notes for home in that. That way I will see those important notes!

  32. My tips are very similar to yours. Do as much as you can the night before to save time in the morning. I like to get my outfit ready, make sure I know what I’m having for breakfast and prepare all that I can ahead of time. Same with weeknight dinners, I chop and prepare what I can ahead of time.

  33. We are all about getting things ready the night before! It really cuts down on confusion and has really increased our ability to get out the door on time. Heck, sometimes we even enjoy the mornings!

  34. I use washi tape to mark the kids’ phone cords & electronics as well as established a homework hub for each of my grandkids’ that makes it their own special place to study.

  35. Well, no kiddos now. But we did something similar to the clothing hack you mentioned. We had one drawer for school clothes, with a uniform shirt, socks and undies in each cubby. And they wore the same pants/skirt for 3 days and another for two days.

  36. Thanks for the chance to win at an awesome prize. My organization hack is to use an extra coat rack for all your kids back pack! It will help a lot when it comes to running out the for for school. It gives us all a peace of mind cause we know exactly where it is at times so it easy when we have to head out for school or need to get something for it for homework.

  37. I make the next day’s lunches while I’m making dinner. I’m prepping food anyway so it’s only 1 clean up and 2 meals are done!

  38. Grateful for the kid tested “Hack-to-School” tips and shares. The visuals made me think how I could incorporate more designated areas, even in minimal space. I feel like I take on a lot of “pre-setting” myself, but my whole family could benefit from the steps to designate more dedicated spaces, for pre-setting things themselves in a way. Reclaim time spent searching for instruments, the ballet bag, the brownie uniforms, the library books. For papers, I’ve repurposed a shallow wall magazine rack to collect daily papers. One rack for each child’s daily school folder, and a permanent slot for the music folder, for which we’ve wasted a lot of time searching.

  39. I always make them lay out two outfit choices the night before so we are never late because of fashion “emergencies.”

  40. Freezing Breakfast items is a huge time saver for me. I also separate clothing into complete outfits when I do laundry to make it grab and go.

  41. I’m big on zero waste, so I make extra dinner and my kids get the leftovers. I cook dinner in bake safe glassware, so I just pop it in the oven to reheat and viola! Lunch is ready, just throw in fruit for snacks.

  42. I buy a 5 drawer organizer before school starts and every Sunday evening I have the kids
    lay out 5 outfits they want to wear for the upcoming week. One outfit per drawer. Then when
    I wake them up and tell them to get ready every morning they just have to get the clothes out of the drawer and put them on

  43. My kids wear uniforms so I have a big bar with all the uniforms sized and labeled by kid making it super easy to get dressed in the morning. Plus we have a universal sock drawer in the hallway!

  44. the past two years I’ve been meal planning and writing what’s for dinner on a menu board I made in the kitchen. That’s held me accountable and kept me on track with dinner. I also lay out clothes like you and pack the school bag the night before. Any little bit helps!

  45. One of my favorite “Hack-to-School” hacks is to plan out my daughter’s outfits for the whole week. I use a hanging shoe organizer to put her socks, underwear, pants/skirts in. I hang her shirts up in order. It works out great!

  46. I spend Sunday meal prepping and bagging fruits and veggies so that there are lots of grab and go snacks, and meals already made for late/lazy nights. I use my crockpot a lot. The one other thing we do is start our routine a week before school starts, we go back to bedtimes, and early rising etc.

  47. One if the things I do is to have a folder for all the papers that come home. So when the kids hand me things to sign or keep, i just put it in that folder and i know where all the forms are when I need them.

  48. My daughter who is 17 has her own hack to school idea: she makes a list of everything she needs to remember to bring with her in the morning, and mentally checks it off as she looks at it before leaving for school.

  49. I prep my meals for at least 3 days on Sundays. I do all my chopping, cleaning and organizing. That way the kids can grab fresh fruits and veggies for a snack and I don’t have to do much prep after school when there is ccd, sports and homework!

  50. I think having a rotating cleaning list is great. I have one that I made that shows that cleaning I should do everyday and then what things I should do for that day (rotating around). It helps me keep track of what I’ve done and helps keep all areas of the house clean, not just the most visible.

  51. We make sure bookbags are packed and by the door the night before so there is no rushing to find missing homework or books the next day.

  52. I always have their uniforms in the same place, inlcuding shoes, ready the night before so there is no running around in the morning looking for something.

  53. My “Hack-to-School” hacks would include the kids making their own lunches and homework done before tv and games.

  54. My hack for back to school is meal planning for dinners. I go through pinterest each Sunday night and look up dinners/sides and breakfast/snacks that I can make for the week. I then make up the grocery list and pull all the items I already have aside. I then write out each item I will make for the week on my calendar that is on my fridge so I can quickly check each morning what I will be making.

  55. I insist all clothes for the week are picked out and ironed on Saturday. We do as much as we can the night before. I have the book bags totally emptied on a big, clean table. This bag must be repacked, forcing the child to go through it, and by the front door after homework is checked and put in bag.

  56. My daughter and I look up school lunch recipes on the internet, go and get the ingredients and make the lunches together

  57. We plan meals out for each day a week in advance. We also plan outfits in the same way so the mornings aren’t hectic.

  58. My hack is to get all the lunches ready the night before so you’re not stressed and rushing in the morning to get it all together.

  59. Have a spot that they can put their backpack jacket and shoes in right when they get home each day. That way you don’t have to do a frantic search each morning.

    toastersareflying @ gmail.com

  60. My kids are too young for school, but I have heard it’s important to sort thru their papers right away, and file, store, discard!

  61. For organization, I have plastic bins with labels on them for his toys in his room, and he has his own dirty clothes basket. Over the door shoe organizers are great for more than shoes. I have a basket with snacks for making his lunches easier to make the night before. He gets all of his school supplies and shoes laid out the night before, as neither of us do mornings eagerly.

  62. My biggest hack for my boys is to pack the night before. As a school teacher, we are always in a hurry in the morning. Having things ready makes all the difference. We even put our stuff in the car in the evening. I also store extra clothes and shoes in the car too. There have been a few times that we have had to stop at Walmart in the morning just to get shoes! Kind of crazy that we would leave the house without them;)

  63. We always pack lunches & snacks the night before, as well as lay clothes out the night before & it makes mornings run so much easier in our household! We also pack the backpacks before bed, & put them by the door so they’re ready to go in the morning!

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  64. After school each day, the kids prepare their own lunches for the next day- I have the food items groups in the fridge- in bins, and they take one or two from each, depending on what it is, and they get their own outfit for the next day. They put this in the living room, and take out any forms/agendas that need signing.

  65. I got sick of having to remind my kids of everything every day so I put a reminder list on the fridge and it is no longer my responsibility. Listed: get dressed, brush teeth, wash face, put lunch in backpack, homework in backpack. For some reason without the list they couldn’t manage to do those simple things without 100 reminders!

  66. I’m all about the outfits ready to go. I put them on a clothes hanger and have it ready to go in the closet. Easy peasy!

  67. I joined a local moms group called the freezer meal society and we make dinners, snacks and breakfast items to put in freezer for the month thus takes the guess work out of meal planning and saves me tons of time on a school night!

  68. I keep a plastic tote in the cabinet full of healthy snacks so that way after school they can just grab one and a big mess isn’t made!

  69. We get our kids to take a picture of their school locker numbers as well as their locker codes so that they have those on their cell phones for the first day to make life easy in their new school.

  70. I bought a big pack of sponges at the dollar store, soaked them in water, and put in individual ziplock bags. They make great ice packs for lunches…and cheap!

  71. Or biggest back to school hack that seems to work best for us is having the kids layout there clothes and school stuff the night before. It just seems to make the mornings less stressful and hectic

  72. I’m new to being a mom so I’m slowly learning but my favorite thing I’ve done so far to save money was I got a bunch of old picture frames at garage sales and painted them different colors and put personal pictures in them to decorate our child’s room (the theme was world traveler because we travel a lot). I also turned one of the bigger one’s into a chalk board that my husband and I write notes and reminders on. 🙂

  73. I make waffles/pancakes/muffins etc. for the whole week, freeze them, and pull them out the night before to thaw out. We pack snacks and lunches the night before. Homework and everything that needs to be signed is done the night before.

  74. My daughter is brilliant but becomes easily overwhelmed with all the homework assignments, projects and tests. We create a chart, much like the one you show for chores. I have gotten her into the habit of writing down all upcoming tasks and then a timeline for studying or completing projects. It helps because it is there in front of her in writing and she loves the feeling of crossing off tasks as they are completed.

5 Hack-to-School Tips with Merry Maids [plus] GIVEAWAY! **CLOSED WINNER NOTIFIED was last modified: June 19th, 2017 by admin