15 Awesome Back-to-School Hacks -- Because Moms Need All the Help We Can Get

Kelly Ladd | Aug 10, 2016 Big Kid
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  • Locker Decor DIY

    Locker Decor DIY
    Kelly Ladd

    Have your tween decorate her locker with some cute DIY clips. Decorate clothespins with washi tape, then hot glue magnets to them. Your middle schooler can clip photos, her class schedule, and any notes with the clothespins. She can also make a mini bunting out of cardstock and yarn to add color to the locker as well.

  • Locker Emergency Kit

    Locker Emergency Kit
    Kelly Ladd

    From bad breath to messy hair: Anything can happen in middle school. Prepare for the unexpected with a locker emergency kit. Fill a large pencil box with deodorant, mints, tooth brush and paste, floss, tissues, and basically anything you can think of. Have your middle schooler keep it in her locker for those just-in-case moments. 

  • Ease Separation Anxiety

    Ease Separation Anxiety
    Kelly Ladd

    Got a kid who is a bit anxious about leaving you -- especially on the first day of school? Draw a heart on his hand to remind him throughout the day how much you love him. This gentle connection is the encouragement he needs to let him know that he’s got this.

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  • Shoe Helper

    Shoe Helper
    Kelly Ladd

    Help your little one gain independence by putting on his own shoes the right way. Cut a large sticker in half and stick the ends into the bottom of each shoe. Your picture on the sticker will help your child figure out on his own which shoe will go on which foot.

  • Pencil Flags

    Pencil Tags
    Kelly Ladd

    Help your child stop losing her pencils by adding a washi tape flag to the tip. It will help her and her friends identify which pencils are hers. 

  • Teach Time Management

    Teach Time Management
    Kelly Ladd

    One of the best skills you can teach your child is time management. Use a color-coded clock and a legend to help your family stay focused after school. This hack helps your child see for himself how much time is left to complete a task (especially homework).

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  • School Day Routine Checklist

    School Day Routine Checklist
    Kelly Ladd

    Turn your school days into a well-oiled machine with a daily reusable checklist. Frame a printed-out checklist with all of the tasks that are important to your family. Then use a dry erase marker to check down the list. This is a great way to teach independence and responsibility.

  • DIY Trapper Keeper

    DIY Trapper Keeper
    Kelly Ladd

    Here’s a fun way keep all of your school supplies close to you. Wrap and crisscross extra-large rubber bands around a binder. Then stick your pencils, post-its, rulers, and scissors into the rubber bands. You’ll be surprised how awesome this works. 

  • Homework Supplies Station

    Homework Supplies Station
    Kelly Ladd

    Don’t have room for a study desk in your child’s room? No worries. Set him up on the kitchen table. Create a homework station by placing supplies in a kitchen utensil holder in a box and fill it with pencils, erasers, glue and crayons. Pull it out when it’s time for homework and put it neatly away after it’s done.

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  • Morning Picker Upper

    Morning Picker Upper
    Kelly Ladd

    Are you not a morning person? Or is one of your kids often grumpy as the sun rises? Get the gang going with a morning playlist that will have all of you dancing while you’re packing up the lunch box and brushing your teeth. It will not only lighten the mood -- but it may even get you out the door quicker as well.

  • Chalkboard Memory Maker

    Chalkboard Memory Maker
    Kelly Ladd

    Make it easy on your future self by making a chalkboard sign to remind you which grade that first-day-of-school photo was taken. The sign works for the last day of school, as well. The hard part is remembering. 

  • Hair Tie Hack

    Hair Tie Hack
    Kelly Ladd

    Instead of running around the house each morning searching for a hair tie, use a carabiner key chain to keep them all in one place. The hard part is to remember to put them back when the day is done. 

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  • Homework Motivator

    Homework Motivator
    Kelly Ladd

    Homework can easily become a nightly battle. Motivate your child to keep going and get it done by placing stickers, coins, and maybe even gummy bears throughout the page. When your child reaches that point on the page, she “earns” a reward.

  • Morning Routine Helper

    Morning Routine Helper
    Kelly Ladd

    Mornings are often rushed. These DIY cards will show your little one what is expected to get out of the door quickly and without a fuss. Make your own cards using images from Open Clip Art. As your children complete the tasks, have them hang the cards on a string or ribbon with a clothespin. When all the cards are hung up, they will know that it’s time to leave.

  • Clothes Smarts

    Clothes Smarts
    Kelly Ladd

    Stop the morning “I’ve got nothing to wear” frustration by planning the week’s outfits in advance. These DIY cardstock hangers will help your child organize her closet to prep for the week ahead. Let her come up with her own outfit choices, then go behind after to make sure everything matches and fits the dress code. 

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