Designers Share Back-to-School Organization Tips


BACK-TO-SCHOOL EXCITEMENT can also breed some serious chaos in your home, with extra paperwork, bookbags, uniforms, and more taking over most spaces. Organizing it all in a way that actually makes sense—and is easy to find again—can be dizzying. Here, five local designers share their tips on how to get back-to-school organized.

“A drop zone is essential, especially during the school year. Strategically placed at the kids’ entrance, cubbies, baskets, and hooks are my go-to additions to help families stay organized. With so many styles available, these items are not only functional organizing tools, but they can also be great additions to your home’s decor.” —Cheryl Luckett, Dwell by Cheryl

“My twin boys attend a uniform school, so when school is not in session, their ‘regular’ clothes move to the front of the closet and uniforms move to the back. When school approaches, I weed out the summer clothes that have been outgrown or are simply tired, and swap everything out with their uniform-approved pieces. I want those pieces front and center, so getting dressed is easy on those first early mornings. Also, if a new pair of shoes comes in, an old pair has to go. One in, one out! That’s my back-to-school motto. —Traci Zeller, Traci Zeller Designs

“Our clientele at Circa is always looking to find a way to maximize space, while still adhering to the style of their home, but as we all know, life happens! Art projects, sports equipment, and binders all need a place to land when not being used.” —Lori Klingman, comanager of Circa Interiors & Antiques

“Young children love to be involved. If you create a space that is well-organized and accessible for them, they can become huge helpers. School supplies tend to take over the house, so I love labeled bins and baskets that can be tucked nicely on a shelf. I find drawers more efficient than cabinets, to avoid items getting shoved to the back. A giant whiteboard and bulletin board in the laundry/mud room is a great place to display artwork, calendars, and notes of all kinds.” —Kelley Vieregg, Kelley Vieregg Interior Design

“Designate a simple spot for the clutter. Even kindergarteners can understand that concept, so if there is one drawer, basket, or bin for the school supplies, then they will know where to find them and where to put them. I like to keep things out of sight. Even galvanized buckets work well, and can be stored on a shelf or in a closet and are easy for little hands to grab. Clean out everything from the year before, and, when possible, set up a drop zone for bookbags and shoes that can be accessed easily by young kids to keep mornings moving smoothly.” —Jacy Painter Kelly, Jacy Painter Kelly Interiors

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