Staying Sane: Back to School Supplies

I am a BIG proponent of organization in general.   You should see our house.  We have bins for everything.   Toys, clothes by size and gender, art supplies, mementos, etc.  This particular topic on school supplies doesn’t really apply to us just yet since our eldest, Big Bro, is only starting Kindergarten in the Fall.   But I just received some great insight on how to deal with back to school supplies from Mama J from San Diego.   I love this concept since it aligns with my general approach to bins and organization, and also gives me a head-start on planning for the future of school years.   Oh the tears are starting to form so let’s just get right to her advice:

“[Big Bro]’s school probably can’t require you to bring in school supplies, but you’ll want to pick up supplies for home while everything’s on sale:  pencils, erasers, new crayons, colored pencils, glue, scissors, etc.  We bought each boy a 6 qt storage box with lid for storage and makes homework nice with everything they need in one place.  You’ll also need a storage box to hold school work you can’t bear to toss.  Makes it easy to have one place to keep it all.  Not to big, but wide enough to hold the larger art projects. At the end of the school year, go thru again to keep samples of work and things you can’t part with. It gets overwhelming really fast because it’s hard to throw anything away, but don’t worry, after about 5 years you get the hang of it and know what to keep!”

– Mama J, San Diego

Thank you Mama J!!!!   I’ll start keeping my eyes peeled for the sales!   Great ideas!  Anything else to add from anyone else???

– Mama K


  1. digital pix of artwork help toss more physical stuff…

    • Thank you Mama F!
      Yes I’ve heard of this before and that TREMENDOUSLY cuts down on the “clutter”. We have art bins but now with 4 kids it is really a project just to keep up with it all. I’ve also heard of folks going completely digital on EVERYTHING including the little pre-school write ups and assessments, etc. Creating PDFs of these kinds of documents to get rid of the paper.

      Thanks for your feedback and for visiting this site — please let other working moms (or SAHM who are about to enter the workforce) about this site – help spread the word! Thanks so much.
      – Mama K

  2. We have an entire cabinet devoted to school supplies. With 5 kids, back to school is just short of a college investment for us. I buy the cheap supplies when advertised in major bulk. This way I don’t have to buy more mid year and can refill when needed. The extras are great for entertaining the kids on “there is nothing to do” days. As for art project keepsakes, we staple 2 poster boards together along all sides but one (for the opening). Each kid has their own and all paper art is kept in each sleeve and stored behind their dresser. They can then have the joy of looking back on their best creations as it is easily accessible yet out of the way
    (Just a heads up… flash drives are now school supplies so load up on these too since many commute to and from school in pockets and go through the laundry. They mostly wash well but are missing in action always on a project day )

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