As you prepare for the start of a new school year, you know the tempo of family life is about to change. That's why now is the time to get organized in order to simplify your overall routine and rhythm. Then when the hectic rush of school work, activities, and constant deadlines hits, you'll be ready for it. In order to make the year ahead the best one yet for your family, here are five organization tips that are worth adding to your lifestyle:

  1. Get a Family Calendar

    Part of the stress of managing multiple schedules is communication. For instance, before everyone can be at the soccer game on Friday or the party on Saturday, everyone has to know those events exist. You can help eliminate misunderstandings by creating a family calendar. Whether you and your teens share your schedules on your smartphones, or you and your spouse share a physical calendar that hangs in the kitchen, make sure there's a way for everyone to know what's happening. Put all practices, lessons, games, meets, and other events on the calendar so everyone can see what's ahead.

  2. Set Aside Homework Space

    Give your kids a physical place to do homework, whether it's a nook in the den or a desk in the living room. Stock that space with any and all supplies needed to complete their work. You may want to include pens, pencils, paper, highlighters, and note cards depending on what your kids use. By providing a designated place, you minimize schoolwork being left all over the house, and you also give your kids a comfortable space to focus and get their work done.

  3. Create a Laundry Schedule

    If there's one thing you can count on with kids, it's that they'll make messes. Stay on top of laundry by implementing a specific schedule for your household. Whether you plan to wash clothes every day or designate certain days of the week for certain members of the household, figure out what works for your family and stick to it. The more streamlined your family's laundry routine is, the easier it will be to manage.

  4. Prepare Meals

    Planning meals ahead of time makes life easier. Come up with some quick breakfast options that you or your kids can grab and make without much thought. For example, premade frozen smoothie packs or easy three-ingredient smoothies take moments to prepare and can save you time in the morning. Know what will go into your kids' lunches each week, and plan dinners ahead of time, so you can buy everything you need when you head to the grocery store. Like many of the best organization tips, deciding to plan meals takes some up-front effort, but it pays off in the end.

  5. Plan for Paperwork

    Conquer the chaos of endless paperwork before it has a chance to build. Set up a home filing system to hold all your school documents, notes, letters, bills, and other items. That way, when your kids bring home new papers, they can go right in the inbox and then to the appropriate folders. You'll know where things go, and when you're trying to locate a certain file, you'll save yourself the hassle of wondering where it went.

With a little organization, you can set your family up for success when school starts. Use the five tips above, and you'll be well on your way to making the most of the new school year.