Our Backpack Station & A New Favorite App

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Today I’m sharing our “backpack station” for this year. It has slowly evolved over the last 5 years starting with the chalkboard calendar (which I highly recommend) and then adding backpack hooks and this year the addition of the wall file holders (bought these at TJ Maxx). 

I HIGHLY recommend having a calendar for your kids. My goal for them is to be better organized than I am! Even in 3rd and 4th grade it is their job to know to wear tennis shoes for PE day or bring in supplies for an upcoming party etc. There are no surprise dentist visits or dinner dates. It’s all there for them to see at all times (the things that they need to see).

The backpack hooks keep the backpacks off the ground (where the dogs like to carry them around) and the addition of the file holders this year gives them a place to drop off their binders.

Weekly homework gets stored in the file folder until Friday when they need to go back, papers I want to save stay in there until I have the time to file them, and signatures needed go back into the binders and into their backpacks for the next day. So far this system has been working great for us!

This last week I went through piles and piles and piles of schoolwork papers. (photo from instagram)

I photographed all the ones I wanted to save and loaded them into my new favorite app Artkive

 It stores all your kids’ artwork by name (grade and date if you want) and you can then have them printed in a book (or just keep them on your iPad/iPhone). I have made a book before and love this system. This app just makes it that much easier!

Do you have a system that has been working great for you? Share it for all of us in the comments or on Facebook!

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Allison Waken is a wife, mom of boys and Phoenix, AZ native. She has been creating inspiring content for All for the Boys since 2011. Allison loves travel, movies and spending as much time as possible with her family while she can!


  1. We do the chalkboard thing too. I painted a 4×5 foot area on a wall in my kitchen and framed it out with trim. We just go a week at a time. It has made a huge difference in the running of our house. I don't have to answer a million questions about what's going on for the week, they just look at the board. Our house kind of revolves around it!

  2. Thank you so much for the artwork app. I desperately needed this as I was feeling overwhelmed at all my boys' artwork and drawings and I have a budding artist on my hands. I love your command center. What a great idea and I love the look! Thanks for your amazing blog. I'm a true follower of yours with 3 boys of my own ranging from 2-9 years old. You are such a great mom and blogger!

  3. I love the file holder. Can you tell me where you bought it? I am guessing it won't be available in Australia but if it is Ikea or one of the other international stores, I might be in with a chance!

  4. Love that app – sadly I don't have an old timey phone – I always make a stack of papers as they come home from the week and then toss everything but one or two at the end of the week – then it goes into a bucket where we sort it a few months later

  5. I just wanted to say thank you so much regarding your post about Artkive. I'm overwhelmed with art papers for my 9 year old who claims she'll be an artist when she grows up.

  6. Love this idea. We really need a backpack station w/ 3 kids in 2 different schools (public & private) the paperwork is overwhelming. How did you solve the bumpy wall issue with the chalkboard? Have you created a tutorial as you mentioned? Thanks!!!

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