NEW PROVIDENCE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It’s back to school next week for most Tri-State area students, but there are plenty of things parents can do now to get ready for the school year.

As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reports, planning ahead helps cut down the chaos.

“I feel like preparation is key, and being organized and not stressing,” mother Bettina Morescalchi said.

Mary Carlomagno is a professional organizer with two young children.

“I like to create a consistent routine with my clients and with my own kids, because when you do something consistently, it becomes a habit,” she told Hsu.

So the minute they walk in the door, their backpacks are hung up on hooks.

“I like to set up a little headquarters here, so when the child comes home, they have the backpack, I have a bench here, they can sit down they can even put their shoes away on their own,” Carlomagno said. “I like tucked away storage, so this always makes me happy.”

She deals with all the paperwork that comes home in the backpacks with a filing system for each child.

“So maybe there’s a portion that’s to sign… To sign is the most important one, because it gets caught up with the rest of the homework,” she said.

Get your kitchen set up so snacks are at your child’s level and easy to get themselves, and make lunches the night before.

“If you can get them into the habit of even starting to make their own lunch, that’s something great that is really a help for you, because there’s nothing more hectic than that morning routine,” Carlomagno said.

Talk to your child now about what outfits they want to wear to school, and together you can set out the clothes the night before.

Now is the time to get your calendar organized, especially if you have multiple schedules. You can go high-tech or old school, so your whole family can see.

Another way to tackle the paperwork, especially all the art projects, is to consolidate everything into memory boxes each year – because every parent knows time flies.