It’s almost hard to believe, but it’s time to prep for back to school. As if that struggle isn’t hard enough, staying organized can make a person crazy with all the reminders and deadlines that come with this time of year. With eight years of college under my belt, and many loved ones with children, I know the struggle all too well. Whether it’s back to school or back to work, here are my favorite time-saving and efficient organization tips to make sure you have a smooth transition into the fall:

1. Make tomorrow’s to-do list the night before: Writing tomorrow’s tasks right before you go to sleep helps you get them off your mind and onto paper. Not only does it ensure that you won’t forget anything, it can help clear your mind so you’re not up at night thinking about it.

2. Dedicate certain times of the day for certain tasks: Whether it’s spending 10 minutes before work to fold the laundry, or an hour after dinner to complete paperwork, allotting specific times for specific responsibilities helps keep your day running smooth.

3. Find a fun way to organize your reminders: Who doesn’t have a to-do list a mile long? Since leaving post-it notes all over the house isn’t chic (and may make you look just as crazy as you feel), a wall calendar or bulletin board for notes can keep the crazy contained in one place. For me, a simple solution was to repurpose cheap items to craft a chic organization board. I was on a mission to create a DIY chalkboard that fixed my organization problem, while also sprucing up my home décor.

For a project like this you’ll need:

  • Piece of wood (cut bigger than the frame, since I'm gluing the frame to the wood)

  • Old frame

  • Sander (optional)

  • Paint primer

  • Semi-gloss paint

  • Chalkboard paint

  • Heavy duty adhesive

DIY Chalkboard

I knew I wanted a more ornate frame, so I went to a local thrift store and found this old picture for less than $15.

DIY Chalkboard

STEP ONE: Lightly sand the piece of wood that will be used as the chalkboard. I didn't want a perfectly smooth surface and loved the wood's imperfections, so I didn't sand it too much. You can also use a different material option since chalkboard paint works on various surfaces - even glass!

DIY Chalkboard

STEP TWO: Clean the piece of wood and paint it with a primer.

DIY Chalkboard

STEP THREE: While waiting for the primer to dry, thoroughly clean your frame to remove any dust or dirt. Then paint your frame the desired color. (I chose this awesome yellow.) Be sure to wait a few hours between each coat. If you're impatient like me, this could be a challenge, but it's worth it in the end.

DIY Chalkboard

STEP FOUR: Once the primer on the wood is dry, paint it with the chalkboard paint. There are two options, black or green. I chose black.

DIY Chalkboard

STEP FIVE: Make sure all your materials are dry (all the waiting in a DIY project is the worst part) and use the adhesive to glue the wood to the frame. I let it dry for double the amount of time, just to be sure.

DIY Chalkboard

The end result? Voila!

DIY Chalkboard

DIY Chalkboard

I love the look of old pieces updated with modern colors, and all the little imperfections on the frame attracted me to it. As you can tell by the chalk marks, it's already gotten a lot of use, and I’m ready to take on this time of year. Don’t you feel a little less crazy already?

Have you tried a DIY chalkboard?

Jess and Jill

We’re Jess and Jill - two besties who eat, drink, and dress up together (and blog to tell about it, duh!) Bonded over a mutual love of fashion, city living, and humor, we’re serious bloggers with not-so serious personalities. Individually, Jess loves traveling, TV marathons, collecting postcards, and believes in doing what you absolutely love. Jill enjoys DIY projects, living out of her suitcase, the 1960s, and politics. She lives by the rule that you can never be overdressed or over educated. We both are obsessed with social media and networking, so follow along and become our new best friends!

Jill is one of our culture bloggers for The Opener, an exclusive, invite-only contributor network that will bring the best food, culture and innovation writing to the pages of Coca-Cola Journey