Back-to-School Tips and Tracks
Getting ready for a new school year can be exciting – a fresh start with new teachers, classmates, and skills to learn. But switching from summer-mode to having a full-on schedule can also be quite overwhelming.
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Clean the Closets
Before you head to the store (or shop online) to go back-to-school shopping, go through your child’s closet and any dresser drawers to make sure they’re organized.
Make a pile of any outgrown clothes to store away until you can hand-them-down to your younger kids, or donate them.
It’s a good idea to get your child involved in the process so they can try on anything you might be unsure about – it’s crazy how much they can grow over the summer months! It will also teach them the process, so as they get older, they can eventually do it all by themselves.
Once you’ve gone through everything, take an inventory of what items your child has, and note where you need to fill in the holes with new purchases.
Grab a list of the required/recommended school supplies from your school and take it with you while you shop. It will help keep you (and more importantly, your kids!) on track, and you can cross off items as you work through the store or your online order.
If you see a great deal on a much-used supply (think markers, glue sticks, etc.), grab a few extra to have in stock for when they inevitably run low.
Create A Family Calendar/Command Center
Once school and activities are in full swing, it’s more important than ever to keep everyone in your family on the same page. Setting up a large calendar in an often-viewed space (think kitchen or mudroom) can help you keep track of everyone’s schedule, activities (even if it’s just Zoom calls!), and holidays.
We suggest using a different colored marker for each family member, so it’s easy for them to take a quick look at what they have going on that day.
Create In/Out Parent Bins
There’s always a plethora of school paperwork and updates that need to get safely into your hands, especially at the beginning of the school year.
Consider setting up some in and out bins where your kids can drop off any papers that need to be signed or seen by a parent.
You can then go through them each night, and put any that need to be returned to school in the “out” bin, ready for your kids to pick up in the morning and pack in their backpacks. With a little practice, this can be an extremely effective method that can be used all the way through high school!
Create An Organized Lunch Prep Station
Packing school lunches is never a favorite task, especially with the morning rush. To help, establish a “Lunch Prep” area in your kitchen that has everything you’ll need in one place. It can be a cupboard, drawer, shelf, or even a Rubbermaid container.