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Tips For A Smooth Back-To-School Transition

Are you dreading back-to-school time? So much to do — supplies to buy, extracurricular activities to join, summer habits to shed, trying to get your kids back into a routine? Good luck! These tips might help a bit — some suggestions for making the back-to-school transition a little easier.

Buying School Clothes And Supplies

Checkmark-Iconpaper, folders, pens, pencils, markers, crayons, etc.

Xmark-Iconshop ahead of time for sales throughout the year

Checkmark-Iconbuy extras of “essentials” and put them away for later

Xmark-Iconbuy off-brands whenever possible to cut costs

Checkmark-Iconsimplify your child’s wardrobe to “mix-and-match”

Xmark-Icontake an inventory before heading out to the stores

Checkmark-Iconshop with a list to avoid buying things you don’t need

Clearing Out The Clutter

Xmark-Iconhelp your kids let go of old toys and outdated interests

Checkmark-Iconclean out old school supplies to make room for the new

Xmark-Iconspend one day before school starts organizing your child’s storage

Checkmark-Icondo it “with” your kids, and not “for” them

Xmark-Iconhave each child’s room spotless by the night before school starts

Checkmark-Icongo through closets and give away clothes/shoes that don’t fit

Contact The School

Xmark-Iconfind out if any physical examinations or immunizations required

Checkmark-Iconsee if any new registration requirements this year

Xmark-Iconget your child’s schedule and names of teachers

Checkmark-Iconnames and contact info for your child’s classmates’ parents

Xmark-Icongive school emergency phone numbers to reach you

Checkmark-Icondesignate others who may care for your child in your absence

Xmark-Iconget copy of school policies — absence, illness, discipline, etc.

Create A Launching Pad

Checkmark-Iconset up a spot near the door for items that need to go to school

Xmark-Iconbackpacks, school books, sports equipment, instruments, etc.

Checkmark-Iconspend 15 minutes each night gathering supplies for tomorrow

Xmark-Iconuse a cubby for each kid if you have several children

Checkmark-Iconno more hunting for missing books and supplies in the morning

Getting Ready Ahead Of Time

Xmark-Iconmake lunches the night before to save time in the morning

Checkmark-Icondo “non-perishables” a week at a time — juice box, chips, dred fruit, etc.

Xmark-Iconput in pantry in lunch bags labeled with child’s name and day

Checkmark-Iconlay out your child’s clothes for the entire week on Sat. or Sun.

Xmark-Iconcollect up school supplies for next day before going to bed

Checkmark-Iconplan out and shop for a week’s worth of dinners at once

Making Bedtime Easier

Xmark-Iconhave a set schedule — homework, dinner, play, bath, etc.

Checkmark-Iconspend 15 minutes before bed straightening up

Xmark-Icongather all supplies for the next day before bed

Checkmark-Iconcreate “calming” rituals before bed — bath, reading, soft music, etc.

Xmark-Iconhelp kids get up in time by insisting on a strict bedtime

Checkmark-Iconstay away from TV late at night

Morning Rituals

Xmark-Iconset an alarm clock allowing plenty of time to get ready

Checkmark-Iconcomplete your AM routine before the kids start to get going

Xmark-Iconsimplify your morning routine as much as possible

Checkmark-Iconcomplete as many “getting ready” chores the night before as can

Xmark-Iconhave a set schedule — shower, dress, breakfast, chores, etc.

Checkmark-Iconmake mornings fun with music, but stay away from TV distractions

Xmark-Iconcreate a sense of structure to start off the day

Checkmark-Iconput breakfast supplies within kids’ reach to make things easier

Xmark-Icondevelop consequences for not being ready on time

Putting Your Family’s Schedule In Order

Checkmark-Iconset up a central family calendar in a high-traffic area

Xmark-Iconfamily meeting once a week to discuss each person’s schedule

Checkmark-Iconrecord each person’s appointments in a different color marker

Xmark-Iconmake each child responsible for reporting his/her activities

Checkmark-Iconschedule in regular appointments — soccer practice, piano lessons

Xmark-Iconimmediately transfer dates from other schedules to your calendar

Checkmark-Iconbe sure to block off family time at least once a week

Teaching Kids To Set Boundaries

Xmark-Iconlimit the number of extra-curricular activities at one time

Checkmark-Iconlimit amount of artwork that may be displayed at one time

Xmark-Iconwhen a new piece of artwork goes up, one must come down

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and

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