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.
paper, folders, pens, pencils, markers, crayons, etc.
shop ahead of time for sales throughout the year
buy extras of “essentials” and put them away for later
buy off-brands whenever possible to cut costs
simplify your child’s wardrobe to “mix-and-match”
take an inventory before heading out to the stores
shop with a list to avoid buying things you don’t need
help your kids let go of old toys and outdated interests
clean out old school supplies to make room for the new
spend one day before school starts organizing your child’s storage
do it “with” your kids, and not “for” them
have each child’s room spotless by the night before school starts
go through closets and give away clothes/shoes that don’t fit
find out if any physical examinations or immunizations required
see if any new registration requirements this year
get your child’s schedule and names of teachers
names and contact info for your child’s classmates’ parents
give school emergency phone numbers to reach you
designate others who may care for your child in your absence
get copy of school policies — absence, illness, discipline, etc.
set up a spot near the door for items that need to go to school
backpacks, school books, sports equipment, instruments, etc.
spend 15 minutes each night gathering supplies for tomorrow
use a cubby for each kid if you have several children
no more hunting for missing books and supplies in the morning
make lunches the night before to save time in the morning
do “non-perishables” a week at a time — juice box, chips, dred fruit, etc.
put in pantry in lunch bags labeled with child’s name and day
lay out your child’s clothes for the entire week on Sat. or Sun.
collect up school supplies for next day before going to bed
plan out and shop for a week’s worth of dinners at once
have a set schedule — homework, dinner, play, bath, etc.
spend 15 minutes before bed straightening up
gather all supplies for the next day before bed
create “calming” rituals before bed — bath, reading, soft music, etc.
help kids get up in time by insisting on a strict bedtime
stay away from TV late at night
set an alarm clock allowing plenty of time to get ready
complete your AM routine before the kids start to get going
simplify your morning routine as much as possible
complete as many “getting ready” chores the night before as can
have a set schedule — shower, dress, breakfast, chores, etc.
make mornings fun with music, but stay away from TV distractions
create a sense of structure to start off the day
put breakfast supplies within kids’ reach to make things easier
develop consequences for not being ready on time
set up a central family calendar in a high-traffic area
family meeting once a week to discuss each person’s schedule
record each person’s appointments in a different color marker
make each child responsible for reporting his/her activities
schedule in regular appointments — soccer practice, piano lessons
immediately transfer dates from other schedules to your calendar
be sure to block off family time at least once a week
limit the number of extra-curricular activities at one time
limit amount of artwork that may be displayed at one time
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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 RamonaCreel.com.
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