I think we are having record high temperatures today, but I am already thinking about back-to-school. Summer is full of fun and a slightly looser schedule which is why it is so important to have a back-to-school transition plan. Going back to school after the lazy days of summer can be a challenge for even the most organized families. Today, I am sharing tips to ease the transition and reduce the stress for all of us.
15 Tips To Get Organized For Back To School
1. Give the transition some time. Summer one day and school the next is really stressful. Give yourself time to get organized. Avoid scheduling a return from vacation the day before school starts if at all possible.
2. Work bedtime back a little at a time. I know I’m guilty of letting my kids stay up way too late during the summer because they don’t “have to think”. School is tough and requires more sleep than laying by the pool all day. Start backing that bedtime back to their school bedtime little by little. You can also try waking them up earlier to get them used to the earlier school start time.
3. Declutter. If you didn’t declutter your kids’ rooms at the end of the school year, now is a great time to get it done. Toss old bookbags, school supplies, and any clothes that don’t fit or are in disrepair. Read more about school clutter here.
4. Have a school lunch meeting with the kids. Create a list of their favorite lunches. I never send foods that I know my kids won’t eat or are unfamiliar to them in their lunchboxes. The kids need to eat to give them the energy to make it through the school day. As the years go on, their tastes change. That is why I like to create a new master list of foods for each child at the start of each school year. See more on master lunch lists here.
5. Order lunch box and other lunch supplies. Don’t wait till the last minute or you will be really frustrated. See my favorite lunch box supplies here and order early.
6. Make plans for after school. Do you need to arrange for after-school care while you work? Make sure you have a spot reserved for your child and the paperwork complete. Are there physical exam requirements? Anything else that can’t wait till the last minute. Take care of the requirements and then rest easy knowing everything is taken care of. Perhaps, the kids come home after school. Make sure your children know the plan and you are ready to go with snacks and rules for after school.
7. Plan for paperwork. Paper. Paper. Everywhere. School and paper go hand in hand. Make sure to set up system for the paperwork that comes home from school. When you have an organized plan, you are less likely to miss deadlines and more likely to avoid frustration. I like my friend’s organization system here.
8. Organize or create a homework center. The kiddos need an area where they have everything they need and can concentrate on their work. Find an area of your home where noise and other distractions are minimized Need inspiration? Click over here for some great ideas.
9. Prepare your calendar. Use a paper calendar or the calendar in your phone. I know everyone has different methods. Just make sure to get all of the important back to school dates into your calendar. Look for overlaps. Two or three events at the same time is quite common in my house. Work on a plan to get everyone where they need to be. Another option to get everything done is to cut out less important events or clone yourself.
10. Practice new schedules. Locate new bus stops. Let younger children practice dressing themselves. Take showers at night or morning based on new “assigned” times.
11. Let your kids do more. You DON’T have to do everything. Sometimes it’s just easier to do things for your kids, but it’s important to teach them to take care of themselves. Make sure they know how to hang up their coats, put away their backpacks and lunchboxes, and place paperwork in a designated area of your home.
12. Purchase school clothing and school supplies. Start shopping mid-July for the best prices and selection. If you wait till later in August, you will likely be looking at Christmas sweaters and décor.
13. Sign up for fall activites like dance classes and fall sports. Don’t assume everything will be the “same as last year.” Investigate changes and avoid last-minute panic attacks.
14. Don’t forget that you are the key to an organized morning. Pick out your clothes the night before, prepare the things you need for the day, and make sure you have plenty of real food lunches and snacks ready to go. When you have a calm start to your day, you are better able to deal with the surprises that inevitably come up.
15. Communicate with your children. Talk about new schedules with your children. My husband and I are really good at organizing things for our children and then they turn to us with puzzled looks on their faces and say, “Wait! Where am I going?” Avoid confusion. Let your children know all about the plans you are making for them. Let them have input at times and teach them to start to take responsibility for their schedules.
Follow these simple tips and your first day of school will go a heck of a lot more smoothly. Taking the time to prepare will reduce the stress in your house. Less stress for you and the kids will ensure that the last few days of summer are more enjoyable for all.
Are you interested in more time-saving tips, recipes, and ideas for living a balanced and calm life? Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media. Leave me a comment and let me know what you want more of. What tips would offer other mothers to ease the transition of back-to-school?