Well, Back-to-School is upon us. My kids go back to school next week and our nice, easy, lazy summer will be nothing but a fond memory. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks slowly getting everything organized and ready for Fall. With 3 kids in real school and 1 in pre-school I have some tips and ideas to share with you to help make the transition easier. These are the things I do each year in August to help get my house and family ready for the new school year.
1. Clear out last year’s clutter. I cannot stand starting a new school year still dealing with last year’s clutter. So I take the first couple of weeks of August and clean it out. I clean out the front closet where I organize the kids bookbags, lunchboxes, jackets, shoes, etc. Next I clean out the paperwork cluttering up my countertop file system. Old stuff gets thrown away or filed away in the permanent files.
2. Organize school clothes. The temperatures are still in the high 90’s when our schools go back in session so I don’t have to purchase much for the first months of school. I do go through each kid’s closet and toss anything that has been stained, ripped, or outgrown. I also check to see which kids need new undies or socks and I check their shoes. A few years ago I started planning out the kids outfits for the entire school week on Sunday evenings. I make sure their outfits are paired up and they can just grab an outfit each morning and get dressed themselves.
3. Compile list of easy recipes. The first few weeks of school are hectic until we get settled into the new routine. I have a list of easy and fast recipes that can be thrown together or prepared ahead of time for those weeks. I do a large grocery trip to stock up on essentials in case I can’t get to the store right away. This is also the time of year when I start planning a monthly menu instead of a weekly one.
4. Write out daily schedules & practice them. This is a big one in our house. We tend to have fairly carefree summers so I have to ease the kids back into the routine. I start by lowering bedtime by half an hour every few days until they are going to bed at the desired time. I set the kids alarm clocks for the correct wake up time and work out the morning routine kinks so that by the time school actually starts we have a workable routine already established. The goal is for the morning and evening routine to be working like a well oiled machine the week before school starts.
5. Create a car bag. Our schedule this year means that we will be spending some significant time in the car. This means that I need to have a stash of things to entertain the little kids. This is the second year that I’ve done the car bag and it makes life so much easier. I stock it with books, small toys, new (or forgotten about) DVD’s, non-perishable snacks and drinks, stickers, etc. I also keep a second bag stocked with extra diapers, wipes, outfits, plastic bags and a first aid kit. It’s one less thing for me to have to remember to pack each day as we’re leaving the house.
What do you do to get ready for school days?