10 Steps to Avoid Back to School Mayhem

Now that we are at the tail end of summer break, many parents are starting to think about getting back into the school routine. Going back to school doesn’t have to be madness and mayhem. With some forward-planning, routine adjustments and organization you can save time, money and most importantly your sanity. Conquer your mornings with the below tips to avoid a mad scramble to get to school.

1. Secure Required School Supplies

Avoid the stress of last-minute shopping by securing all necessary school supplies, clothing and footwear during the sales tax holiday. Florida’s back-to-school tax-free weekend is set for August 3 – August 5 this year. Be sure to mark these dates on your calendar and have your school supply checklist ready to go so you can take advantage of the sales tax savings. Here is a full list of items that are eligible for sales tax exemption. Note of caution – don’t overload you house with bulk quantities. School supplies can be tempting but over purchasing can cause storage issues and clutter stress.

2. Back to School Closet Clean-out

Take a moment to assess and organize existing items in the closet. Before integrating any newly purchased items, remove (or hand down) any clothes that are too small, unworn since last year or are no longer in good shape.

Make getting dressed in the morning a breeze by placing similar items together in the closet (e.g. put uniforms together, shirts together, shorts together etc.). When you’re back to school, encourage your kids to select and set aside the clothes they want to wear the next day on the evening prior.

3. Designate Home “Locker”

By creating a designated zone for each child’s school items, you can save a lot of time and stress looking for lost and misplaced items. Not to mention saving yourself the trips to school to drop off forgotten lunches, sport uniforms or homework!

Create a habit whereby all school related items go o the zone directly after school. When homework is complete and lunches are made, review next day extra-curricular activities and place in the zone. This way, the kids always know where their stuff is, and it is ready to grab and go when needed.

4. Control Your Command Center

Prepare and take control of your command center (see our command center blog). Your command center should include a space for each child’s school papers, your bills, your reference materials and any other important documents that require your attention for action. The family calendar and any key planning tools for the week, like meal planners, sports schedules etc., should be located and organized in your command center.

5. DIT Lunches

Save time in the mornings by preparing school lunches the night before school. Depending on the age of your child, you can have a DIT (Do-It-Together) or DIY moment.

6. Fridge and Pantry Zones

Make lunch preparation easier by preparing designated spaces in the fridge and pantry for lunch items. InterDesign has some great storage bins and baskets to help you organize your fridge and pantry and maximize available spaces.

7. Routine Reset

Ease back into the school routine by returning to your normal school night bedtime about a week prior to school starting. This way your kids can start to adjust to earlier bedtimes and wakeup times. For younger children, writing the routine together and posting it can help them understand and stick to the timeline.

Practice getting moving quickly in the mornings with your kids by also returning to your school morning schedule about a week prior to school starting. By resetting routines and times a week in advance, the adjustment from school vacation to school week won’t feel as disruptive.

8. First Day Planning

Set the tone for going back to school by planning and being prepared for the first day of school. Plan your first day of school photos and lay out any required props or materials the night before. Do a mental walk-through of the routine for the first day so you can feel confident that you have everything in order and are ready to get back into the full swing of things.

9. Rule Adjustments

Now that it’s back to school time, any rules that you may have loosened during the summer (like morning screen time) should be addressed and reinforced. This also includes any necessary adjustments that you may need to make to your own personal rules and routines as a parent, for example, this may mean getting started earlier to exercise in the mornings during the school year.

10. Plan Breakfast

Plan to eat a healthy breakfast with the kids in the morning. Having breakfast as a family sets the tone for the day ahead and can give you a moment of calm and togetherness in the busy morning.

Follow the above ten tips to prepare for the back to school season with ease and calmly conquer your school mornings. Do you have any back to school organization tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment below.

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