Yikes! Back to School again!

Yikes!  Honk, Honk, there’s the bus…mom, where is my…..

It’s that time again! Doesn’t summer seem to fly by?  Always does!  Summer has drifted away on a cloud and Fall has come roaring in again with the trees getting ready to change color, cooler nights, school buses, alarm clocks, new sports season, tutors, music lessons, more appointments, calendar filling up, and more… get the picture?  THEN GET ORGANIZED NOW!

Here are some Tips to get you off and running smoothly with the kick-off of the school year with your kids (or to help you get up and out in the morning to work now that there are buses on the road!)

1)  START getting kids to bed earlier in August!

A bit earlier each week to slowly adjust them to the earlier bus/school start schedules again! Don’t forget to feed them earlier and closer to fall schedule as well, especially younger children and ones requiring medications. (even babies, toddlers will need to adjust to the new  morning routines as well!)

2) Organize your fall clothes NOW so you aren’t caught off-guard

Clothes that don’t fit or are in need of mending, light-weight fall sweaters, jackets, rain gear, umbrellas, hats, even light-weight gloves/mittens.  Plan a block of time and go through closet, drawers ahead! Donate or pass down to a sibling or cousin!

3)  Check that shoe closet now!

Shoes, sandals, waterproof hikers, rain-boots , even snow boots. Line them up and ready to go!

4)  Don’t Drown in Paper! Purchase a family calendar or use an app online

a) SETUP Drop area/zone for ALL incoming paperwork, signatures needed, etc.

b) Family Organizer:  Now the real key here is to do this ‘ahead of time’ by putting ALL family member’s doctors, school meetings, outings, sports and music lessons per child, family events in NOW!  You should have a family ‘go to’ calendar/organizer of some sort that all members must check as well as your own with you! Remember color-coding by pen or marker easier to read!  Family Organizers are the way to much LESS STRESS for the entire family and saves on all time lost in calling/returning calls to coordinate.  It’s a ‘Go to’ Guide for Parents, Children, Grandparents, Babysitters alike!  (Cozi App and others free, or use your current outlook, google, msn, word calendars – don’t need anything too fancy!  Do by color!)

5) SHOP SCHOOL SUPPLIES EARLY!

Believe it or not it is cheaper to shop early in the summer and be done, go armed with School Supply lists to spend less time, energy and money.   If you are late, shop your home first! Odds are you can pass down an older siblings backpack, pencil case, calculator, etc.

6) SPORTS/DANCE/TEAM paperwork

Most athletic departments, etc. require proof of physical, immunizations, etc. to participate.  Plan early and gather and copy any documents you will need and make up the fall folders now by child and put in individual child’s folders ready-to-go.

7) Pay for school lunch programs now!  Or make ahead…And all other programs you can ahead!

You’ll be saving yourself a lot of evening paperwork time, stress and frustration ahead of time! If child old enough to do have them make up night before, or at least most of it!

8) Ready your Stations by child!  Bathroom/shower needs

Gather per child, shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, balm, combs, brushes, etc. in a basket, bucket or assigned shelf area ahead so you will have less wars for bathroom time in each getting ready for school on time.  Maybe even assign time slots on door if only 1 bath.

9) Parents/Adults time-savers to do ahead:

a) Plan your grocery shopping with a new cell phone app or paper system list by store aisle and save time and $. (couponer:  then block out time each week or assign task to a child). With an APP you can type in the item as you find out you need it, therefore you won’t forget to do later!

b) Gather recipes, baking, other regular supplies for pantries before the fall to be ‘ready-to-go’ out of the gate with school starting and more traffic you sit behind getting to work.  Plan your weekly meals, use your Crock Pot more!  Ease yourself into fall with simple, easy meals.

c) Yikes, with well over 20+ students per class you know there will be those last minute invitations so be prepared NOW by having a special area for gifts/presents in your closet, drawer out of reach from kids.  Gift Certificates to the age-appropriate stores, Itunes, bookstores, book lights, SHOP local and promote the small owned stores in town!  Buy some note cards and few Birthday ones too to have on-hand!

10) STOP!  Take a breath, ENJOY the small moments

Try to take some time for yourself, even if a quick cup of tea, coffee, etc.  and breath deeply and mindfully.  Enjoy the present moments you are in by yourself, with another or as a family-they are precious.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?!

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