Oh back to school. Is there any time of year that brings such mixed emotions? Whether you’re counting down the days or dreading those early morning drop-offs, the first day of school will be here before you know it. Here are some tips and tricks for navigating the return of schedules and structure.
Get your house ready!
A new school year is a natural time for a good clean out and de-cluttering of your home. Get rid of clothes and school uniforms that don’t fit. Designate a spot in your house for backpacks, important papers, and homework.
Keep bags for weekly activities such as swim lessons and ballet packed and in the mud room if you have one, so you’re not searching for that one tap shoe in the morning before school. No mud room? Hang hooks on the inside of your coat closet door for a quick fix. 3M Command hooks are awesome…they come in all different sizes and attach with sticky tape that’s easy to remove. No nails or screws needed!
Do as much as possible the night before!
The evening is the best time to get organized for the next day. Once your kids are in bed, take 5-10 minutes to look at your calendar and plan for tomorrow. Go ahead and load your car with anything you might need for the next day….tennis racket, packages to return, reusable grocery bags, whatever! Pack lunches without the kids watching and you’ll find there are less complaints and requests. Need to send a note that your child is going home with someone else? Ignore those cute ads popping up in your Facebook feed and click here to check out this super simple Word doc I created. It gets the job done.
You can never communicate too much with your husband and kids. Be clear about what time the kids need to get out of bed, what time breakfast needs to happen, and what time you leave for school. All being on the same page will make for a smoother morning.
Take it slow!
Lastly, ease into the school year. Summer tends to have a more relaxed schedule. Once school starts, so do after school activities, sports, and birthday parties. Set a guideline for your family of no more than one playdate per week, and try to keep weekends as unscheduled as possible. You can always add more as the year progresses.