Back-to-School Basics

It’s back-to-school time! And there’s so much to do. From getting the kids ready, to creating a new schedule, the key to a successful year is in the beginning—getting organized. The pay-off? A stress free start, of course. Our tips will help you step out in the right direction.

Clothes Maven

Before you rush out to stock up on clothes this year, do an inventory on what’s already in your child’s closet. Since you’ll likely be shopping for the next season rather than the one you’re in, get your child to try on last year’s fall clothes to double check sizes. You might be surprised to find that some things still fit—and will be more aware of clothing needs to focus on.

Form Ready

From medical forms for sports to updated immunizations and school forms, you likely have a stack of things you need to get turned in before the end of the first week. Purchase a folder (while they’re on sale in the school supply section, of course) and fill them with the forms you need so that you have them all in one place. If there are issues with any of the information you need, make a note on the front of the folder to serve as a reminder of what has yet to be completed.

Supply Stash

You’ve seen them in the aisles for weeks now, waiting for the sales to hit. Once they do, get the list of supplies your child will need from your upcoming teacher, and stock up. Don’t have a list? Think about what you will need in the upcoming year and get the basics. Keep in mind that things such as wide-ruled notebook paper, folders, and pencil boxes are often difficult to find half-way through the year, so get it while you can!

Schedule Prep

As your schedule slips from care-free summer time to a more scheduled calendar, make it easy on everyone by purchasing a family calendar and writing out the schedule for the first two months until everyone gets back into the groove. For a schedule that includes multiple after-school activities, create a small weekly schedule on a notecard and attach it to your dash. It will keep you from panicking those first weeks back when things can feel hectic.

First Day Readiness

With carefree summer days behind, sleeping in late will need to be reigned in. To make the transition back to school easy, begin cutting your child’s bedtime back by 30 minutes every few days until they are back to their regular school bedtime.


If your children are ten or older, make mornings easier on yourself by giving them the responsibility of waking themselves up on school days. Let them pick out an alarm clock they love, then teach them how to set it and turn it off. Keep an ear out the first few weeks until they get the hang of it, then enjoy your extra ten minutes in your own bed.

Lunch Prep

Whether you are purchasing lunch, packing lunch, or a combination of each, make a lunch plan and stick with it. If you pack lunches, give your kids a say in the menu so they are more likely to eat it, and less likely to turn to junk food. As school starts back, many healthy lunch box items like granola bars, fruit cups, cheese sticks, etc. go on sale, so stock up.

The first day of school doesn't have to be loaded with stress. Just keep these ideas in mind, prepare as much as possible, and kick off the new year with ease. 

Posted: Wednesday, August 07, 2013