The change in seasons also brings about a another change for many families-back to school. Parents often find themselves struggling with the increased demands that this new routine brings. However, there are several tips that make this transition much easier, and provide the family with a calmer and easier back to school. Here is what you need to know about how to get organized for back to school-
Don’t make it harder then you have to-Now is the time to simplify the routine. Whether it means cleaning only a room in your house everyday, or making one pot suppers (with leftovers, for the next day’s lunches), whatever you do make it simple. Try to accomplish two chores at once such as signing forms while the pasta boils. Keep in mind that getting into a new routine can be difficult and stressful, so now is not the time to add chores to your personal to-do list that can simply wait.
Stay on top of the laundry-Summer laundry seems to be such an easier chore, with mostly swimsuits, tee shirts and shorts to wash. Suddenly school starts and the laundry loads begin to grow exponentially. One of the easiest ways to stay organized is to make sure that your laundry is done on a regular basis. This prevents someone from exclaiming on a school morning that they don’t have a favorite, (or worse yet) needed shirt, pants etc. for school. If you feel too overwhelmed to take this task on, then enlist an older and trusted child to oversee the laundry. Paying a small amount for each completed load of laundry may just be the best investment you ever make.
Have a method of keeping track of paperwork-Back to school seems to bring a whole slew of forms that must be reviewed and signed. Permission slips and homework can easily get lost if you don’t have a way to keep track of paperwork. Bins with each child’s name on them can be a handy addition. Check out your local office supply store,(before school starts), for ideas that can work for you. Just make sure that where you are choosing to keep track of paperwork is convenient to where backpacks and other school items are being stored. This prevents running from place to place in the morning to find everything that you need.
Plan ahead for meals-While summer seems made for whatever you decide to eat at the last minute, back to school requires a little more planning. By having a meal plan you can accomplish several things: first, you will be less tempted to head to the drive through, for a less than nutritious meal, secondly, you won’t be standing in your kitchen surrounded by cranky family members demanding dinner and third you can often have some great leftovers to pack into lunches for the next day. Remember that time will be tight, between prepping for the next day, homework and other extra curricular activities, knowing what you are having for dinner can mean the difference between a smooth night or a chaotic one.
Try to foresee problems before back to school starts-While you can’t plan for everything try to see if you can eliminate obstacles. If your car is running funny, now is the time to take it in for a checkout, not when it gives out taking the kids to school. If an appliance needs servicing, something new needs to be bought, or anything else that can become a problem during the first few hectic weeks of back to school, then now is the time to deal with it. While change can be good, planning ahead is what can make it go even smoother.