Back To School Tips

7403731050_9a1ee480deNo one ever really feels ready to kick start another school year. It’s not easy for any family to adjust to routine all over again, but here are some ideas that can help you and the rest of the family ease in and make the transition a lot smoother, not to mention keeping organized and prepared. A little preparation will end up saving you from frustration later on, so you have a smooth and stress free start to your year.

EASE IN SLOWLY

Ease into the schedule change. During the last two weeks of summer, re-introduce a school year bedtime. Begin waking late sleepers earlier and earlier, closer to the hour they’ll need to rise when school begins. Also, start scheduling mealtimes and snack times if you don’t already, this will make their tummies more acclimated to the same time frame.

CREATE A CALENDAR

Create a calendar! Between all the notes and school calendars, after-school activities, school functions, lunch menus, etc., what do you do when you’re drowning in paperwork? Make a centralized site for all family calendars and schedules. You’ll need a family event calendar to track after-school activities, school programs and volunteer work. For more specific details, add post-it notes or specialized calendars if you are working electronically.

PLAN AHEAD

Plan before you shop. Lists, lists, lists. Did we mention lists? Make your meal plans for the week ahead of time and make a list of what you plan on doing. If the store doesn’t have the item you want on sale if you are budgeting, you can make adjustments, but in general if you stick to your plan and take a few hours on a Sunday to cook ahead, portion food out and prepare, it makes everything easier for both you and the kids.

GET PAPERWORK ORGANIZED

Get your papers in order. By mid-summer you may want to schedule any allergist appointments, immunizations or sports physicals, and get all paperwork ready to give to the school. Sometimes a well visit or a specialist can take several months to schedule, so make sure you get it done as early as possible!

BREAKFAST

Breakfast, morning, get moving……….this can be the hardest to get back to, but make sure you allow yourself and the kids enough to time to get dressed, shower, load the backpacks (or an even better trick is to do that before bed), so they have time to sit and eat their breakfast. Also, give yourself a few extra minutes of leeway in the planning in case something does go off kilter and then you won’t be running late on a schedule that’s too rigid.

Once you get back in the swing of things, you and the kids will be back to your old routine in no time, and hopefully this just makes the switch that much easier.

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6 Back to School Home Organizing Tips

copywritingThe end of summer and the beginning of autumn brings an abrupt change in routine. It’s called “back-to-school.” Anxiety about this transition can be faced head-on by serious preparation. By organizing your home or dorm room, you’ll feel ready for the increased activity, hectic schedules and exciting opportunities.

Here are six simple tips to utilize in making your home or dorm streamlined for effectiveness:

Utilize a family planner

It’s never too early to get your family’s schedule in a week-at-a-glance planner. Place it where it can be seen by all, or use a white board planner that hangs on the wall. Make sure everyone’s activities-games, practices, church events, meetings, even who’s cooking on which nights–whatever needs remembering.

Give everything a place

Create space for new school books, new school clothes, backpacks, and physical education uniforms. Go through your things, and decide whether to keep them or toss them. From clothing drawers and closets, throw outgrown or tattered items into a goodwill box. Keep summer clothes that will fit next year in an under-the-bed storage box, out of the way.

Baskets by the door

Create a “launch pad” by placing a shelf with baskets by your front door. Here’s where you’ll put purses, keys, backpacks, books, and other things that need to be carried out the door on your next exit. Hooks can be handy for hanging backpacks, purses, hats and coats. Baskets and hooks can be labeled for each child or each area of your life, i.e., church, sports, school, shopping, etc.

Make extra space

Make space for new items by leaving one shelf clean. Keep an empty bin by the front door for items that need to be put in their proper place. Leave space on your bookcases for new art projects.

File away

Buy a large file box or designate a file drawer for weekly papers, homework reference materials, and the like. Use colored folders to distinguish between each child’s papers, or to separate the notes for each of your classes.

Freeze some dinners

As the date approaches for the start of classes, take a night or two to make freezer dinners that will come in handy when homework is hefty. In the dorm, keep a few easy-to-microwave dinners, such as Ramen or soup, for those nights when you need to hunker down with the books and avoid the social distraction of eating out.

By thinking ahead and planning early, these six tips for home organizing will help you manage back-to-school stress. You’ll find yourself with a clearer mind, a cleaner living space, and fewer lost items. Those autumn leaves will signal doors of opportunity opening, because you are ready for the challenges ahead.

Written by: Ruby Moseley, FizzNiche Staff Writer

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