It’s hard to believe, but summer is winding down, and it’s time to get the kids ready for another school year. This transition can feel overwhelming for children and parents alike, but there are ways to make it feel more fun and easy. Also, think of the perks: starting a more predictable routine, clearing out the old to make room for the new, and prepping for another season. As the school year approaches, try some of these ways to get your kids better organized for the classroom and stocked up on the necessary supplies.
A favorite end-of-summer task for many is back-to-school shopping. A good first step is to go through your closets and dressers and purge old clothing—see what no longer fits your body or fashion taste. Donate or pass down these items to someone else in the family before replacing them with new ones. This way, once the unwanted items are out, you know what you need to buy as well as how much (realistic) storage space you have for them without overbuying.
An up-to-date calendar makes life so much easier! At The Little Details, we all use the iCal app on our phones and laptops for all appointments and we love it. I set an alert before each event as a handy reminder. When you’re juggling multiple children’s schedules, as well as your own, it’s important to have them all on your calendar. This way you know who is where on which dates and at what times. This includes school, work, and extracurricular activities for everyone in the family. Don’t use your calendar as a task management system or it will get so cluttered that it will distract you from your appointments and it will lose it’s core function.
Along with your clothing and accessories, sort and purge all of the previous year’s school supplies (crayons, markers, folders). With everything laid out in front of you, the items you need to buy and the ones you have stocked up are obvious. Once you have determined what to get, make sure that each supply has a proper home. Keep in mind Julie Morgenstern’s SPACE (sort, purge, assign, containerize, equalize) acronym, even with school supplies!
Having an organized work station helps prepare your child for success. Whether there’s a desk set up in your child’s bedroom, in the kitchen or elsewhere in the house, make sure this space is calm, quiet, and organized. It should be equipped with writing utensils, proper lighting, and comfortable seating. Have a folder ready to file any work that is no longer needed at school, or even have a folder for each subject kept at home to easily drop these papers into.
Get kids involved in making their own lunch, which can establish a sense of independence. Set aside some time each Sunday to create a meal plan for the week. You can get as detailed as listing ingredients for each meal so you have a grocery list ready for your next trip to the supermarket.
Have everyone in the family set aside their outfit the night before (including you). Are you noticing a theme? Set yourself up for a successful day by preparing the night before. This is one of the best (and easiest) ways to live an organized life and set an example for your children.
Communicate with your kids and find out if there are any changes in their schedule—perhaps there’s an extracurricular activity that needs to be added to the calendar? Keep in mind this time of year can be especially anxiety-inducing for your child. Take the time to listen to any of their concerns and validate their feelings so as to avoid first day meltdowns and chaos.
You’re now ready to help the kids in your life confidently start the school year. You can help make this transition easier for them (and yourself) and set the tone for the rest of the year—organized and ready to go!