The Back to School Season is synonymous with kids. Clothes shopping, school supplies, fresh backpacks, new classmates and teachers. Different schedules are in effect consisting of homework, after school activities, and sports. While a lot is changing for kids, it’s also changing for parents. That’s why I look at the Back to School Season as a chance to reset myself before the start of each school year.
Whether you work full time or stay at home, the schedule changing can throw everyone in the family for a loop. Here are tips to get ahead of the crazy by tackling key areas before the Back to School schedules get out of hand.
Back to School ushers in Fall clothing at great discount prices, and not just for kids. It’s a great opportunity to get a pair or booties, jeans or other fall/winter items when major retailers are running sales that are aimed at getting families into stores. Even though the weather is still in the 90’s going into October, you will be happy you picked up some fall pieces. Waiting until it gets cool means you are likely to not have your size available, or the specific color/pattern is already sold out.
Every July, I go through the kids’ closets and purge items they’ve outgrown. We pack them up and donate them or pass them on to other kids we know. This is a great way to audit what your kids will REALLY need for the beginning of school. Chances are, they won’t need as much as you think. We all know kids can wear summer clothes through September (see point above).This buys you time to not have to shell out a ton of money on a new wardrobe that will have them sweating through Computer Lab. Plus, end of Summer sales will include shorts, tanks, and tees for super cheap. If your kid’s summer clothes are too thrashed for Back to School, grab a few clearance Summer items to get them through the first weeks of school.
So you signed your kids up for soccer. Put that in the calendars now. Calendar your work outs (whether you exercise at home or at a gym). Plug in doctor’s appointments. Get everything scheduled and on your calendar before you forget to schedule them. Once school starts, that calendar is going to burst. It’s easy to forget what time that one pilates class was at because you have to look it up. Having it all on your calendar will allow you to be more efficient and hopefully get some “me time” scheduled. Before it’s overrun with checkups, birthday parties, and Back to School Nights.
Test out easy, go-to recipes before school starts. Get a wheelhouse of 10 – 20 easy and quick dinners that your family loves and put a list of them on the refrigerator or someplace handy. Meal plan on the weekends and stick to basics that you already know and love. When crunched for time, don’t try a new recipe. You’ll just end up stressed, you might omit an ingredient or two (speaking from experience), and the dinner is just a big BLAH. There is a reason Taco Tuesday exists – they’re quick and you don’t get tired of them.
Yes, that’s right. Before it gets real with crazy schedules, schedule a facial or a pedicure. Take a moment to decompress and charge your batteries. Think of it as a mini vacation. Why should the kids have all the fun? Have you ever heard anyone say, “I really shouldn’t have gone to the spa”? Your tootsies will thank you as you arrive for pick up on the first day of school, rocking your sandals and freshly polished toes.
Clean the Car
Shop-vac the sand out of your floormats, toss the popsicle wrappers, and remove the starting-to-mildew beach towels from your friend’s pool part last weekend. You can’t be cluttered up with junk going into the school year when the kids are about to bring home 897 sheets of paper to be signed. Once your ride is clean and ready for carpool you’ll want to spin donuts around the neighborhood.
Have one area in the house that is a place to communicate with the family. I purchased these magnetic dry erase boards a couple months back and I love them. It’s been an awesome way for the kids to know what’s coming up for the week, what the dinner plans are, and if hubby or I have evening commitments.