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Back to school season is here and so is the prepping, planning, excitement, and stress for parents and kids. If you’ve already gone back to school or are gearing up for it, you know that a little planning goes a long way. Preparation is key to easing the transition from summer to fall. Instead of trying to manage or change all the things, I concentrate on five things to help us ease into fall. Start with one thing that feels like it will help or pick and choose one thing from each tip to help you get ready for back to school.
1. Plan Meals Ahead
- Meal Plan: Dedicate time each week to plan out the meals for the week. I use Fridays (Catch-All Day) to clean out the fridge, meal plan, and shop for the week.
- Involve the Kids: Make meal planning a family activity. Let the kids pick a meal they would like or make a list of all the family favorites and pull from that for the week.
- Batch Cooking and Freezing: Prepare and freeze meals in advance OR prep ahead meal components cutting the steps and time it takes to make meals down.
- Snack Station: Create a snack station in the pantry or fridge with pre-portioned goodies that the kids can grab on their way out, pack in lunches, or for an after-school snack.
2. Make a Plan for the Day
- Family Calendar: Use a centralized family calendar (digital or physical) where everyone’s schedules are visible. Having a visual schedule can make it easy for everyone, including younger kids, to see what’s planned for the day. This could be a chalkboard, a whiteboard, or even a printed schedule.
- Prioritize Tasks: Identify the most crucial tasks for the day and tackle those first. The Homekeeping Planner takes the guesswork out of household tasks for you and provides a place to keep track of all the schedules.
3. Catch Up on Laundry (and Do a Load a Day)
- Laundry Catch-Up: Tackle any laundry backlogs before the school year gets into full swing.
- Laundry Schedule: Set up a weekly laundry schedule, assigning different days for different family members or types of clothing.
- Involve Children: Teach older children how to do their own laundry or help in the process, fostering independence and responsibility. Put clothes out the night before to avoid morning chaos.
- One Load a Day Strategy: Implement a ‘load a day’ strategy, where one load of laundry is done from start (sorting) to finish (folding and putting away) each day. They is a Daily Task in the Clean Mama Routine and so helpful for keeping a clean home!
4. Organize an Area That Will Help
- Designate a ‘School Zone’: Establish a specific area where school-related items like backpacks, papers, and supplies are kept.
- Declutter and Clean: Before the school year starts or as you are able this month, take time to declutter an area that feels cluttered, getting rid of unneeded items and creating a fresh, clean space.
- Organizational Tools: Recommend using bins, labels, and hooks to make it easy for kids to know where everything goes.
5. Embrace the Routine
- Consistent Bedtimes: I’ve found that having specific bed times for everyone is helpful as we get back into routines. Getting the right amount of sleep is crucial in making everything run a little more smoothly as we change up our routines.
- Family Time: Even when life gets busy, make time for fun and family. It can be as simple as eating dinner together, a 20-minute walk after dinner or a Friday movie or game night.
Don’t forget to give yourself and your kids plenty of grace as you all adjust to the new routines of fall. It’s a busy time and gliding into that new routine doesn’t have to be difficult – plan ahead a bit and you’ll find that you’re saving time and energy!