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Get Organized for Back to School

Listen Can you hear it? Its the glorious sound of silence! The kids are back to school and the house is no longer vibrating with slamming doors, screeching children or perpetual bickering. Its a respite to the ears and a balm to the soul! Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, and the start of the new school year for many. As a former teacher turned stay-at-home mom, I may appreciate these first quiet weeks more than most. Its like I can think again!

Back to school means more than just reclaiming your sanity. It also means endless runs to practices, games, competitions and festivals. Its emptying your bank account to pay those never-ending activity fees. Its cooking every meal in a crock pot so theres something hot on the table. It means hours spent at the kitchen table doing homework. We trade one kind of chaos for another once the school year is underway. Frankly, despite all the blustering, we wouldnt trade a minute of it! Its crazy, busy and whole lot of fun. However, Ive learned a few tips and tricks that may help lessen the crazy and fuel the fun.

Post the Family Calendar

While phone calendars and reminders are great, they just cant replace a centrally placed family calendar. Track after school schedules, travel schedules (my husband is NEVER home), due dates, meetings and more in a conspicuous and accessible place. If you live with a family of techies, be sure you can sync a calendar to everyones device.

Tackle Tomorrow Today

While the urge to tumble into bed at the end of the day may be strong, take a few minutes to prep for the day ahead. Pack lunches in the evening, set the breakfast table, check that all paperwork has been completed, and review the next days carpool schedule. Remind your children to pack gym clothes, instruments, etc. (yes- this is THEIR job- not yours!)

Deal with Dinner

If your familys schedule is anything like ours, its difficult to get everyone to the table at the same time. Its also incredibly tempting to zip through a fast food restaurant and call dinner done! I really try to plan meals ahead (mostly of the crockpot variety) and do the shopping at the beginning of the week, saving both time and money.

File All Forms

The start of a new school year means a flurry of forms and papers. Take a tip from the office and set up a home filing system– you wouldnt want to forget to sign the permission slip for the field trip!

Shop the Sales

We all love a new back-to-school outfit! Take advantage of end-of-season pricing (August is the second-best month of the year for sales) and scoop up a few essentials. Many summer clearance items transition nicely into fall, saving money and future shopping trip.

Ready or not (count me ready!), the kids are back to school and the lazy days of summer are behind us. The fall schedule is in effect – these tips help keep it simple and manageable. Before you know it, the holidays will be here (insert maniacal laughter!!)