Back to School Prep—Planning Ahead for the Busy Season

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After a summer of independence and freedom, it can be tough to shift gears for fall and all that comes with it—alarm clocks, the school routine, homework, extracurricular activities, holidays, volunteering, and more.

If your family is anything like mine, life gets markedly busier.

Before the new season kicks into high gear, there are some things we can do now to make life easier when the going gets tough.

Prioritize Sleep

Nothing makes being busy harder than being exhausted. Ensure that you and your family members are getting enough sleep. If your wake-up time needs to be adjusted significantly when school begins, then your bedtime needs to be adjusted accordingly. Consider eating dinner earlier, encouraging quieter nighttime activities, dimming the lights in the evening, and reducing the use of electronic devices at night.

Freeze Meals

Your future self will thank you on those nights when preparing dinner seems like an utter impossibility. Scour the internet for make-ahead meals that you can freeze. Utilize a free summer morning for chopping and packaging, and revel in the fact that you won’t be tempted to hit the drive-through window this fall.

Clean Up

Nothing slows a family down like clutter. Take the time now to donate what you no longer love or find useful. Put everything else in its place. From clothes to sports equipment to papers to kitchen items, fumbling to find an item you need can be avoided by maintaining a tidy space.

Stock Up

On the other side of the spectrum, running out of groceries or household supplies is another way to stop a day’s momentum right in its tracks. Take an afternoon to stock up on toiletries, non-perishable items, and easily stored groceries. Ordering groceries online can be a huge time saver. Consider setting up a list of staples that you can order quickly when in a pinch.

Schedule Earlier Appointments

If there are dentist visits, hair cuts, checkups, car maintenance, or other appointments colliding with the back to school frenzy, consider rescheduling and wrapping them up ahead of time. Anything that reduces the time crunch in September will be a welcome change and reduce some of the pressure.

Get Excited for Fall

With so much prep in place, you are going to be just fine. Help your children anticipate the positive aspects of the new school year ahead. As a family, look forward to the beautiful fall season—the pumpkins, the colorful leaves, the brisk evening breezes, and any fun fall activities you have planned.

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