Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Six Tips To Get Organized For Back To School

The most wonderful time of the year is almost here! Although I would love summer to last forever, especially because it's been so wonderful, I think we're all ready to put the beach towels away and bring out the backpacks. I'm craving routine, aren't you?

I was on CTV Ottawa Morning Live today, talking about getting ready for back-to-school and how we can all stay organized this year.



Here's my segment, featuring items from Pottery Barn Kids, Hilroy Canada, Mabel's Labels, and Mastermind Toys—items that will help you and your kids get organized just in time for school!

Here are some tips to help you and your children transition from summer to fall without any major meltdowns:

Get Into The Groove

While we were in Greece, my kids adapted to the Greek lifestyle—going out for dinner at 10 p.m. and staying up until past midnight almost daily, thanks to the World Cup being aired at 11 p.m. most nights. Since we've been back, we've been relaxed with bedtime, and the boys have been going to bed after 10 p.m. It's important to get everyone back into a bedroom routine a couple of weeks before school starts, so that your kids aren't looking at you like you're crazy when you tell them to hit the sack at 8 p.m. the night before school starts.

It's hard to go to bed when it's not completely dark out, but the sooner you start getting your kids used to an earlier bedtime, the easier it'll be when school begins. You should also start waking up your sleepyheads earlier, so they're not horrified when the alarm clock goes off in a few weeks.  

Calendar Central

I love using wall and pocket calendars to keep myself and my family organized. Everyone leads a busy life, and transitioning from summer to fall can be tricky if you're not organized. We've already gone through fall registration for some after school activities, like tennis. You should get a good big wall calendar and leave it somewhere everyone can see, preferably near the main phone in the kitchen. Update it regularly, and keep track of each child's activities with different coloured markers.

From after-school activities, to sports, play dates, volunteer days, school functions and more—if you've got things written down, you won't forget what you have to do each week and you'll be able to prepare everyone ahead of time. Also, update your tablet and iPhone with all this information, too. 

Go Shopping

But before you do, take inventory in your children's rooms and figure out what no longer fits and what they'll need. Empty out drawers, and make your children try on clothes you're not sure still fit them. Make a keep, donate, and toss pile. Once you've gone shopping for the items your kids will need, put clothes in places they can reach in their closets and drawers so they can get dressed themselves (or with your help, of course) in the morning.

Label Everything

Label everything—pencil cases, lunch bags, clothes, gloves, pencil cases and water bottles. Things DO get lost, but if things are labelled, they'll most likely be found and returned! Mabels Labels are the labels we use year after year because they last, they are affordable, and there are so many cute designs to choose from. Also, I love supporting such a wonderful Canadian company.

Get Ready The Night Before

This is where I usually fail—on days when I wake up at the same time as the kids, I'm usually running behind, making lunches, trying to find clothes for the kids to wear, and basically, stressing everyone out. When we've got the backpacks packed, the lunches mostly made, and the clothes picked out the night before, mornings are so much more relaxed.

Stick To A Homework Routine

Pick a quiet place in your home and pick a time that you can stick to. Have all the supplies you need in a box—pencils, calculators, rulers, notebooks—so things will be easy to find when the time time comes to get the homework done. No excuses!

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