It’s no surprise that parents start to feel an extra sense of urgency come August every year. Summer is coming to a close, back to school shopping is inevitable and then school begins. If you are a parent this post is definitely for you.
Below is a quick checklist and a few tips to help you START this busy time of year as productively as possible. The goal is to help you prevent the inevitable forgetfulness and stress that happens when chaos starts to ensue. These tips are very basic but often underestimated as GREAT time savers.
Here’s how we recommend you plan a successful return back to school:
Contact your children’s school to get updates
You may or may NOT be on your schools email list, but either way – sometimes that schools post more information about the first day back to school than you might think. This includes bus schedules, start times, finish times, upcoming pro-d days or special events, sign ups for the PAC committee or other volunteer jobs and so on. The more you know early on – the more at peace you will be with this whirlwind time of year. The less the school schedule will be a shock to your business schedule as well.
Get back on the phone with your carpool partners
Yep, if you previously carpooled with someone to get your children to and from school and you have not spoken to them all summer. Now is an excellent time to touch base. Especially since you know the schedule for school. Remember to keep in mind any after school activities your child might do or their child might do; both parents should be on the same page with this. And what about your business travel times? Will those conflict with the carpool schedule? Do you know your travel plans in advance enough to even bring that up? It might not be a bad idea to think about, especially if it could interfere.
Get these apps to organize your lists and memorabilia
These two apps, Google Keep and Artkiv, will eliminate the paper clutter that piles up fast in most homes. Check them out this week, test them and see if its a fit for you. Both apps are easy to share with other family members.
Google Keep is the perfect place to track of all your shopping lists, errands, books to buy or download, music to download, party planning, packing checklists, gift ideas, bits and pieces of information, kids clothing sizes and what they need for the upcoming season. Add a location reminder, easily share lists and notes with family members, friends or business clients. You can even add photos and use the handy audio feature with transcription. Always within reach as it works on all your mobile devices. Set up is less than 5 minutes and you can start typing and unload everything that’s on your mind to buy and get done.
Artkive is a handy app will help you organize and capture your child’s artwork, schoolwork and pictures of them doing activities. Get rid of paper clutter once and for all and save yourself a lot of space in your home! Artkive is a great way to capture, organize and save your children’s creativity, schoolwork, keepsakes, memorabilia. Why not use it to organize your own childhood memorabilia! Organize by child and age, print quality books, framed prints, or pillows for them to enjoy and celebrate these precious memories. Share with family and friends. Check out their done-for-you Artkive Concierge service. Organizing memorabilia has never been easier!
Start making childcare arrangements now
Your summer childcare may very well have consisted of the half or full day day camps you had your children in and it simply worked with your schedule as if by luck.
But will it work when the kids are back to school, finishing earlier and or enjoying their pro-d days again? What about sick days and snow days – do you have a service on call for this? Now is the time to start making those plans.
The last thing anyone wants is for you to miss one or several important meetings because you don’t have your personal life in order. It’s also ill advised to bring the kids to work most days. Even if you do work for yourself — having “fresh home from school” children running around, asking for late lunches, begging to go play outside unsupervised etc — it can be a distraction. An in home child care specialist may alleviate some of this if you cannot take the time to pick the kids up and drop them off at a sitters.
Make plans and set some rules
One of the best ways to keep peace in your home is to have a calendar/schedule and a routine. Summers are often chaotic with schedules all over the place and almost always void of routines.
Because of all the freedom and travel in the itinerary and/or summer sports tournaments and so on – it’s just madness for even the most sane of families. But back to school time is PERFECT for routine. We can all breath again when routine is in place.
Even though it can be hard to get back to it – setting a schedule for before school and after school will be very beneficial. Setting a routine is important.
Don’t forget the little things – make checklists NOW
Sometimes we forget just how much there is to do on an average school day (which also happens to be an average work day for most of us too). If you take inventory of these things early – it will be that much easier to make checklists for them so that they don’t become routinely chaotic for everyone.
Use Google Keep to create checklists for clothing items to buy for the fall, uniforms to order, shoe and clothing sizes, morning routines, and just about everything else you keep in your head to remember to do. Get it out of your head and into Google Keep.
Here’s to your organizing success!