Back to School Planning Checklist for Overwhelmed Parents

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife
 

This post is in partnership with The Athlete’s Foot

The new school year is approaching fast, and I’ve got some great back to school routine tips for you. Over the next month, I will be sharing my helpful tips on what to pack into your kid’s school lunches to entice them with healthy food, how to get them up in the morning and on time to school, what healthy after-school snacks to make your kids, how to tackle homework routines, how to cope with all the stress of school parking, and loads more. If you’re stressing about the ‘back to school’ rush already, don’t worry because I will get you through it and help you organise your 2019 school year better than any other year. I will help to make the new school year a breeze to get through with my organising tips.

COPING WITH THE STRESS OF PARENTING AND THE DESIRE TO BE BACK TO SCHOOL ORGANISED

Many parents find it difficult to keep up with busy school schedules, especially with more than one child to take care of. If you are feeling this way, know that you’re not alone. So many mums and dads silently struggle. I received a heartfelt message from one incredible mum, who has reached out to me for some help and advice, and I thought I would share her message with you in the hopes that it gives you comfort that you are just one mum of many who goes through the same thing on a daily basis. This particular reader wanted help to get ‘back to school’ organised. I read her email and knew that so many others in the community are feeling the same, so I’ve answered the reader’s email here, as I hope that it also answers many of your own questions.

This mummy reader writes:

I’m not sure if Ill get a reply to this, but I’m hoping I will.  I’m a mum of four girls, 10, 8, 6, 6. Our lives have been surrounded by chaos, more time living in hospitals than at home, various special needs and therapies, let alone dealing with PTSD myself. I want Organisation sooo badly, I want that amazing organised school bag rack, the home cooked school snacks ready to go each week, knowing where school shoes are each morning (how they can lose ONE shoe I’ll never know?) planners to keep track of appointments and schedules. But where do I start? It seems impossible, it feels overwhelming, its damn expensive to buy everything to try and get organised and where do I get the energy from? So where do I start? How can I start? How can I be better at this? Am I the only one failing?

12 STEPS TO SURVIVING THE BACK TO SCHOOL ROUTINE

My advice is to do your best, stay calm and be kind to yourself. Here are 12 great steps to follow when you’re trying to stay organised with the ‘Back to School’ madness thats ahead. If you follow these steps and work out your own routine that works with these steps, I guarantee you that your life will seem a lot more organised and a little simpler.

1. ORGANISE YOUR CALENDAR AND WEEKLY PLANNER

Having a calendar up on a wall or a weekly planner tucked into your handbag with all known, important dates for the year will help so much with your organisation. Write all your yearly personal, work and school events in your calendar and planner, so that you will never forget any important dates like school camps, dancing recitals, sports events and all things school and holiday related. The Organised Housewife 2020 Weekly Planner and 2020 Wall Calendar are both overflowing with fancy features that will help make creating a calmer, more coordinated and less stressful life – that’s also filled with precious spare time and self love – super simple.

  SHOP: The Organised Housewife 2020 Wall Calendar and Weekly Planner

The best 2020 weekly planner and wall calendar for getting organised

2. START SHOPPING FOR SUPPLIES EARLY

It’s not too early to start shopping for all back to school supplies now. In fact, it can help you avoid the rush and disappointment of missing out on particular items, like pink lunchboxes for your little girl or a batman pencil case for your superhero fan. Tears are never fun on the first day of school, so check out my 2019 Back to School Product Guide and see if you need anything.

If you then have your supplies early, you can take your time to cover the books and label everything.

  READ MORE: My 2019 Back to School Product Guide

Many parents find it difficult to keep up with busy school schedules, so I've shared some of my top tips to help you be back to school organised!

3. SCHOOL SHOE SHOPPING TIPS

I find that shopping for school shoes is the hardest part of the back to school rush around. You need to find the right fit, the best quality shoes, and if your kids need additional padding for flat feet like orthotics, that needs to be incorporated. I would recommend that you don’t leave the shoe shopping until the last minute, or you could find yourself hunting down every shoe store because there are no shoes left in the style you are wanting.

MY TOP SHOE SHOPPING TIPS:

  • The best time to buy shoes is in the afternoon as the foot will be at its largest. Fitting shoes, while the foot is at its largest or swollen, will ensure the best fit for your child throughout a full day.
  • Take along a pair of your kid’s school socks to help get the right fit.
  • Get shoes professionally fitted. They will always try shoes on both feet, not just one. Two of my children have different sized feet, so it’s very important to make sure I get their feet measured and shoes fitted properly to ensure they have the right sized shoe for their feet. Experienced staff will measure the width and length of both feet.
  • HELP YOUR SCHOOL – The Athlete’s Foot School Rewards Program donates $5 from every pair purchased until 10th February 2019 to your school. 

  Check out Athletes Foot online here, or find a local store here

Many parents find it difficult to keep up with busy school schedules, so I've shared some of my top tips to help you be back to school organised!

5. FOLLOW MY BACK TO SCHOOL CHECKLIST

To get ahead and be organised for the back to school rush and the stressful year ahead, purchase and download my Back to School Checklist, which will help you to not forget any important school jobs like uniform and school shoe purchases, lunch items your kids will need, book supplies and much much more.

  BACK TO SCHOOL CHECKLIST – available as a free download here.

Many parents find it difficult to keep up with busy school schedules, so I've shared some of my top tips to help you be back to school organised!

4. WEEKLY MEAL PLAN

Meal planning takes so much pressure off you as a mum. When you know exactly what you are cooking for the week, you can buy all the right ingredients in your weekly shop and just follow the meal plan. Sometimes doing a bit of groundwork like meal planning will save you so much stress along the line. If you struggle with what to cook each night, and panic when you get home and realise that you forgot to defrost your meat for dinner, this weekly meal planner will help you stay organised and on top of your evening meals. Read through some of the meal plans I’ve created, and feel free to be inspired with some great recipes.

  WEEKLY MEAL PLANNER – Available for online download here only $4.95 each.

Many parents find it difficult to keep up with busy school schedules, so I've shared some of my top tips to help you be back to school organised!

5. GET THE KIDS TO HELP

Get the kids to help you out at home. Depending on their age, you can ask them to help wash up the dishes, tidy their bedrooms, put dirty washing in the washing basket or even do a load of washing for you. They can also help with cooking dinners and make their beds if they are a little older. Check out my son’s perfectly imperfect bed making skills below. He was only 4 at the time, and as a teenager now, he really hasn’t improved!! As long as he makes his bed though, I am happy.

  EXTRA TIPS: Top 5 perfectly imperfect organising tips.  

Many parents find it difficult to keep up with busy school schedules, so I've shared some of my top tips to help you be back to school organised!

6. SHOE STORAGE IDEAS

I keep our shoes in the garage and have them all set up so that each of us has their own section. That way our shoes are always easy to find and kids aren’t running around in the morning looking for shoes. There are five of us, so we really need a large storage shelf for all our day to day shoes.  I use this Stackable Shoe Rack which is great value for the price you pay, and it’s super easy to put together.

  SHOE SHELF – super easy to assemble.  Available online here only $29.95 each. 

Many parents find it difficult to keep up with busy school schedules, so I've shared some of my top tips to help you be back to school organised!

7. CREATE A SCHOOL BAG STORAGE AREA

When my kids started school I saw the trend of them getting home and throwing their school bags under the kitchen bench and forgetting to unpack their lunchboxes.  I created a school bag nook in the hallway of our old house to help keep their bags tidy and off the floor. As soon as they got home, they hung up their bag, got out their homework and put their lunch boxes in the kitchen sink to be cleaned.  Our afternoon routine chart helped to create this system, and thankfully they now remember to always take their lunch boxes out of their bags.

In our new house (where we have been for 2 years now), they keep their bags in their bedrooms as we don’t have wall space like this anymore).

  READ MORE: Organised School Bag Storage Ideas

Many parents find it difficult to keep up with busy school schedules, so I've shared some of my top tips to help you be back to school organised!

8. SCHOOL UNIFORMS

Do you ever feel like you either have too many sets of your kid’s school uniforms or simply not enough? So how many sets of uniforms should you buy so that the kids are always cleanly dressed and you’re not frantically washing school uniforms just before bedtime at 9 pm, which is when the kids tell you that they need their uniforms washed. It’s different for every family but here’s how I worked out what was best for mine.

  READ MORE: How Many School Uniforms Should you Buy?

9. ESTABLISH A MORNING ROUTINE

A daily routine is not only important for your kids, but it’s also important for you so that you can stay on top of your busy weekly schedule. Work out when the kids need to get up in the mornings, and stick to a routine of breakfast, lunches for school, getting dressed, brushing teeth and so on. Here’s a little list to go through every morning in your household.

  • have breakfast
  • brush teeth
  • get dressed
  • tidy bedroom
  • pack school bag
  • put on shoes

Several years ago, I created a routine chart for my kids to check every morning so that they would know what they needed to do to get ready for school.  You can read what our typical morning routine looked like 5 years ago. It has changed so much now that the kids are older and more independent, but I still have these charts on the wall for them to refer to. Routine charts are available in my shop for only $4.95 and I can create personalised charts to suit your family for you too.

  READ MORE: Create a morning routine.

11. BOX OF HAIRSTYLING SUPPLIES

Most of us who have daughters have experienced the school rules with hair needing to be pulled back and out of the face. A great way to be organised for that part of the morning routine is to create a hair accessories container so that you will have everything on hand and be able to create some beautiful hairstyles, that will make your little girls feel like princesses at school. For some hairstyle inspirations, check out the link below.

  READ MORE: Hairstyles For School

The countdown is on for the kids to head back to school and there is so much to think about, from getting the kids back into a routine, how many uniforms you need to buy, what shoes to buy and much more. Here I share a few life hacks to make your life easier!

12. GET UP BEFORE THE KIDS

Take extra morning time for yourself and get up at least half an hour before your kids wake up. This gives you time to have your mummy break, before starting the morning school routine. Make a cuppa and find somewhere to drink it in peace. Create a comforting space for yourself where you can sit down with a magazine and just enjoy ‘you’ time.

  READ MORE: Stress-Free School Morning Routine

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4 comments

Leanne January 10, 2019 - 5:39 PM

Kids all grown now. Best two things I ever did with managing school: get up half hour earlier than everyone else and enjoy a quiet cuppa, when school supplies are on sale buy more than enough to last the year especially lead pencils and blue pens.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 14, 2019 - 3:26 PM

yes, I totally agree with getting up earlier! some time to yourself is so nice and important too 🙂

Reply
Carolyn January 12, 2019 - 6:44 AM

I’ve learnt to check the school ‘drawer’ before we go supply shopping as the schools lists are generous and we often have unused stuff that’s ok for the new year. This has reduced the shopping list significantly in the past!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 14, 2019 - 2:55 PM

yes I have noticed that too!! a great tip, thank you for sharing 🙂

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