Each July, I try to organize our back to school experiences to make it as easy as possible. I like to streamline our mornings. THIS year is going to be like every other year except one tiny (minuscule really), itty, bitty little detail….we are living with my parents….
1 bedroom (for my parents), 1 bathroom and a shared loft/apartment (with no bathroom) for me, my husband and 3 kids to share. My husband and I share a closet and all 3 kids share a closet. So I feel the need to be extra organized this year to stay on top of things.
School starts August 9 for us this year, so I take July & August’s budget to spread some of the expenses of going back to school but these are a few things to remember when you’re budgeting for back to school.
School Supplies (remember to go through last year’s supplies if you’ve done this before)
Clothes – take an inventory before you shop
Shoes – this caught me off guard, wasn’t expecting to spend as much as we did
Fees: Sports, PTO, spirit wear, fundraisers, club dues, ect
Food – Menu planning
We always get menus for the month, so I sit down with all kids and ask if they are going to eat that day or not. We do this for the whole month at a time. Then we can make a plan for making lunches.
I set all the supplies out the night before for whoever is bringing their lunch as a reminder to pack it. I have tried making lunches the night before, but it never ends up saving me any time. Anyone else have a better experience than me?
I’m going to try these lunch sack planning printables from a little delightful to make meal planning lunch one less thing we have to worry about in the morning.
Sunday we set out all of the kid’s clothes for the week so that it makes our mornings easier. Monday – Sunday, entire outfits. Previously we used the outfit a day hanger in the closet, but this year, the kids share a closet and there is ZERO room for anything else. (I dread when we have to switch seasons, there’s no way both winter and summer clothes will fit!) My husband rigged the organizers (from Aldi’s) up so that we can have the close organized.
We use this alarm clock. It has been working well. They have gotten into a bad habit of turning it off and then waiting for me to come and wake them up…but it has helped them know that it’s time to get up. Less struggling.
After School – snacks & homework
Our after school routine in a little different. I work in a school as a computer technician. So my kids get off the bus at my office. I am super grateful for this because it allows us to get homework done, agenda books signed and other tasks completed with undivided attention. No “comforts of home routine” distractions like TV, electronic devices, ect. These tips can also help you when your kiddos get home from school or when you all get home from work and daycare.
I’m trying to steam line this to make it easier on myself and my kids. We have a bad habit of doing what’s quick and easy. I’d like to take more time this year to create healthier habits. I buy boxes of granola, string cheese and fruit leather and fruit to have on hand for them.
The kids come and and grab a snack, they hand me their backpacks and I go through them to see what homework they have, and what papers I can recycle. I sign any paper work and get them a space to do their homework (which we will have to work on since I’m adding my youngest this year, we’ll have to come up with more work space.
– Papers signed
– Papers recycled
– Calendar checked
Lunch boxes are set out the night before. I also set out clothes for the next day. I review the next day’s activities on the calendar and make my next day’s to do list. I also make MY meal plan for the next day.
And last but not least….
The number one thing I’ve learned about setting a sustainable, productive, non-yelling or screaming morning is to set up my self care routine.
I wake up 1 1/2 hours before my kids.
- 5-5:30am, I work out
- 5:30-5:50 I shower and get ready for work
- 5:50-6:10 I meditate
- 6:10-6:30 I write
- 6:30-6:40 I meal prep
- 6:40-7:25 Kids – I set a timer on my phone for 5 minutes before we’re supposed to leave so they know we need to be getting shoes on and out the door.
This preparation may seem excessive when you love sleep, but I found if I only wake up with enough time to get ready and then get the kids up, I am not the most pleasant person. I thrive on taking care of myself first so that I can be the best for my kids. I can set intentions for my day, get my thoughts on paper, connect and ground all to be ready for the day ahead.
I set a timer on my phone when we are supposed to be in bed so that the kids know it’s time to get in bed. This eliminates the nagging and whining. “Hey, the phone doesn’t lie”
After the kids are in bed, I do my evening rituals.
- Heart Chart: I have a heart chart that I fill in each attribute that I am working on for the month. Example, exercise, meditate, walk 10,000 steps, eat veggies with each meal, ect.
- Get clothes out
- Get ready for bed (Bathroom/teeth/ect)
- I also try to do a guided meditation on my phone before I go to sleep
These rituals have helped me feel control and grounded. It’s made a huge impact on myself and my family because I have patience, love and intention to what I’m doing.