Back to School Tips

 

Sadly the days at the beach are over and that brings us to the Back-to-school madness. The process is overwhelming for the entire family, sometimes more so for the parents. After working with families for several years what I’ve seen is people get overwhelmed and begin shoving anything and everything that causes them additional stress.  The result of that is that everything ends up in bins and shoved in the attic or basement never to be seen again.

To make your life functional and stress free, I’m sharing 5 ways to deal with this inevitable time of the year:

1. Declutter

Before you start putting away all the drawings and projects, figure out if they are one of the many similar ones your child has made. Do you need to save all of them? Also, toys not being used can be gifted or donated. The same goes for un-used clothing.

To make this process easier and faster it’s a good idea to involve your child(ren). Make it fun and include them. It makes them feel like their opinion matters and are a part of the process. You’ll be surprised how much kids are willing to throw away; moms tend to be sentimental and collect more things.  If there are a lot of items you can’t part with and have limited space; taking a picture and storing the image on your computer is helpful. Having a cloud-systems storage is easy and full proof.

2. Organize

By organizing workspaces like a desk, playroom, and arts’ corner according to your children’s needs is very effective. Get your kids input on what their needs and wants are, so they can take ownership of the space. Many parents think this might be more time consuming but the truth is that by including them you will be handing this off for your child to maintain. These are effective habits they can build on.

3. Reuse

While you are cleaning out your workspace set a side materials you can use for the new school year. I always find useful items hidden under old book reports, graded papers, drawings, and bills; stuff I’ve wasted time and money shopping for. The same goes for items like pencils, pens and all other school related materials.

4. Smart Shopping

After seeing what you have, make a list of all the basic things you need. HERE you will find helpful shopping list from RealSimple.com for the very basic supplies according to your child’s age.

I always advise parents to wait until the teacher gives you a list of more specialized items to purchase; the school might use a specific calculator or particular author for a textbook. Holding off will save you time and money.

But when specifics don’t really matter, I tell parents to go cheap, buying name brand schools supplies can get costly, especially when you have multiple kids to think about. Keep in mind that kids don’t necessarily care about expensive brands when it comes to school supplies.

5. Reach Out

Every year families move from one town to another because of a better school system.  If you are in that category most likely you are not familiar with the school or the area very well. That’s why it will be good to reach out to other families in your child’s grade or look for the town’s Yahoo or Facebook group page. If you are not sure about the driving route to the school, I strongly suggest to drive it few times before the year starts, loop around the side streets so you know your way around and get the feel of the traffic in the morning.

In the end, everyone has different ways of preparing.  If you are doing these five steps already, congratulations! You are one step closer to be more organized and hopefully more relaxed parent.

If you are still having trouble going through some of the steps, we can always lend a hand. We work with families with multiple children and of different ages. We can help with organizing closets, workspaces, even your entire house! We even shop for all the items you need.

Feel free to contact us at 617-642-9918 or email us at info@masterthetime.com.

Happy New School Year!

Pavlina Atanasova @ Master The Time Concierge