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Preparing For Back to School


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For parents, the summer countdown is on. With about a month to go until the coveted first day of school, there are steps that can be taken to make the transition go smoothly.

Back To School Supplies: The lists have been out for a while now, so there is no reason not to have all the items purchased already. Take advantage of good sales as well as large inventory. Don't wait until the last minute to get all of this taken care of.

Sleep Adjustment: Been sleeping-in this summer? About two weeks before the first day of school, start going to bed earlier and getting up closer to the time you will have to in the fall. Give yourself and the kids a week of getting up at school time before school actually starts. This will make the first day of school much less exhausting as you will already be back into part of your routine.

Paper Management: Back to school means homework, but also lots of paperwork for Mom and Dad to manage. Set up an inbox system in your home. Train your kids to get in the habit of emptying their folders when they first arrive home. Their homework goes into their inboxes (or gets done right away) and the papers for parents go into your inbox. This gives those piles of paper a home, instead of being thrown into an already existing pile. Be a good example to your kids by keeping on top of your inbox. While the kids are doing their homework, sit down and go through your inbox. Write dates on your calendar and sign things that need to be signed. Process each piece as it comes in so a huge pile does not take over.

After School Activities: Start looking into options now. Have a family meeting in which everyone sits around the master calendar. Discuss which activities everyone wants to participate in. Write them on the calendar in pencil to see how they all work together. If there are conflicting activities, come up with a fair way to decide what will stay and what will have to be skipped. Again, be an example for your child in time management and setting priorities. And don't be afraid to set boundaries and say no to too many activities. Your child may not agree when you tell them no, but in the long run, they are learning a valuable lesson.

Meagan Farrell, professional organizer, is the owner of Clear the Clutter organizing services. She can be reached at (360) 631-7268 or at . Check out her blog at


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