Back-to-school-backpack-and-blackboard

6 back to school hacks to make your life easier

It's never too early to start preparing

By Alexia Dellner, 13 July 2016
6 back to school hacks to make your life easier

Now that school is finally out and you can enjoy spending quality time together as a family, it’s difficult to contemplate the painful process of getting kids ready for those early morning starts again! Indeed, it’s tempting to just ignore the whole back-to-school ordeal altogether and live in the now of beautifully long and lazy summer days. But the reason many of us feel so frazzled come September is because it can feel overwhelming to suddenly get back into a routine. The trick to successfully navigating the change from summer to school is to be prepared with some clever back to school tips.

From getting little ones used to those early-morning alarm clocks to keeping track of everyone’s activities throughout the year, these back to school tips will help you and your family prepare for those busy days ahead - because they always come sooner than you think!

We’ve rounded up six genius back to school tips that will help you get organised now for the best year ever. From getting little ones used to those early-morning alarm clocks to keeping track of everyone’s activities throughout the year, these back to school tips will help you and your family prepare for those busy days ahead - because they always come sooner than you think! Get your family ready for the new school year with these clever hacks...

1. Ease your family back into a routine

The trick to making those early starts infinitely less painful is to gradually ease little ones back into their school year sleep schedule. A few weeks before the end of summer, go back to school year bedtimes and slowly start to re-introduce earlier wake-up times (just make sure to do this gradually, unless you want some very sleepy and grumpy kids on your hands!). The same process applies for meal times – kids may be used to late dinners or weekday brunches in the summer but make sure they're ready for school meal routines before they start in September. 

2. Shop smart

Don't leave picking up school supplies and new clothes until the last minute. Instead, set aside two days as early as you can to get organised and go shopping. Use the first day to clear out drawers and closets, getting rid of any outgrown or worn-out clothing. Then, make a list of what your child still needs and use the second day to go shopping. Here's a clever tip – if you don't want to bring little ones with you to the shoe shop, simply trace around your child's feet and use that instead! When it comes to school supplies, ask the school for a classroom supply list to help you stay organised and on budget.

3. Create a calendar hub

Chances are that as soon as the school year begins, your home will be filled with notes, menus, reminders and schedules. Avoid drowning in paper and forgetting where everything is by creating a place for all family paperwork and scheduling now. Invest in a large family event calendar to keep track of everyone's activities and put it somewhere that everyone can see and add to it when necessary – near the telephone is usually a good spot. Keep a folder or other organisational tool nearby for stray sheets of paper like school menus, after-school activity schedules and school newsletters. Develop a system that works for you and your family, whether it's colour coding commitments or using a wipe board for easy editing. Then go through the calendar hub and system with every member of the family so that everyone is on the same (highly organised) page.

 4. Do a practice run

The first day of school is not the time to discover that it takes your little darling 20 minutes to get dressed, not five! Same idea applies for transportation – make sure you know exactly how far away the bus stop is before school start. If you think your children may need some help getting ready in the mornings, do a practice run with a timer this summer. Use a kitchen timer to allot time to get dressed, eat breakfast and do their teeth in the morning. This isn't about rushing them (make sure you give them enough time to eat and digest!), it's about staying organised and being realistic about how much time everyone needs. Practice makes perfect after all!

5. Make packed lunches a breeze

You already plan your family's dinner meals, so why not use the same logic for school lunches? Say goodbye to stressful mornings by setting out a plan each week for what's going into the lunch box. Keep a well stocked cupboard for snacks and make sure you know your child's likes and dislikes now (and not when you're halfway out the door with a packed lunch in hand). Being organised each week will allow you to make lunches the evening before, making mornings much less stressful. 

6. Get organised

Whether it's on the first day of school or later on in the year, at some point in the next couple of months you will probably need to access your child's immunisation records, report cards from last year or ID cards. Get a clearly-labelled system in place now for storing all your family's important documents. That way, when your child tells you she needs her medical records ten minutes before the school bus comes, you can access everything quickly and easily. Simple!

Get ready for the school year with school supplies and school uniforms at Asda.