By Jolene Nanette
As summer comes to a close, it is time to begin preparing for going back to school. You might feel nostalgic already for the summer days gone by or be begging for the return of routine, but it is happening regardless. It is easy for this time to feel chaotic and busy, but some intentional planning and taking on an organized mindset for the next few weeks will not only save your sanity but can make a big impact on your enjoyment of this season change.
1. Celebrate the end of Summer
Reflect on the plans and ideas you had at the beginning of summer and use the last week before the start of school to implement some of those. Did you want to have more beach days? Play a long board game with the kids? Visit a local museum or attraction? Take this opportunity to make it happen. It will conclude summer on a high note and give everyone some fun memories as you say goodbye to the freedom of the summer.
2. Create a Family At-A-Glance Calendar
Stay organized and on top of the school year's hustle by setting up a family calendar in a visible spot, like the kitchen or mudroom. Use different colored markers for each family member, making it easy to see everyone's schedule at a glance. Keep track of activities, Zoom calls, and holidays effortlessly with this simple and effective system. Say hello to a well-organized and stress-free school year!
3. Soothe your pocketbook with budget-friendly, sustainable choices
Embrace smart choices and sustainable solutions to ease the back-to-school burden without breaking the bank, making this season both budget-friendly and eco-conscious. Don't feel pressured into buying everything new – discover the joy of reusing, repurposing, and making mindful purchases for a greener, wallet-smart start to the school year! Three simple ways you can do this:
Recycle and re-use school supplies.
Embrace Secondhand Shopping: Check out thrift stores, online marketplaces, or participate in clothing swaps with friends or within the community. Not only will you save money, but you'll also reduce the demand for new clothing production, which has a significant environmental impact.
Carpool or Choose Sustainable Transportation: Encourage carpooling or using public transportation when possible to reduce carbon emissions during the school commute. Walking or biking to school is another eco-friendly option that promotes physical activity and reduces the reliance on fossil fuels. If the school is nearby, consider organizing a walking or biking group with other families to make the journey more fun and sustainable.
4. Shift to an earlier bedtime.
This is important not just for the kids, but for the parents as well. Summertime is amazing for staying up too late, enjoying the freedom from structure, but…that structure is looming quickly. Even starting to push up bedtime by 15 minutes each night for the week prior to school starting will make a big difference in your circadian rhythm. And make for less grumpy mornings (hopefully),
5. Designate or create a homework area
Create a designated homework or homeschool area for your kids that suits their needs and age. Whether it's in a communal room like the kitchen or a desk in their own room, having a dedicated spot will help them establish good study habits. Set up a cork, magnetic, or pin board nearby, allowing them to organize papers, reminders, and a homework calendar with ease. If a fixed desk isn't possible, consider a mobile supply station on wheels for flexibility when using spaces like the kitchen table during homework time.
The end of summer is a great excuse to enjoy the last few weeks of freedom and to begin the school year in an organized way. Being intentional about this season change, planning out the steps you need to take to be successful, and remembering to enjoy this time will really start you out on the right foot. And remember to enjoy the process!
By Jolene Nanette,, Organizing Specialist