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A back to school checklist…for parents!

A back to school checklist...for parents!

With the school year in full swing, life is about to get a lot more hectic. Say goodbye to lazy days at the beach and hello to soccer practice, dance recitals and school field trips. With the right supplies and preparation, you can make this busy time of year a little easier for yourself:

Here are five items that will make the back to school transition smooth:

1. A wall calendar

It's hard enough to remember your own appointments, but add in school events and extracurricular activities and you could miss out on something important. Smartphones are great for automatic reminders and tracking multiple calendars, but sometimes you need to go old-school. A large wall calendar serves as a hard-to-miss visual reminder of all your family's activities.

It also gives you the chance to teach your kids some important time management skills. Consider assigning everyone in the family a unique color, and label each person's events accordingly. This way, your young ones can see what they have planned for the week, even if they're still learning to read.

2. Meal prep supplies

Preparing healthy lunches for the week is a highly time consuming task. If you can, consider doing your grocery shopping on the weekend, and prep as much as you can Sunday night. For example, you could buy fresh fruits and veggies in bulk, then wash, cut and portion them into baggies or containers. Throughout the week, all you'll need to do is assemble each of the portions in your children's lunch boxes before they head to the bus stop.

Sunday meal prep makes it easier to pack healthy snacks and lunches each school day.Sunday meal prep makes it easier to pack healthy snacks and lunches each school day.

3. Closet organizers

Most parents are familiar with the daily rush to get the kids ready in time for class. It can help to pick out your children's outfits the night before – with their help, of course. Closet organizers such as low shelves and shoe racks can make it easier for your kids to sort through their clothes without making a mess.

To free up more space, use large vacuum seal bags to store summer clothes that you know your kids won't need for another year. If it seems unlikely that the clothes will fit again next summer, it's the perfect opportunity to donate gently used items.

4. Wet wipes

No matter how well you prepare, there will always be hectic mornings, and sometimes you're forced to eat on the go. Store a package of wet wipes in your car to clean up sticky fingers and mouths before your kids can rush out of the vehicle with strawberry jam staining their lips.

Wipes can also come in handy if you need to quickly wipe down the hard plastic surfaces within your car. You don't want to arrive at work with a van that smells like dried milk! Wet wipes can easily clean up messes that dry towels can't.

5. Something just for you

When the kids are safely off to school and you finally have a quiet house to yourself again, it's time for a little self care. Treat yourself to something special like a box of chocolates or a day at the salon. You deserve it!

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