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School is back next week and before the chaos descends on your household why not take stock of your tried and true methods that you always use plus consider a few other tips to see if there is anything you can add to make your families transition smoother.

1 | Start early to bed and early to rise this week

Start to bring the school night bedtime back in this week and for those who like to sleep in, start to get them out of bed earlier and earlier.

2 | Organise school meals early

Start organising what you will provide for school meals and start getting young ones onto that routine.  If this will be there first year at school it may be a little shock to their bellies as well as their minds.  Make sure you have all the containers and lunchboxes that you will need.

3 | Create a meal plan

Stop having to stress out about what you are going to do for dinner.  Create a weekly meal plan and every now and then change it up.

4 | Make more than you need

Plan to make larger meals than you actually need so you can put some freezer meals away and have a few nights off.

5 | Start the family calendar

Have a family calendar set up in a central place and start to populate it with school dates, activities, sports, etc.  If you have a large family you might like to include colour coding for different people in the family.  Once you can access your school calendar add all the important dates to your calendar.

6 | Wardrobe cleanouts

Why not use this last week of holidays to get your children to sort through their wardrobes and create a pile of clothes that don’t fit anymore or are too worn out.  You could do some handing-down to younger siblings and make a pile for charity.

As kids are notoriously difficult to get to do anything for you, I’d suggest making it into some sort of game.  For young children it could become a game where they create a charity store and sell clothes to each other.  For older kids perhaps telling them about the charity and the people who will get their clothes might help, for others perhaps a little competition for first one to fill a bag (with clothes to go, not just any clothes) wins a treat.

You might also encourage your kids to accompany you to the charity shop to hand in their bag of clothes directly to the volunteers and feel good about what they are doing.

7 | Fridge and cupboard cleanout

Spring clean the fridge and cupboard and give things a wipe down (or better still note this down for your cleaner to do).

8 | Update your budget

Update your budget for the year ahead.  Have you included lunch money, sporting events, excursions, fees, etc.

9 | Paperwork central

Organise a central place for your kids to dump any paperwork that you need to see.  Create a system that works for you.  For you office trays might work best, or a drawer.  Have a system for dealing with the paperwork, filing and giving back to your kids to return to school.

10 | A place for each persons daily tools

Allocate a place for each person to dump their stuff that they will need the next day e.g. for kids you might like to make it their school bags and have a central place for them like the back of their dining chair.  For adults it might be a dish on a table or a shelf.  When each person comes home they know to dump their stuff there and as they start to prepare for the next day they can start to put things in the daily tool area ready to grab when they head out.  This saves the endless cries of “mum, where is my……?”

11 | Bathroom schedule

If there are a lot of people living in your house you might need to set up a bathroom schedule to help shuffle things along.

12 | Clothes preparation

Purchase, wash, fold and iron school clothes.  Check for any mending that you might need to get done, or do.

13 | Practice the route to school

If your children will be finding their own way to school you might like to do some practice runs with them before school begins.

14 | Grooming

Who needs haircuts?  Book in asap because there will no doubt be a late rush.

15 | Set up kids study areas

Check out your kids study areas.  Are there any ways you can combine them to reduce the need for one of everything?  Are they in a good area to encourage concentration?  Is there anything you could do to make this area a little more inspiring for them?  Some posters?  Lighting?  Cooling?

16 | School supplies

Of course there are also the school supplies of stationary and books required.  Ask the school if there are any ways to purchase any of the books second hand.

17 | Electronic equipment check

If your children have laptops why not get it to an IT specialist for a quick once over before school starts.  Make sure the virus protection is up to date, give it a clean up and find out how much longer they expect it to meet your child’s needs.

I’m sure you have some of your own tips, we’d love to hear them! Please share them with us below.