The countdown is on and parents are getting used to a new school year routine. We get it — things this year are a bit more overwhelming as usual, but you can still start off the year on a good note. Before the craziness of the school year begins, consider these doable tips to get your family organized so you can rock this year.
Sync your calendars.
Whether you prefer an electronic calendar or an old-fashioned family calendar or paper planner, the key is that your family is on board and you all know what is happening on any given day. As two working parents and many moving parts, our family uses a combination of Google calendar for family stuff, Outlook for work and a paper planner to keep me sane. It sounds like quite a system, but it’s actually quite simple for us and it works.
Streamline your routines.
We all have annoying parts of the day that seem to throw the entire family off. Instead of trying to tackle them all at once, pick one task at a time to create a manageable attack plan. Do your kids struggle to get dressed in the morning? Create a routine to make it easier. Do you dread making lunches? Create a system such as a lunch station to make things easier. The trick is to create a system that is easy and something you’ll stick to — being manageable is key!
Declutter, declutter, declutter.
Spend weeks leading up to school tackling the clutter in a manageable way. Start small, such as your pantry and let the motivation to clean snowball from there. Focus on areas you’ll be using often in your day-to-day, such as your kitchen, mudroom and kids’ room. The less stuff there is to get in the way of your back-to-school routine, the better!
Tackle meal planning.
Craft a list of go-to weeknight meals your entire family enjoys. The beginning of the school year is not the time to try new recipes. Instead, stick to the classics and plan, plan, plan! Knowing what’s for dinner will give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy this season.
Get your kids in on it.
The new school year is a great time to establish family ground rules. Chores create a sense of responsibility that will serve your children for many years and as a bonus, it could potentially take something off your plate! If your teen needs to have their uniform washed and ready for game day, perhaps they can handle it rather than adding it to your ever-growing to-do list.
Create a family bucket list.
Make both work and play a priority to make the school year something to look forward to. Plan a few family adventures for the weekends and plan to enjoy your time together. Fall brings apple orchards, pumpkin patches and more. Pick a few for your family and plan for memory-making!
When in doubt, outsource.
Don’t forget to give yourself grace! There is no official rule of parenting that we must do it all, so don’t be afraid to outsource. Use your favorite local grocery delivery service, hire a cleaning service to do a deep clean, reorder household staples on Amazon, set up automatic bill payments and more. You get the picture, let’s take the pressure off all of us and enjoy this school year.
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This article originally published on Aug. 5, 2019. It has been updated with the most recent information.