Back-to-school time is a busy and often stressful period for many families. One of the tasks that is usually tackled first is the school shopping. Take some time to plan ahead before you rush out to the stores.
First, determine what you need before you start school shopping. If you take the time to do an inventory, you may find out that you don't need to buy as much as you thought (saving money is great!). Making lists will also help you save time at the store and reduce your stress.
Get the supply lists for all your children. Most schools now make these lists available to parents in school mailings, the school website, or at the local stores.
Determine what supplies you actually need to buy. I believe this is a great opportunity to teach your children that there is a big difference between need and want. There is an excitement for kids to have all new stuff for the new school year but what are we teaching them if we have perfectly usable folders and notebooks at home that end up becoming more clutter?
Chances are, if you have children returning to school, some of their supplies sent home at the end of the year will be ready to go back. I tend to buy a few extra supplies to have on hand at home. Check your inventory and the supply lists. What do you need to buy? Get the kids involved and let them create the list.
Again, take inventory of the clothes and shoes at home. You might need to have your kids try stuff on to determine what fits and what they have outgrown. Have a bag ready for donations. Drop the donations off on your way to the store.
If you do need to stock up on clothes, make a list of exactly what you need. If it will be a while before the weather changes, wait to buy the warm season clothes when they are on sale.
Back-to-school time doesn't have to be stressful. With some planning and organization, you can help make a great start to a new school year!
About the author: Paula Constable, professional organizer and speaker, works with families who want to make their daily lives easier through organization. She is the owner of Stuff 2b Organized, LLC and she brings understanding, support and solutions to help calm the busy lives of the families she works with.