Back to School Time Saving Tips

With the start of a new school year fast approaching, it is the perfect time to get your family organized! As a teacher, I know all too well that early morning alarm clocks, shorter days, piles of papers, and after school activities can quickly make you feel out of control!  Use these time saving tips to help prepare your family for the busy days that lay ahead!

Family Command Center 
Whether big and beautiful or tiny and functional, every family needs a command center!  This is the space where everything important and relevant lives . . . 

  • family/school calendar
  • household chore checklists
  • frequently called/ emergency phone numbers
  • school lunch menus
  • shopping list, coupons & receipts
  • notes & reminders
  • mail & bills to pay
  • storage for pens, pencils, paper, markers and erasers

Find a high traffic area for your command center so that each family member passes by it regularly.  If we don’t see it, we won’t use it! Allow everyone their own space to add notes, important dates, or even encouragement for the coming days. “Check-in” as a family regularly to help avoid headaches later on. Sharing this skill with your children will also help to create healthy habits as they mature.

Teamwork
Set up a kid-friendly home so that everyone can take responsibility for their belongings and help out.  This may require some planning and rearranging up front but will save you a lot of time in the long run.  Find ways to incorporate your children into meal preparation and household chores.  Have a homework station with age appropriate supplies that each child can easily access to cut down on the number of “Moms” you’ll hear during this time.    The more we work together, the more time we have to do the things we love.

Set up your pantry in a way that even young children can help themselves to a healthy snack or even pack their own lunches!   Find a low shelf, cabinet, or drawer and place snacks in a small container without a lid. Label bins “take 1” or “take 2” for packing lunches to be sure each child has a well-balanced meal.  Use this same model in the refrigerator for veggies, fruits, dairy, and hummus!

SnackBins

Plan Ahead
Meal planning can get a little boring and predictable at times, but it always ensures your family is eating right and saving money (and calories).  Planning ahead saves time making decisions or running to the store and helps avoid the last minute runs thru the drive-thru! Find a great website with fresh ideas and recipes or make a girl’s night out of cooking freezable dinners with your friends! Using leftovers efficiently cuts food waste, while buying in bulk makes it easy to stockpile freezer meals at reduced prices.

Find a great website to help you think outside of the box when it comes to packing lunches.  This way, kids are not getting bored with the same old brown bag and everyone is more likely to eat healthy!  Here is a great one to try http://www.creativegreenliving.com/2014/08/easy-back-to-school-lunch-ideas-sandwich-free-packed-lunches.html

Don’t Wait
Mornings can be chaotic and rushed for time.  Plan ahead to get everyone started on the right foot!  Take time after school to unpack backpacks, complete homework, and update the family command center with any changes for the following day’s schedule.  Use your command center as it is intended!  Important papers, lunch money, and permission slips should be kept here until they are packed be sure everyone gets out the door with what they need.

In the evenings, take a few minutes as a family to lighten your morning load.  Pack lunches, lay out clothes, place musical instruments or sports bags at the command center and even consider setting the table for breakfast!  Remember to keep everything at an appropriate height for your family’s needs to encourage independence! You know your children, allow your late sleeper to shower the night before or set up a schedule so that everyone gets the time they need in front of the mirror.

Prime Time
Amazon Prime can be dangerous for some shoppers, purchasing items at the click of a button but has personally saved me hundreds of hours, gas, and headaches!  For a $79 yearly membership you get free two day shipping on thousands of items.  Take a quick second to compare prices as you familiarize yourself with the service, not everything on Amazon is the cheapest option but prices are typically competitive with major retailers.  Look here first for pantry and toiletry replacements as well as gifts for any occasion.

Thanks for visiting my blog!  Check back soon for some tips on starting the school year on the right foot!

For more inspiring family command centers click on the image or visit poofycheeks.com.

For more ideas on how to make packing lunches a breeze, click on the image or visit iheartorganzing.blogspot.com.

Please be kind and pin ideas you like from the original source.


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