Summer vacation is over and it’s time to go back to school. Parents, it’s time to return to your everyday routine and give your child the best start to their new academic year. To make the transition to school mode smoother, I’ve put together a list of 10 back to school tips and tricks for parents to organized, save time, and reduce stress. These tips and tricks have worked like a charm for our family and I am hopeful they will for you, too!

Ten Back to School Tips and Tricks:

1. Have all the necessary toiletries located at the back door in the powder room for quick access.

Picture this: it’s back to school season and every morning is a race against time to get the kids ready and out the door. That’s when having a toothbrush, toothpaste, and hair brush and accessories in your powder room by the back door comes in clutch. No more darting back and forth between bathrooms, trying to avoid tripping over little Billy’s toys on the floor. With everything you need in one convenient location, you’ll be prepared for those fast paced mornings and be able to tackle whatever chaos comes your way.

And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good multitasking moment? While the kids are brushing their teeth, you can sneak in some last minute hair styling before sending them off to conquer the day. I know, I know…it may seem like a small change, but this little addition to your morning routine can save you precious time and sanity. You got this, mama!

2. Pack five sets of clothes for each child in the closet cubbies every Sunday night.

As back-to-school season approaches, parents everywhere are bracing themselves for the fast-paced mornings that come with it. But fear not! There is a convenient solution to the early morning chaos that involves having the kids pick out their five school outfits on Sunday nights. While it may seem like a small detail, it can make a world of difference. No more arguments about clothing choices, no more rushing around trying to find a missing shoe.

With the outfits divided out in their hanging cubby, the kids can grab and go, leaving more time for breakfast and a less harried start to the day. Plus, let’s be real, who doesn’t love having outfits ready to go without having to think too hard about it? The kids put these clothes in Monday-Friday order according to what activities they have planned for the week (PE, Art, Music, etc.) (video here)

Clothing Organization Back to School

3. Start slowly adjusting your child’s bedtime routine one to two weeks before school.

Fast paced mornings, forgotten homework, and grumpy kids. But fear not, my fellow parents, because there is a solution to all your problems: a solid bedtime routine. Yes, I’m talking about enforcing an actual bedtime, making sure the kids get enough sleep, and avoiding any late night Bluey binges. And listen, I’m not saying this just because I want happy, well rested kids (although that’s definitely a bonus). Starting a bedtime routine at least a week before school starts means your kids will be ready to hit the ground running come the first day of classes. So say goodbye to morning meltdowns and hello to peaceful bedtime reading – trust me, your sanity (and the teachers) will thank you.

This will prevent the first day back to school from being a tough adjustment. Gradually adjust your child’s bedtime routine by 15-30 minutes earlier each night until you reach the appropriate bedtime for them. (video here)

4. Invest in blackout shades for your child’s bedroom to block out sunlight during bedtime.

We all know that back to school time means a rocky transition period when it comes to bedtime routine. The kids are more restless after a day of learning, and the sun sticks around longer than we’d like. In August and September, it’s hard to get excited about bedtime when the sun is still shining bright outside. Your little ones might even ask, “why is it still sunny?” But fear not, because the solution to this problem is simple: blackout window treatments (mine are from SelectBlinds and we LOVE them! ps- you can order 16 free samples from them to make sure you are getting the perfect match).  Be sure to use [Code: GOODWRENCH] for a stackable discount on your SelectBlinds order.

Room darkening blinds and shades are key to ensuring the little ones get the quality rest they need, no matter what time the sun goes down. So let’s all rest easier knowing our kids are catching up on their Z’s with the help of some trusty window treatments. (video here)

5. Attach a bedside reading light to a timer for your child’s room.

As summer comes to a close and the back-to-school season approaches, parents everywhere are gearing up for bedtime battles with their little ones. But what about the older kids who may have a harder time adjusting to an earlier bedtime? That’s where my handy-dandy reading light and timer come into play.

As the parent of three children, I know firsthand how hard it can be to get everyone on the same sleep schedule. But by giving my oldest daughter a little extra reading time before bed, I’ve managed to avoid the usual bedtime drama. Plus, she gets to enjoy some well-deserved special treatment as the oldest child. It’s a win-win situation, really. So if you too have an older child who needs a little extra time before hitting the hay, consider investing in a reading light and timer. Your sanity will thank you. (video here). This is definitely one of my favorite back to school tips when it comes to the older kids.

6. Use frames to display the best of your child’s school artwork in their room and store the rest in a designated bin for memories.

Kids have an immense amount of creativity and often come home with artistic masterpieces that they are proud of… and it comes home in the masses… As parents, preserving their artwork can be a daunting task. I purchased these awesome photo frames that are made for artwork and open like a door to easily insert and/or store incoming artwork.

A wall art gallery made specifically for children's artwork

To showcase their work and increase their self-confidence, using photo frames around the house for their artwork has been proven to be effective. Seeing their hard work displayed around the home can boost their confidence and motivate them to create more works of art. For the extra artwork, putting it in a plastic bin can preserve their work for future reference and make it easier to organize their creative collection. Ultimately, using these methods can help preserve their creativity and instill in them the importance of valuing their accomplishments.(video here)

7. Install USB outlets near the drop zone and wall hooks inside the closet to hang your child’s backpack.

Are you tired of stumbling over backpacks and tripping over charging cords? Fear not! Transform that cluttered chaos into an organized oasis with a simple installation of a USB and USB-C charging station in a convenient location near your backpack hooks and drop zone. Not only will this keep your kid’s tech gadgets charged and ready for school, but it also acts as a humorous reminder that the day is not done until they plug in.

And let’s face it, we all know how tempting it can be for kids to sneak their devices into their bedrooms at night. But with this handy charging solution in the drop zone, they’ll always have a spot to <neatly> throw their things.  PS – putting socks in their shoe box is a tip I wish I would’ve known years ago —- saves so much time! (video here)

8. Layer all the bed sheets in your child’s bed.

Back-to-school-season comes the inevitable exposure to germs, including the dreaded stomach bug. But fear not! With a little preparation in advance, you can save yourself from a late-night panic attack when your child turns green and doesn’t make it to the bathroom in time. One of the best hacks for handling sick kids is to prepare (in advance) in layered sheets for their bed. It’s also a great way to take care of yourself in the midst of a chaotic situation. Just move the top sheet and mattress protector to reveal fresh sheets. Then, your sick kiddo can get back to resting and recovering. You can thank yourself later for being a savvy and proactive parent.. (video here)

9. Create simple and easy-to-make lunches for your children to bring to school.

With the back-to-school season in full swing, there’s no better time to start preparing for a week’s worth of healthy and delicious breakfasts and lunches. Chopping up fresh fruits and vegetables on Sunday nights is a game-changing routine for anyone looking for a convenient and nutritious meal on-the-go. Therefore, not only can you easily whip up a yogurt parfait with your prepped ingredients, but packing school lunches for the kids becomes a breeze.

Also, did you know that peanut butter (or nut-free butter) sandwiches can be frozen for those hectic weekday mornings? By spending just a little bit of time on Sunday evening prepping fresh foods, you set yourself up for a week of healthy and easy meal prep. I love using these mason jars and these lunch boxes for the food prep. (video here)

10. Check things off that summer bucket list, even if it is at the very last minute!

There are going to be things you wished you had done this summer, but never got around to. We wanted to take the kids on a weekend getaway to Lake Michigan, but could never make it happen. So, instead we planned a day trip starting in the early morning (6:30am to be exact.). We threw the kids in the car, ran through a drive through for breakfast, and drove two and a half hours up to a Lake Michigan beach to hangout for the day. It was lovely. (video here)

Lake Michigan Bucket List Summertime

Going back to school can be a chaotic time filled with endless to-do lists and hectic mornings.

However, applying these tips and tricks can help you minimize the stress and make the transition to school easy and enjoyable for the whole family. Remember to take it slow and start preparing one to two weeks in advance. Try to make the process fun, as this is an exciting time for your child to explore new experiences, learn new things, and make new friends. Good luck and have a great school year!

Parents, if you liked reading these 10 back to school tips and tricks, you may enjoy my other parent-related topics I have shared about here.

The girls dressed and ready on their first day back to school.
The girl’s first day back to school – they had a successful morning and were ready to hit the ground running…

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