The story seems the same every year. Summer starts with a splash and then before we know it, it’s time for back to school shopping. While we long for those ten laid back weeks of summer vacation, the truth is a fresh start and return to routine isn’t such a bad thing either. Help your family find their rhythm right away this year with these 5 back-to-school life hacks!
- Ready the Ride
As you adjust to the school year’s new schedule, your vehicle may start to feel like your family’s personal Uber ride. Make it at least a well equipped one by utilizing a seat back organizer with some basic supplies for those exceptionally hectic mornings and busy afternoons. Fill your organizer with protein packed snack and breakfast options and a few small water bottles. Add in some grooming supplies, like a hair brush, baby wipes, a travel stain remover pen, tissues and hand sanitizer. Now that deserves a 5-star rating!
- Shut Down Screen Time
It’s no secret that excessive screen time and the light these devices emit can negatively impact sleep. Enforcing an earlier bedtime again after summer’s flexible hours is hard enough without a bout of insomnia. Limit your crew’s time spent on technology without the argument by installing free app like Parental Control App Blocker that will shut down your child’s designated device after an agreed upon time. Apps like the one we mentioned will regulate your child’s screen time so you don’t have to!
- Master the Menu
I discovered this next tip years ago when I was working full-time and fighting a lengthy commute that I loathed. I barely had time to cook dinner, let alone shop for the supplies, but I knew the value of a home cooked meal and didn’t want to sacrifice that (even if my definition of “home cooked meal” meant dry pasta and spaghetti sauce). Simply start with maybe ten easy meals your family enjoys. Feel free to do more or less depending on your family’s preferred meal rotation. Write the meal on the front side of a sticky note and write everything you would need to purchase at the grocery store in order to cook the meal and the quantity of each ingredient on the backside of the sticky note (with the exception of items you keep in stock, like staple spices). Then place the sticky notes on a calendar on the days you plan to eat each meal. When it comes time to grocery shop, simply flip over the sticky notes for the meals you’re shopping for and add the ingredients to your list. When you find a new recipe you want to add to the rotation, make a sticky note for it too, and keep reusing the ones you’ve already made for an effortless menu plan and shopping list system!
- Create Chic Convenience
Isn’t it nice when you run into your favorite convenience store for a quick cup of coffee or breakfast bar in the morning and everything is just so convenient? The coffee creamer, sugars and cups are ready to grab so you can go. Create that same accessibility in your home with a morning pit stop station! Utilize a kitchen cart, buffet table or set of cubby shelves. Place everything your crew needs to get out the door, like baskets of granola bars, coffee add ins, water bottles, prepackaged snacks, travel cups and lunch boxes. You could even take it a step further and create your own coffee bar by utilizing this space for your coffee maker too. Don’t forget to add one of our chic coffee shop themed accent kitchen rugs to complete the look!
- Designate Drop Zones
Whether it be a bench in your mud room for placing backpacks, some strategically placed hooks for coats or stylish bins for tossing shoes, catch the clutter before it gets out of hand with some thoughtful and easy to use organization systems in your home’s entry way. In addition to containing the chaos at the end of the day, your family’s belongings will also be easy to find the next morning! Take your organization game a step further and add a little hanging mailbox on the wall next to the door for your kids to place the multitude of papers for Mom and Dad to sign so nothing goes unseen.
How do you keep your family organized at the start of a new school year? We’d love to hear from you, share with us in the comments!