It’s hard to believe that school is only a month away! Summer is such a wonderful change of pace, with longer days, later starts, and more family time. For those of us that thrive on routine (like me!), it can also be a big adjustment. My natural body rhythm is to be very planned and structured so I try to think of the unstructured summer as an opportunity to grow a bit: to be more spontaneous and do things like relax on the beach. And somehow avoiding the urge to make a list of all the things I’ll need to pour sand out of!
By the beginning of August, I am feeling like I’ve challenged myself enough! I’m ready for some structure again. I’m not entirely sad that end of summer is on the horizon, and I’m more than a little excited for all the back-to-school prep we get to embark on. Although structure is my comfort zone, that isn’t to say that the back-to-school season is without stress. There’s so much to do to prepare for it. Luckily, I’ve got a plan and I start my preparations early. And you can, too, by following these steps!
Calendar Planning: When the kids’ school schedule comes out, add it to the master calendar and plan around it by hiring babysitters, and scheduling important appointments like doctors, dentists, and haircuts.
Back-to-School Purge: Get rid of any summer clothes that don’t fit the kids, and make a list of the fall and winter gear they’ll need. Use the Back-To -School inventory here to streamline this process.
Back-to-School Shopping: When the school supply list comes out, check out the local sales and gear up for some shopping. With the school supply list and the Back To School Inventory lists in hand, shop for clothes, backpacks, lunch boxes, and school supplies.
Schedule House Maintenance. Lawn care, gutter cleaning, and snow plowing . . . oh my. Owning a home can be stressful, so get ahead of any potential headaches by lining these services up early.
Goal Setting: Set aside time to think about and write down what an ideal fall would look like. For me, this includes goals (like spending quality time with the kids) and how you want to feel (happy and calm). Then, let your family in on the plan, taking suggestions that make sense.
Outline Your Routine: Sit yourself down and write out your new routine, starting with the morning. Will the kids need to wake up earlier? (Answer, YUP.) So, start putting them to bed a little earlier each night (in 10 minute increments) during the weeks before school starts. What time will you need to wake up to get everything accomplished and get the kids to school on time? How much homework will they have now that they’re older, and how much time will they need to complete it? Should you give the kids new responsibilities, now that they’re a year older? If so, what should they be? Should you give your partner new responsibilities now that he or she is a year older, too? (YES. Of course!)
While the structure of fall may not be your comfort zone, I promise doing all of the above steps to prepare for it will leave you feeling so good. And, once it’s all done, you can go back to enjoying the rest of this beautiful summer, knowing that you’re ready for whatever fall may throw at you.
I’d love to hear what big goals you have for the fall AND what steps you plan to take to put them in place. Let me know in the comments below!