Last Minute Back to School Must Do’s


“If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.”
~ Unknown

This post is not for the born organized, always early parents of perfect kids who never procrastinate. If that’s you…please call me so I can pick your brain!

I’m the “other mom;” the one who tries her best, but never feels totally in control of things. My laundry piles up, there is a mountain of shoes by the front door (never pairs) and I guarantee my kids won’t have every item on their school supply list purchased, labeled, and in their backpack for the first day of school. There are always a few odd items I can’t find that I’ll pick up in the first weeks of school. :)

So in typical “Heather” style we’re closing in quickly on the first day of school and it’s time to cram.

Goodnights make good mornings:

While it is hard to get the kids in bed before it’s dark outside, mornings are miserable if they’re over tired. As a family we tweak the kids schedule by 10 minutes on either end of the day. Getting them to bed 10 minutes earlier at night and up 10 minutes earlier in the morning. (This works great for time changes too!)

I also make sure that my kids had an alarm clock as soon as they were old enough to tell time and they knew how to set it. It takes time to get in the habit of using it, but it makes my life as the mom so much easier.

Creating a bedtime routine that involves packing the backpacks, lunches, setting out clothes, and signing permission slips makes morning routines run much more smoothly.

Getting organized:

We set aside an afternoon for each kid to go through their clothes and pack up anything that they’ve outgrown to donate or sell on eBay if they’re cute and make a list of what they need so we can pick things up when they’re on sale. I’m not a big back to school wardrobe shopper. I buy things as we need them throughout the year but I’ll keep a list on my phone so I know what we need when I’m out and about or see a great deal online.

We go through last year’s school supplies and pull out the calculators, rulers, and things that didn’t wear out to use again this year and make a list of what else needs to be picked up. Also making sure to check the gym shoes and uniforms to see what needs replacing.

FatWallet Tip: Shop our back to school deals on FatWallet for some extra savings on those back to school basics.

I also have a binder that holds folders for each of the kids to keep their important papers for school. It’s the perfect place to keep those long-term homework assignments, log in information for online text books and educational games/quizzes. It also includes protectors for hot lunch calendars, school calendars, and band schedules.

Homework hideouts:

As we’re shopping for school supplies, I’ll buy extra to set aside for homework. Glue sticks, poster board, markers, paper, pens/pencils, etc.

Our family computer’s hard drive died this week, so it’s on my list to take it in for repair so it’s ready to go for homework time.

FatWallet Tip: Our ultimate laptop buying guide should help you do your homework for an extra computer for the kids.

Personal schtuff:

Make sure you’ve scheduled haircuts, sports physicals, eye glasses, and dentist appointments for your kids. Some ages in school require dentist and check-ups occur before school starts so don’t procrastinate on this one.

Field trip:

If your child is starting at a new school, be sure to schedule some time to find out where the bus stop is, visit the school and their new classroom if possible. Check out their lockers and practice opening the combination lock to help them feel more comfortable about the first day of school.

SOS: Squeeze in Summer’s Over Soon activities:

Be sure to plan some play-dates with friends your kids haven’t seen all summer. Also check out the post on 60 Bargain Activities for Beating the Back to School Blues that will help you squeeze the last drops of fun out of summer before school starts!

Help…did I miss anything? If so, please add it to the list in the comments below and share this with the other procrastinating moms you know in social media! :)

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