I look forward to the first day of school. The kids are back in a routine and I can work at home without distraction. The house stays clean during the day and no one is requesting me to make them snacks or drive them here or there. However, getting to that stage is another story. It’s stressful preparing for back-to-school! My to-do list is long and the procrastinator in me just wants to put it off as long as possible.
I’ve learned the hard way that waiting to the very last couple days to prepare is not the best idea. In fact, it made an already stressful time of year far worse. I had the best intentions. I made my list of what needed to be done weeks in advance. My issue was that I didn’t follow through. That little voice of reason inside me was nagging daily and reminding me what I needed to do. Did I listen? Not right away. I waited until two days before and it was a mad scramble of shopping, organizing and planning. I’m pretty sure I got a few extra gray hairs from the experience. I promised myself that I would never let that happen again.
I learned several important life lessons from that nerve-wracking experience. I wanted to share some tips to help you combat back-to-school stress so that you can get your to-do list completed as painlessly and efficiently as possible. Don’t make the same mistakes as me. It doesn’t have to be hard and if you approach it correctly, you’ll be able to prepare for the upcoming season like a boss!
1. Start early and get organized in the weeks leading up to the start date. Begin by making a to-do list of everything you need to buy, prepare, organize or whatever. I like to take about 10 minutes with a hot cup of coffee and write down everything that comes to mind. If you want to take an extra step for organization, you could prioritize the list in order of importance or what you need to do first. Then, put that list somewhere you will see it daily. I keep mine on the fridge so it’s a constant reminder of what I’ve done already and what I still need to accomplish. Being organized keeps you focused and also helps you stop worrying that you are forgetting to do something important.
2. Establish a routine a couple weeks before school starts. During the summer months, I’m more relaxed about bed times. I let the girls stay up later than normal and sleep in if they want to. You’ll want to transition your kids back into a routine of going to bed earlier and waking up earlier (if they are the type to sleep in). I recommend doing it gradually a couple weeks ahead of time. It will save you from many grumpy mornings once school starts.
3. Start thinking about school lunches. I thought this task should be all on its own because it’s so important and can save you from having to scour your fridge and pantry for items to fill the kids’ lunch bags. Go online and make a list of ideas for lunches and keep it on your fridge. Every shopping trip pick up a few items that won’t go bad like drink boxes and snack foods. I like to open all the packaging and put all the snack items into labelled bins in my pantry. I call them my snack stations and they make lunch preparation a ton easier because I can just grab what I need.
4. Finish your back-to-school supplies shopping at least a couple weeks in advance. Do not, I repeat, do not wait until the day before school starts to go shopping for school supplies. You’ll leave frustrated because all the supplies have been picked over and you’ll have to deal with crowds of people who are leaving this important task to the last minute too. Yes, I’ve done this before and lived to tell about it. All I can say is never again. Shop early and save yourself the stress!
5. Stay positive. Attitude is everything. Having a positive outlook makes a huge impact in how you react to this busy time of year. You know that saying, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”? It’s a powerful statement and is so true. Look at the experience as something positive and exciting instead of as a chore and you’ll notice a difference in how you feel. It will be easier to cross items off your to-do list and you’ll feel good about all you’ve accomplished.
6. Take “me” time every day. Schedule at least 10 minutes a day where you can relax and unwind. Do something you love like knit, read a book or watch a favorite TV show. For me, I love to lock the bathroom door and soak in the bathtub and let the stress of the day wash away. I always feel renewed and energized afterwards and ready to conquer my to-do list.
Fruit of the Loom Bonus Bonus Pack
Fruit of the Loom knows that back-to-school is a stressful time and they want to make moms lives’ a little easier. They recently launched a fun contest with some incredible prizes that you won’t want to miss. Check them out below!
- 1 free month of Hello Fresh prepackaged meals
- Movie Night out at AMC Theaters
- Pampering from a national massage company
- Dinner at your favorite restaurant
- New beauty looks from a beauty-box subscription
I told you they were good! Here’s how you can enter:
- Follow @FruitOfTheLoom on Twitter or Instagram;
- Tweet or Post a photograph of any Fruit of the Loom® underwear product and/or package, opened or unopened, along with a caption telling your most humorous stress-related story from the back to school shopping season; and
- Include the hashtag #BonusBonusContest.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 or older. Enter by 11:59 p.m. ET 8/14/16. For Official Rules, including prize descriptions and how to enter without purchase, visit http://bit.ly/29M9wo9. Void where prohibited.
We are big Fruit of the Loom fans here and love their Bonus Pack with its fun designs and colors. New underwear is on many of our shopping lists for back to school anyways. It’s an easy choice for me as I’ve been purchasing their underwear for my family for as long as I can remember. Pick up the Bonus Pack with its +3, cross an item off your to-do list and enter this fun contest. It’s a win-win. Look for the Fruit of the Loom Bonus Pack at Target and Walmart stores and online.
I got a chance to try out one of the prizes you could win if you enter the contest. My Fruit of the Loom Bonus Bonus Pack included a Bonus Pack for my daughter, Bridget, and a Hello Fresh Family box complete with four meals (recipes + groceries) to feed our family of four! This welcome arrival saves me four nights of dinners to plan and shop for. That equals less stress for me and more time to enjoy the last bit of summer with my family. Anything that can save me time is a good thing in my books!
What stresses you out the most about preparing for back to school?
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.