Life Simplifiers: Back To School Edition

Whether you have children in school or not, parenthood is BUSY. And back to school time means even more busyness gets added into the day, specifically the morning.

This fall David, my oldest, will be in Kindergarten, Luke will be in his final year of preschool, and Emily will be in a very short Mother’s Morning Out program twice a week. We’ve done preschool for the boys for the past few years but this upcoming school year will be the first time I’ll have all 3 kids at some kind of education/program during a few days of the week.

I’m excited for the return of structure and schedules but with that can come stress and forgetfulness. I’ve learned that about myself, so in an effort to simplify the upcoming school year, I wanted to share a few things I’m doing in case it may also help you!

First, I label everything that needs labeling. I love the dishwasher & washing machine-safe labels from Minted. I’ve had these for years and reorder new ones anytime I get low on my previous stock. Each child’s drink cup needs a label, as well as their reusable lunch box, lunch bag, backpack, and even their jacket. I use the stickers on a lot of the kids’ jackets, gloves, and really anything that could be easily mixed up with other children’s things.

The boys have been using reusable lunch boxes (these exact ones and I love them so much), and I’ve only had to replace the stickers on them one time. We run those lunchboxes through the dishwasher every single evening so that speaks to how great of quality these stickers are.

I also got each of my kids some personalized stationery that says “thank you”. Between thank you cards for birthday gifts and any other time a thank you card may be prompted, I thought it would be nice to have some personalized ones ready to go.

Along those lines, I have a very small stock of gender-neutral toys for a variety of ages that I keep hidden away so in case we ever forget to buy a gift for a child’s birthday party, I know we have at least one option at home!

The last back to school simplifier idea is to keep socks in a basket near shoes. This certainly is an every-single-day simplifier but it’s been such a helpful concept for our family that I wanted to encourage you to do it for busy school mornings.

In our family, Luke loves socks, and David is more likely to go barefoot. I got tired of asking the boys to run back upstairs to grab socks before we run out the door, and after hearing this idea from the Young House Love Podcast I decided to designate a basket of socks right near where the shoes live. It has profoundly impacted how much easier it is to get out the door!

You can read another “life simplifier” post about kid’s clothes here, and also read my trick to meal planning that made that daunting task much more enjoyable!