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Start the school-year bedtime routine now.
After a few months of being off schedule, it will take a few weeks to ease back into it.

Take advantage of back-to-school sales for clothing, school supplies and dorm room necessities. Before you shop, however, review the items you already have (remember where you stashed the things you bought throughout the year). Make a list of what you need to buy and stick to your list - don't add clutter to your life and stress to your financial situation by buying things simply because they're on sale.

Make checklists to simplify routines. Rather than nagging your kids to do this and do that, help them create a checklist that includes all the activities that will get them out the door on time in the morning, get after-school chores completed, and get to bed on time. Get them in the habit of checking off items on their list (using a pen or pencil, not just checking it off in their head). Some examples of things to include on the list are: empty backpack, make lunch, pack for extracurricular activities, etc. Customize each child's list by adding or deleting tasks that are relevant specifically to them. Once the list is in place, you should find that your mornings run more smoothly and everyone gets out the door on a positive note.

Prepare a place to study. Your kids' desks may be piled high with the remnants of things they didn't put away when they should have. Use this calm before the storm of school-year frenzy to get their study space in tip-top shape. Remove all distractions and stock it with items they'll need to do their best - pencils, pencil sharpener, clock (I prefer analog over digital), paper, etc.

Have some food for thought. Nutritious breakfasts and lunches, healthy snacks, and a regular dinnertime all contribute to peak performance for students. Spend time now identifying what foods you'll need to have on hand to simplify meal preparation and snack time. Create a rotating dinner plan that can accommodate evenings when everyone can sit down together, as well as evenings when extracurricular activities or other obligations can cause dinnertime disruption.

Plan a family outing to celebrate your preparedness and to enjoy some time together before the busyness of the school year kicks in.

I'd love to hear any ideas you have to make the the back-to-school transition run smoothly. Here's to a great school year!

Article Source: by Sue_Becker EzineArticles.com
Internationally known professional organizer, author, and speaker Sue Becker is the founder and owner of From Piles to Smiles®. She enjoys helping people live better lives by creating customized systems to overcome their overwhelming paperwork, clutter, and schedules. She specializes in helping people who are chronically disorganized, especially people with AD/HD. Sue is Illinois' first Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization.

Sue invites you to sign up for her FREE Starter Kit: 5 Proven Ways to Organize and Simplify Your Life at http://www.pilestosmiles.com You'll learn simple ways to discover the freedom of an organized home, office and life. Check out the additional products available to help you put ideas into action at http://www.pilestosmiles.com/products.htm
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As the carefree days of summer wind down, it's time to start thinking about sending the kids back to school (or if you're a frazzled parent or caregiver, maybe you've been thinking about it for a while now!) As much as you may welcome the arrival of the school year, it can be a hectic and stressful time. Whether your kids are in preschool or headed off to college, advanced planning and preparation can reduce everyone's anxiety level and make school days run more smoothly. This month's newsletter offers some ideas to help with the transition.

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