Best Back to School Tips So You Are Ready


It’s Time To Head Back to School

We are in the final countdown around here!  I am not going to lie that that music is now running through my head…It’s time to head back to school.

Get Excited, It’s Contagious

If you are like me you feel the need to do all things, prepare, plan and still squeeze every last ounce of summer fun out that you can!  I am sharing all the back to school essentials that you will need.  You will feel prepared for the first day and more importantly get you excited.  Enthusiasm is contagious so the more excited you are, the more excited your kids will be.  

Prepare Backpacks & Buy Supplies

Every kid needs a backpack.  When I went to school I had the most darling Esprit tote, anyone else?  We invested in Pottery Barn Kids backpacks for our kids.  I wasn’t sure it was worth the money but both our kids have used theirs for YEARS.  

Before the start of the school year,  I just spot treat the backpacks with spot treater and then wash on a gentle cycle in the washing machine and hang dry.  They look brand new for another year of use.  

A fun way to give new life to a backpack is adding new accessories like hand sanitizer or a key chain.  It’s a fun way to make it new without spending as much.

Don’t wait to the last minute to buy supplies because it will be picked over.  The best time to shop is in July!  I know it’s early but the aisles won’t be as crowded and you will have the pick of the supplies.  Better yet, order your kid’s supplies from the school if they offer it!

Once you have your supplies, sharpen the pencils and place all the supplies in your child’s backpack so nothing gets lost and it’s ready to go!

Make A Shopping List of Needed Clothes


Take an hour with each of your kids to go through their closets and drawers to assess what still fits, what needs to be donated and what they need for the upcoming season.

I don’t always buy new clothes right when school begins because they might grow before they need winter items but I keep the list on my phone so when I see a good deal or something they might like I can remember exactly what they need.  

3.  Shoes

Most schools require kids to wear tennis shoes for gym class.  Before I go out and buy new shoes, I always go through my kid’s shoe bin to determine what they really need.  IMy kids wear tennis shoes every day to school. 


My kids generally take hot lunch about once a week or 4-5 times a month.  They each circle in a colored marker which days they want hot lunch.  Then the rest of the month they take a cold lunch.  

If we are really organized, we prepare sandwiches and baggies of fruit and veggies over the weekend so that we can grab and go the night before to make lunches.  

Generally in my kids lunch boxes, they take a side (goldfish, pretzels, crackers), a fruit (grapes, strawberries, fruit leather, applesauce, apple slices), a veggie (carrots, celery), a sandwich or protein (cheese/meat, peanut butter), and a dessert (granola bar, trail mix or a cookie).  

I sometimes send them with a thermos with macaroni and cheese, pizza rolls or leftovers that can be reheated.  Then, I just pack them a water bottle as well.

Ease the Jitters

If you are like me, maybe you have the jitters or maybe your kids do too.  Here are two great blog posts to help you.   Jitters are natural but they don’t have to steal the excitement of the moment!

You might like to read Overcoming those Back to School Jitters and Guide for Parents Going Back to School for the First Time.



We love to take first day of school photos, wear a special first day of school outfit and walk to school as a family.  Then I always ask my kids if there is a special afternoon snack they want and what they would like for their dinner that evening.  Chances are it will include chocolate chip cookies and walking tacos but I haven’t officially asked yet.  The tradition doesn’t have to be fancy but those traditions make those moments feel less scary!

Re-Establish Routines

Re-establishing normal routines after a long summer of relaxation is important.  We start to establish a bedtime routine at least a week before school.  Those first few weeks are exhausting so having a bedtime routine pre-established is super helpful. 

 It might be helpful to lay out clothes the night before so they know what they are wearing the next morning and prepare lunches the night before so they simply have to pop them in their backpacks.  

We also review our after-school routine. You can read more about that here.

Create a Homework Drawer

Create a dedicated space for sharpened pencils, erasers and some essential school supplies that your kids and you can easily access during homework time.  Invest in an electric pencil sharpener for those back to school pencil sharpening needs as well as those daily homework sessions.  You will thank me!  Read all about our homework drawer here.

Communicate and Plan

As you go back to school, you also go back to kid and family weekly activities. It’s important to sit down with your spouse and kids and talk through what the week is going to look like and who is responsible to get who where.  

It might also help to have a meal plan and groceries ready so that you don’t have to think about what to make those first few nights back.  Read more about how to meal plan here.

We found it helpful to have a family calendar and command center inside our pantry for important school papers and other things so that we can all easily what is going on.  

Give Yourself Grace in the Transition

Remember of all, grace.  The first year my son went to school, I pictured him coming home from school, us enjoying a snack and a lovely conversation about his day.  That didn’t happen.  He was tired and was ready for a little time to decompress alone.  It worked best for him to have some iPad time and a snack for about 30 minutes and then he was ready to talk and play outside.  You know your child and your family best, give yourself grace as you transition.

You might also like –

Best Back to School Money Saving Tips


Until next time, keep on keeping on with a simple purposeful life.
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