Days are counting down to the start of a new school year. Back to school sales have dominated flyers and radio/TV ads for weeks. While it is tempting to run out and buy all those backpacks, lunch bags, pencils and pens to get your children ready for a new school year, why not pause to take stock first.
It’s always best to start out the new school year on fresh footing. Before filling up the closets with new outfits, and workstations with new iPads and the like, take a few moments to prepare for the year ahead. Over the summer, many of our routines fall by the wayside due to beach days, road trips and vacation plans. Now is the perfect time to get back into the swing of things. If you take the time to purge the cupboards, organize your materials, and generally take stock of what you have and what you may need for the coming year, you just might find yourself further ahead in the long run.
Here are a few tips for those of you with backpacks still crammed full of last year’s assignments, dried out markers, and stinky socks from gym class. And for those who could just use a refresher course;
Steps to Start the School Year Right
- Take stock of your school supplies
- You don’t always need to start from scratch every year. Take stock of what materials you have and what you need. Sharpen pencils (if you still have a pencil sharpener). Reuse last year’s backpack (if it still fits and is in reasonable shape). Knowing what you have and what you need helps to keep you from spending unnecessarily. It also helps you purchase items you might not realize you are out of, like paper. Assess what is worth keeping and make a list of what you need to purchase before you hits the stores so you don’t overspend on the latest gadgets you may not need.
- Assess your closets
- Despite what the back-to-school advertisements might suggest, you don’t necessarily need to buy your child an entire new wardrobe. While children do grow, they might only need a few new outfits to fill up their closets. Go through drawers to see what still fits and what is in need of replacing. A new outfit is nice for the first day, but unless you can afford a complete changeover of clothes, much beyond replenishing the essentials isn’t necessary.
- Create a welcoming workspace
- A cluttered workspace is not conducive to getting any work done. Start the year off right with a fresh workstation where your children can attend to assignments and homework. De-clutter items that take away valuable work space. Purge broken, damaged and empty items to make way for new school supplies. When their workstation is welcoming, children will want to spend more time there. Plus, it shows your child that you value their efforts and education.
- Prepare a schedule
- Between homework, extra-curriculum activities, and the myriad groups and clubs which a typical family takes part in over the course of a year, life can get pretty hectic. Before getting swept away by it all, take time to create a schedule before the school bell even rings. Designate a time for homework. Balance extra-curricular activities with downtime. Create a meal plan to reduce the stress which accompanies the never-ending question of what to have for dinner. Set bedtimes to ensure everyone gets enough sleep and slowly transition back to them before the first day of school arrives. Make sure you leave enough time to get everything done, so crazy mornings don’t create stress throughout the rest of the day.
A little effort now will help the school year start out right.
If you find your purged pile is a little larger than expected once you are done, contact Load of Rubbish to help dispose of your excess. We take old computers, toys, books, bikes and whatever items no longer work in your home. Check our website for pricing!