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Back to School Planning, Already?

by Alison Lumbatis -
(Dallas, TX)

Summer break isn’t officially over for another month and a half, but I’m getting a leg up on our family’s back-to-school preparations. Years past have taught me something, plan for it early and get it done!

The advantages to doing it a month in advance are many - stores are well stocked with supplies, we can easily find the sizes we need for uniforms, we aren’t stressed out by to-do’s in the weeks leading up to school starting, the family calendar is made well in advance so we can work out any conflicts before they occur, and most importantly mom is happy that it’s all taken care of.

So, what exactly do my back to school preparations involve? Well, they mainly lie in three areas: Clothing, School Supplies and Scheduling.

Clothing – I start by cleaning out the kids’ closets and drawers. While I’m cleaning I take inventory of what still fits and make of list of what they need. I then enter that list of shorts, pants, shirts, socks, underwear and shoes into a simple spreadsheet. I print this and keep it in my purse as a convenient checklist while we shop.

School Supplies – Most school’s update their school supplies list on their websites well in advance of school starting. I print lists for each child and then comparison shop online for the best prices. If you don’t have time to comparison shop (or don’t feel like it), Walmart generally has very competitive prices and they are well-stocked on everything.

Scheduling – Back to school is the time of year that our family calendar “blows up”. With all of the drop-offs, pick-ups, practices, car pools and bus routes to keep track of for three kids, it’s no wonder! Getting as much of this information as possible in advance of the start of the school year helps me to prepare for how my husband and I will split up the drives, contact other parents to arrange for car pools and determine what time each child’s bedtime and wake-up needs to be. The earlier I get it all in the schedule, the sooner I can identify conflicts and resolve them.

A note on scheduling – our family uses the Cozi online family calendar. I’ll be writing a blog post in the near future on how I use it and the way it’s totally changed our lives for the better. If you haven’t checked it out yet, visit their website at to learn more about it. Best part, it’s free!

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