It sneaks up on us every year…we go from summer fun and lazy days to preparing for back to school and work routines.  With the right tools and some advance preparation, the process can be a lot smoother.

1.  Get Ready in Advance ~ You’ve probably heard it before, but it can’t be emphasized enough.  Taking some time the night before to prepare for the coming day can work wonders.   Pack backpacks, computer bags, and briefcases, choose and pack snacks and lunches, choose & set out clothes and accessories.

2. Choose a Drop Zone ~ Select a designated location or drop zone in your home for incoming and outgoing items.   This includes backpacks, briefcases, computer cases, cell phones, purses, keys, and any other items going to and from with you each day.   Decide who will be emptying and refilling bags and lunch boxes to be sure that items get where they need to be.

3. Put Your Freezer to Work ~ Freeze a few pre-made dinners for the first week of increased activity.   This way meal preparation won’t add to the hectic nature of your routine and will give you more time to focus on family.

4. Centralize Management ~ Choose one location in your home to manage incoming paper and handle all scheduling.  You’ll need a master calendar and a place to sort your papers as the volume increases.

5. Establish/Re-Establish Routines ~ Create easy to follow routines for morning, mealtime, and bedtime and any other key times in your schedule.  Implementing these a few days before school begins is beneficial.   If possible, keep these routines to the same time each night for consistency.