After a long summer spent soaking up every single lazy, hazy day in sight, getting back into gear for the school year can be daunting… to say the least. Before we all know it, the alarm clock will be shouting at the top of its tiny electronic lungs that school is officially back in session.
If you’re not ready for it, the morning you send your sweet little students back to school will be a study in stress. So how’s a mama supposed to keep her sanity on the big day? Prepping the night before can mean the difference between a back-to-school breakdown and things running as smoothly as possible.
Here’s what you can lay out the night before to get the school year started on the right foot.
Seriously, the more you have planned out for the following morning the better. You likely want to make sure you send your little one off to school with a full tummy, and you’re far more likely to fix something nutritious and filling if you don’t come up with it on the fly.
Remember how exciting it was to pick out your outfit for the first day back to school? Your child probably has a new outfit for the big day, right? Still, you know kids — despite the fact you took them shopping to pick out their entire first day ensemble, they’ll inexplicably be unable to find one item the morning of. Have them gather their clothes and place them in a special spot to avoid any last-minute scavenger hunts.
3. Shoes (& socks!)
As obvious as this step sounds, it’s one of those things that typically falls through the cracks. And falling through the cracks translates into peering into every nook and cranny to find your child’s shoes and a semi-matching pair of socks before sending them off to school. Plus, by picking the shoes ahead of time, it gives you a minute to make sure they are classroom-ready (i.e., sans anything stuck in the soles, etc.).
4. Your child’s backpack
Sure, you could technically count this as just another chore, but let’s be real… it’s kinda fun too. Go ahead and organize your child’s school supplies to your heart’s content, slide them in the undoubtedly brand-new super-cool backpack your little smarty-pants had to have and stash it somewhere close to the door.
5. A camera
You’re going to want to snap a photo of your student as they cross over into a new school year — while also begging time to slow down, mind you — and nothing is a bigger buzzkill than not having a camera at the ready. Charge your smartphone or make sure to set aside your DSLR batteries and memory card. Oh, and if you have one of those cute back-to-school chalkboard props, pull it out as well.
6. Any required paperwork or forms
Although most of your child’s school-related paperwork has probably already been submitted by now, there may be still be a lingering form you need to send with them for their teacher or school administration office. Getting it out of the way on the first day means avoiding any friendly reminders sent home via your kid’s backpack on his or her first day of school.
Lastly, go ahead and pack your child’s lunchbox. At least this way you know if there are any gaps in your fridge or pantry you need to fill in order to keep your student stocked with healthy lunches all week long. Or if your child will be eating in the cafeteria, you can go ahead and send in cash for their lunch accordingly.