I recommend doing the following things this week.
- Go through your kids clothing and see what fits and doesn't fit for this fall. Pack up the small things for the next kid down or bring them to a consignment shop to try and sell or you can donate it to a family shelter.
- Separate the summer stuff from the school stuff so it's easy to find.
- Make a list of items that you'll need for each kid- take some measurements of waist bands that fit so that you can shop without them, favorite colors of the moment and sizes to keep in your purse in case you run across a great sale.
- Empty out their backpacks and notebooks from last year and make a list of school supplies that you need to restock.
- Start watching for the back to school sales and start shopping them now. If you wait, you might not have the selection or the sale pricing that you can find now and by spreading the shopping out over time it's easier on the cash flow.
- Think through how to organize school papers, backpacks and homework for each child. Try using bins that they place their school stuff into when they walk in the door to prevent the "I can't find my_____" panic attacks before school? I had a narrow table right as you walked into the house from the garage with a large fabric bin for each kid. There were hooks on the wall for coats and their shoes could go underneath. Backpacks, books and papers went right into the bin so that everyone knew where their stuff was. Think about issues you had last year and brainstorm with your kids for solutions for those issues.
- Start getting on a school schedule now. Start getting the kids and yourself to bed a few minutes earlier each week heading up to school. Getting back on the sleeping schedule of the school year for a full week before it starts makes the transition much easier than waiting until the week before school. Everyone handles transitions better when they've had enough sleep.
- If you have a child heading off to college check back tomorrow for a post on getting them and you ready for that huge transition. I'm about to send my 5th and final child off this fall so I've learned a few things along the way.