5 Back to School Tips and Tricks


Back to school where I live is not until labor day (for now), but I have noticed that many others have already started back to school!

August/September is similar to January in that a lot of people kind of start a “new year” and make plans to get organized, start new activities or hobbies, and set up new systems and routines.

This is a great time to do this as it is about halfway through the year and allows you to reflect on any goals or resolutions you made in January.  And also add new ones.

If you did not make any financial goals or resolutions at the new year, now is also a great time to do that!

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Lots of people are making purchases around this time for back to school or at least to take advantage of all the back to school savings and sales happening right now.

If you have not already, start thinking about how you can start saving money now in order prep and plan for the holiday spending season.  That begins with saving money now on any purchases you will be making over the next few weeks.

At the same time, think of some ways you can start fresh with a new organization system or routine in your day.

Organization allows you to focus on your budget and make better decisions with your money.

Clothes

Whether you have kids or not, most people want to buy some new clothes for fall.  While most fall clothes will not be on sale right now, keep an eye out for sales, especially around Labor Day weekend.

Most of the clothes that are on sale will be end-of-season summer clothes, but if you can catch a tax-free weekend (many occur at the beginning of August, but a few states have them later ) and stack that with a sale or coupon, that will be your best plan for new clothes.

To really save money, check out local consignment shops or big consignment sales that happen once or twice a year.  Many of them occur at the end of summer.  In fact, there is a pretty cool site that allows you to search for consignment sales based on where you live.

I have bought almost all of my kids’ clothes so far at the big consignment sale that occurs once in the fall and once in the spring – about $100 every six months to replace any clothes that no longer fit.

School or Office Supplies

August is a great time to buy school or office supplies.  Most stores will have some sort of back to school sale and some even go above and beyond with special pricing.

Just because you don’t have kids going to school does not mean that you don’t need printer paper, pens, sticky notes, folders, binders, etc to help you stay organized at home.

Think outside of the box and take a look at what is available, you might need something you never thought of!

Stock up on those items now and you won’t have to worry about purchasing for the rest of the year.

Meal Planning/Prep

Meal planning and meal prep are key items in becoming more organized and helping you stick to a budget.  When you come home from the grocery store, you should prep any fruit or veggies for eating for the week so all that you have to do is grab and go when you need a healthy option.

Before you grocery shop, plan out your meals for the week and then base your grocery list off of which ingredients you need.  This will help your grocery budget tremendously!

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Once you have done all the work of planning and prepping, STICK to your plan!  Don’t go out to eat because you feel like it or are craving something, be strong!  It is definitely hard to do, but you will feel great when you stick to your plan and your budget.

To prepare even further, pack lunches and snacks the night before so that there is one less item on your to-do list in the morning.

Back to School Routines

One way to get organized and make better use of your time is to set up routines.  This time of year is also a time where many people try to reset their lives in general, so adding a routine is a great place to start!

Don’t try to start too many things at once or you will likely fail.  Pick one thing to start one week and if it is going well, add something else the next.

The best place to start is by setting up a morning routine.  If you have a successful and productive morning, the rest of your day should run much smoother.

Consider an after school routine to catch all the “stuff” that comes flying through the door like backpacks, lunch boxes, shoes, papers, and of course kids 🙂 Set up designated areas for school items and papers and set up a quick routine for kids like wash your hands, put your stuff away, have a small snack, etc.

A nighttime routine is also great and it helps ensure that your morning routine will go well too.  Pack and set out any bags for the next day, clean up clutter, and do one small chore that will make you feel better in the morning whether it is washing the kitchen counters, folding a load of laundry, etc.

Routines are great because eventually you won’t even have to think about them and they will help your day run smoother and keep your brain and your house more organized.

Command Center

You should have one main “command center” as well as a bunch of smaller areas around the house that store day-to-day items.  A command center can be in your kitchen, office, laundry room, main entry, etc but I recommend it being somewhere that you frequent throughout the day.  If to-do items and calendars are tucked away in a room that you don’t go into every day, you are likely not to use your command center effectively.

This should be a place where you store mail, school papers, and bills, as well as action items, to-do lists, and the family calendar.  It would also be helpful to place your budget here for everyone to be able to see.

Get everyone in your family on board with placing appropriate items in this area and checking the calendar frequently for commitments.

Smaller spaces around the house should be designated for other items such as a backpack or purse area, shoes and jackets area, homework station, etc.  These small organized spaces help eliminate lost time due to looking for things every day and keep clutter at bay.

Get yourself organized during this back to school season whether you have kids or not.  Purchase items while they are on sale, get more organized with your meals and your “stuff”, and create new routines and areas in your house to aid those routines.

What is one way you like to get more organized during back to school time?

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