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NEW! - Keywords For This Page:   School - College - Kids - Back To School

Back-To-School Checklist

Feel free to use this tip sheet / checklist as you tackle your own ""do-it-yourself"" organizing projects. If you would like to REPRINT or DISTRIBUTE this information, please click here for reprinting instructions.


  • paper, folders, pens, pencils, markers, crayons, etc.
  • shop ahead of time for sales throughout the year
  • buy extras of "essentials" and put them away for later
  • buy off-brands whenever possible to cut costs
  • simplify your child's wardrobe to "mix-and-match"
  • take an inventory before heading out to the stores
  • shop with a list to avoid buying things you don't need


  • go through closets and give away clothes / shoes that don't fit
  • help your kids let go of old toys and outdated interests
  • clean out old school supplies to make room for the new
  • spend one day before school starts organizing your child's storage
  • do it "with" your kids, and not "for" them
  • have each child's room spotless by the night before school starts


  • find out if any physical examinations or immunizations required
  • see if any new registration requirements this year
  • get your child's schedule and names of teachers
  • names and contact info for your child's classmates' parents
  • give school emergency phone numbers to reach you
  • designate others who may care for your child in your absence
  • get copy of school policies (absence, illness, discipline, etc.)


  • set up a spot near the door for items that need to go to school
  • backpacks, school books, sports equipment, instruments, etc.
  • spend 15 minutes each night gathering supplies for tomorrow
  • use a cubby for each kid if you have several children
  • no more hunting for missing books and supplies in the morning


  • make lunches the night before to save time in the morning
  • do "non-perishables" (juice box, chips, fruit) a week at a time
  • put in pantry in lunch bags labeled with child's name and day
  • lay out your child's clothes for the entire week on Sat. or Sun.
  • collect up school supplies for next day before going to bed
  • plan out and shop for a week's worth of dinners at once


  • have a set schedule (homework, dinner, play, bath, etc.)
  • spend 15 minutes before bed straightening up
  • gather all supplies for the next day before bed
  • create "calming" rituals (bath, reading, soft music) before bed
  • help kids get up in time by insisting on a strict bedtime
  • stay away from TV late at night


  • set an alarm clock allowing plenty of time to get ready
  • complete your AM routine before the kids start to get going
  • simplify your morning routine as much as possible
  • complete as many "getting ready" chores the night before as can
  • have a set schedule (shower, dress, breakfast, chores, etc.)
  • make mornings fun with music, but stay away from TV distractions
  • create a sense of structure to start off the day
  • put breakfast supplies within kids' reach to make things easier
  • develop consequences for not being ready on time


  • set up a central family calendar in a high-traffic area
  • family meeting once a week to discuss each person's schedule
  • record each person's appointments in a different color marker
  • make each child responsible for reporting his / her activities
  • schedule in regular appointments (soccer practice, piano lessons)
  • immediately transfer dates from other schedules to your calendar
  • be sure to block off family time at least once a week


  • limit the number of extra-curricular activities at one time
  • limit amount of artwork that may be displayed at one time
  • when a new piece of artwork goes up, one must come down


Copyright Ramona Creel, all rights reserved-- you are welcome to reprint any article, but you MUST include this resource box.

Ramona Creel is a modern Renaissance woman and guru of simplicity -- traveling the country as a full-time RVer, sharing her story of radically downsizing, and inspiring others to regain control of their own lives. As a Professional Organizer and Accountability Coach, Ramona will help you create the time and space to focus on your true priorities -- clearing away the clutter other obstacles and standing in the way of that life you've always wanted to be living. As a Professional Photographer, Ramona captures powerful images of places and people as she travels. And as a travel writer, social commentator, and blogger, she shares her experiences and insights about the world as we know it. You can see all these sides of Ramona -- read her articles, browse through her photographs, and even hire her to help get your life in order -- at www.RamonaCreel.com. And be sure to follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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