The kids are back in school! Set yourself up for a great year with fewer arguments and less stress for everyone with these strategies:

  1. Connect your family…with Google Calendar, or family organizing apps like Hub Family Organizer or Cozi to help keep everyone on schedule and in the know of who’s where when.
  2. Carry your shopping plan…to shop for school supplies as you go. And stock up on those items you know you’ll need mid-year; office supplies are the cheapest this time of year.
  3. Designate the Family Command Center. Declare a space for all papers that need reviewing and signing. They get set and picked up here, not buried on the kitchen counter under the newspapers.
  4. Prep the night before. Pack lunches and backpacks. Lay out clothes. Set socks and shoes by the front door for running out to meet the bus.
  5. Plan your meals…for the week. Put your menu together, do the shopping, and do as much prep as possible, so the weeknights aren’t stretched thin with having to cook…or sit in a drive-through line.
  6. Set up a snack bowl…with healthier grab-and-go snacks. Bags of nuts. Whole fruit. Grape tomatoes. Baggies of cut vegetables or popcorn. Protein bars with low sugar. Running in, running out, the snack basket is a hunger crusher!
  7. Stash some gifts…for the birthday parties you just heard about or the snacks Little Johnny needs to bring to gymnastics this week. Pick up a few universally well-received birthday gifts or treats for keeping on hand to avoid running out to the store at the last minute.
  8. Find YOUR Zen. Plan time on your schedule to exercise. Meet a friend for lunch. Sit with a cup of tea for a few minutes when you arrive at work. What helps you be at your best? Do it! How do you get some downtime for yourself? Our customers know! They hire Organize It to take care of their regular cleaning chores. SMART!

Video Transcription:

Good evening, everybody. It is Libby DeLucien with Organize It and I am coming to you Sunday night, tonight, because, next week, is school week for the county, so all of our kids will be starting school on Wednesday, or most of our kids will. And I have a great little article and a few tips for you on just how to help you be more prepared for this upcoming school week. So, it’s our back to school survival strategies, right? If you’re a parent like I am, I have Austin, who’s 14, who’s going to be a freshman, and Yaya who’s going into Pre-K. And as much as I cannot wait for them to get back into school, it’s also a lot of preparation.

Having a new high schooler is, like having a part time job. It’s like, “Oh my gosh, he has so much to do.” So we’ve come up with some, back to school survival strategies for you guys here in southwest Florida. And I was just jumping on tonight, Sunday night, so that you could have Monday and Tuesday to help prepare for the upcoming week since our school all starts on Wednesday. So, you guys might have already gotten the email, I sent it out in the email on Friday and then I wanted to follow up with a video.

But the first thing I wanna suggest is to connect with your family. We use, a Google calendar, a family Google calendar to connect together. So I have, like, myself and Chris and Austin and, some of Yaya’s things connected on a family google calendar. We all have Google accounts. You can make a family Google account for free, right? I think we just named ours, “The DeLucien Morris Family,” or something. To make a family calendar, and you can make family calendars, family tasks.

You can also use apps like, there’s a great app called Monday. There’s also a family, uh, Hub Family Organizer is a great app, or Cozi, C-O-Z-I, are great apps where you guys can share stuff so that that way you can be on the same page and know what time they have to be picked up. Uh, for instance, Austin has, like, basketball tryouts, JV, freshman. They have, uh, open house. So we all are on the same page. So you want to get your family connected.

Uh, for my business, friends out there, we actually family Level 10 meetings. So, I run Organize It and one of my other companies on EOS, Entrepreneurs, Organization. So, we run a family Level 10 meeting, so that’s a great way also, every Sunday night, to keep your family on the same page.

Next is carry out your shopping plan. Get your shopping done, if you didn’t do it this weekend, get it done tomorrow, Monday, right? So, carry out your shopping plan. Any back to school supplies are the cheapest now, they were the cheapest this weekend because we were tax free. Get those back to school supplies done. And the get, get a few extras because they’re always going to need them mid-year and they’re cheaper now than they are in the middle of the year.

Design a family command center. This is one of my favorites. And I’m actually in the middle of building a kitchen table that pretty much does this. It is a family command center. So, declare a space where papers, laptops, things that need to be reviewed or signed. Places where the kids can store their books if they have, frequent books. Any school supplies that they use at home. So it’s a family command center. You could use the kitchen, you could use a desk area. But it’s where all of their notices, permission slips, you know, hey, there’s a dance, there’s this. All of it goes in one spot. My daughter is four years old and I’ve never seen in my life the amount of paper a four year old home, a four year old brings home from school. It is astronomical. So, designate a family command center.

Next is, prepare the night before, especially for the first at least week or two. We do this in the DeLucien family household, we do this, I do this every night. I prepare the night before for the upcoming day. Whether that’s making their lunch, making sure they have their clothes ready or laid out. That way, there’s no having to get up extra early, having to even think in the morning, because we have a high schooler so he has to be there before the sun even comes up. So prepare the night before, whether it’s, snacks, backpacks, lunch boxes, lunch, clothing. Lay it out the night before. Be prepared. All right, this is gonna save us a ton of time in the morning when people, like our kids, don’t feel like getting up. These, their poor little brains just don’t function that early in the morning. So, prepare the night before.

Next, plan your meals. This one’s a huge one. Plan your meals, for the week. It is going to be a busy few weeks, guys. It’s gonna be a busy few weeks. Plan your meals, out for the week. There are some great meal prep companies, locally I’ve used a few of them. But plan your meal out for the week so there’s no thinking. Because it’s gonna be a whole new schedule. Even if we were used to doing it, it’s been three months since we’ve done this. So let’s plan our meals, let’s get prepared. You really want to plan your meals for the week, put your menu together, do your shopping… Instacart is my best friend. Do your shopping so that the weeknights aren’t, stretched thin, right, with having to go the grocery store and cook. We want the weeknights to be dedicated to getting these kids back into their routine, working on any homework, and getting back into some of their regular rhythm.

Set up a snack bowl. So, you wanna set up a snack bowl with healthy grab and go snacks. Maybe fruit, a bag of nuts, some veggies cut up, popcorn. They are going to be hungry every day when they come back from school, I promise you this. No matter the age, they’re going to be hungry. So set up a snack bowl or little station with healthy snacks for them to go to the second they walk in that door. So they’re no, reaching for those unhealthy snacks. I am huge on this. Most of you guys know that, you know, I’m on a new health journey where, oh, I don’t eat carbs or sugar, processed carbs. So my kids have learned to eat some healthy snacks. Set these up, have them ready so they know where to go at the second they walk in the door. Especially if you have little kids, like, Yaya’s four. She, she can, she’ll know exactly where to go if I just do it one time.

Let’s see. Stash some (laughs), stash some gifts. This is a good one. I love this one. Stash some gifts for the birthday parties. The birthday parties are just ahead, right? They are just ahead. It is school time, so stash some gifts for birthday parties you’ve just heard about, or snacks for the gymnastics, you know, what, that, that they’re going into because not with just the start of school is coming this week, the start of sports, dance, you name it. So, you really want to be prepared. So, if we’re out at sports or if it’s, “Oh, Johnny invited me to his birthday party, tomorrow.” (laughs) So always have some nice little gifts stashed. When you see them out shopping, pick up a couple. We always keep some generic gift bags and tissue paper because you can put any gift in that little bag. Even if it’s just a printed out Amazon $20 gift card, I can put it in that little gift bag. Because it never fails with these kids that I have, and I only have three, there’s always that last minute birthday party now that we’re going back into school.

And last, you want to find your zen. And you really have to plan time on your schedule to exercise. Moms and dads, exercise. Plan time to meet with friends or business, other business owners. So, have lunch, sit for a cup of coffee, a cup of tea. One of the things we’re going to, encounter when school gets into, into play, is, we’re not gonna have those free mornings anymore where we could just sit and enjoy that [inaudible 00:09:29]. If you have multiple kids, you know, they’re staggered, their start times. Austin has got to be sitting in his chair at 7:00 AM, where Yaya doesn’t have to be there until 8:45 to 9:00.

So, find your zen, figure out what you need. Schedule that in your calendar, whether it’s meeting friends for lunch, sitting for a nice cup of coffee. What helps you do your, you know, what helps you do your best? Do it. Make sure you schedule it. How do you get some down time for yourself? You’re gonna have to figure that out. So, I love to walk and run in the morning, and now that Austin has to go to school so early, I’m gonna have to find a new time in the day to do this. So I’m gonna have to find my zen and schedule it.

You know, how do you do this? So, you wanna make sure that you’re getting all these things done, you’re getting prepared for school.

We are super excited for the new 2022 and 2023 school season, especially the sports season for our basketball, football, and volleyball players. I have my niece who plays volleyball at Lehigh Senior High. Austin plays basketball for Gateway, so we’re super excited for the school season to start. But we do have to get organized and prepared so that, we are, this is going, so this is a smooth transition into the new school year.

This is Libby DeLucien with Organize It. I hope you guys are having a great Sunday night.