This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Meijer. The opinions and text are all mine.
Getting ready for a new school year and juggling chaotic schedules can be overwhelming. Use this ultimate back to school checklist for busy moms to get organized and start the year right.
The Ultimate Back to School Checklist for Busy Moms
The beginning of the school year brings so much excitement and newness and chaos that sometimes it's hard to keep it all straight. Especially if you're juggling multiple kids with multiple busy schedules.
That's why I'm so excited to partner with Meijer, an amazing one-stop back to school shop, to share this ultimate back to school checklist for busy moms PLUS a discount that will make you the teacher's favorite this year!
We managed to finish ALL of our back to school shopping during our bi-weekly grocery shopping trip to Meijer. They have it all, making it so easy to get the kids ready for back to school! From school supplies to clothing necessities to first day outfits to after school snacks. We love the variety and quality at Meijer.
For this ultimate checklist, we have three sections to prep: the kids, the clothes, and the supplies.
Back to School - The Kids
Schedule physicals - Check school and sport requirements. Many schools require physicals for certain years to ensure up-to-date immunization schedules, and many sports teams require physicals before being allowed to play. Also, schedule optometrist and dental appointments, if necessary.
Haircuts - Even if you have a let-it-grow mentality during the summer, it's probably time for a fresh trim for a clean look when school starts.
Before and After School Care - If your child needs care before or after school, it's time to start looking. Compare community programs with at-home nannies or private daycare facilities to find the best match for your child and your family.
Before and After School Routines - Routines are SO important for kids, and make moms' lives so much easier. Establish set routines for both mornings and afternoons. For example, mornings might include waking up, brushing teeth, eating breakfast, packing bags, and afternoons might include homework, practicing piano, and soccer practice. If it helps to have a visual, make a quick chart to hang on the refrigerator or the wall.
Work on Bedtime - Summer bedtimes might be a little later, but as school approaches, it's time to reign it in to a normal bedtime. This will help the kids (and you) not feel so exhausted those first few stressful weeks of school, and will hopefully make waking up and morning routines smoother.
Print School Calendar - If you're juggling a busy schedule, calendars are your friend. Print off the school calendar to hang up in your home, and add relevant events to your family calendar so that you don't miss anything!
First Day of School Picture Props - Print these off early! Don't you just know that the day before school starts, your printer will run out of ink?? Do it early so that you're not out of luck.
Back to School Clothes
Stock up on essentials - Underwear, socks, under shirts, under shorts, and jeans are probably all looking a little ragged from the last school year. Stock up on new essentials for the coming year! We found socks, underwear, and jeans that the kids loved on our bi-weekly Meijer trip.
First Day of School Outfit - The first day of school each year is well documented with lots of pictures. Grab a cute first day outfit, so your kiddo is extra adorable on their first day. We were so happy to find nice boys' collared shirts at Meijer, as we had really struggled to find them the previous year.
Picture Day Outfit - Another well documented day during the school year is picture day. It’s easiest to grab a nice picture day outfit when you get your first day of school outfit. Then you don’t have to worry about it as picture day approaches (or worse have to try to scrounge something out of the close the night before picture day!)
Shoes – Kids go through shoes so fast! If they didn’t outgrow them, there’s probably no tread left on the bottom from all their running and wild antics. Buy your child sturdy play shoes that will last and will allow them to run and climb during recess and gym class. Also, check the school's policy on shoes, such as no black soles, cowboy boots, flip flops, etc.
Meijer surprisingly (to me, anyway!) has lots of name brand shoes that fit most school's criteria. In fact, when we went looking at a shoe store this summer and my kids couldn't find what they wanted they said, "Can we just go check at Meijer?" And, believe it or not, they found exactly what they wanted.
Back to School Supplies
School Supplies - Supply shopping can be overwhelming. If you have multiple lists, try combining them into one list. Then when you get home, you can sort them back out for each child. To help with cost, you can also start shopping early, and break up the shopping into multiple trips.
For instance, we went to Meijer and bought all the traditional supplies such as crayons, markers, notebooks, etc. last week, and next week during our grocery trip, I'll be grabbing headphones, wipes, paper towels, zip bags, and more of the classroom help stuff.
Backpack and Lunchbox - If you purchased a really great backpack and lunchbox last year, just clean it out and reuse it. No need to spend extra money! If your kids are really hard on their bags and mess up the zippers year after year (like mine. Sigh.), opt for new ones.
Snack and Lunch Supplies - Buying snacks and lunch supplies in bulk can actually save money. So grab the big case of your kids' favorite snacks, juice boxes, or chips now to save money later. Also, consider buying reusable water bottles and sandwich containers for lunches. My kids love these, and they help us save money in the long run.
Label EVERYTHING! - Coats, shoes, backpacks, lunchboxes,... EVERYTHING. Grab a sharpie, and get going. Everything that goes into the backpack gets labeled! This will help your kids know what's theirs if another child has the same thing, and it might help your kids' stuff find them before it ends up in the lost-and-found.
Fill Backpacks - As you label, put it in the backpack so you're ready for the first day of school! I print out my kids' individual lists. Then I label and cross off item by item as I put them into their bags. This also helps let you know if you forgot something!
Extra supplies for teachers - Teachers are probably the most underpaid people on the planet. We trust them to care for and raise our kids for half of their waking hours, and they should get all the love and extras we can give as parents. So if you can afford an extra package of pencils or paper or dry erase markers, grab some for the person who is going to make such a huge impact on your child this year!
Be your teacher's favorite student and tell them about the discount they can get at Meijer! Teachers who present a current school ID at their local Meijer customer service desk will receive a coupon for 15% off in-store purchases!
This deal is going on now through September 30, so tell your favorite teacher via email or as soon as you see them at open house!
So that's the ultimate checklist! Hopefully it will help to keep you organized and make an easy start to a new school year!