Wow! The summer is already almost over. Can you believe it?

Depending on where you live, your kids may have already started school. Others may still have a few weeks of summer left. Around here, most kids still have two weeks until school starts.

We're spending those two weeks getting ready for all the changes and doing lots of planning. We want to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible for everyone.

We want to share our top "Back to School" organizational tips with you and your family. We hope you will benefit from them as much as we will!

Tip #1: Family Schedules

The family schedule is the most important element to an organized back to school. Your family schedule will allow you to make sure that all family members are getting the rest and proper nutrition that they need to keep up with all the activities that will be going on. Sticking to a schedule will also allow you to maintain some sanity throughout the busy fall season. Kids respond well when they know what to expect and what's expected of them. might be able to schedule in some time for yourself as well!

Tip #2: Family Calendar

Family calendars are right up there with family schedules. You have to have some way to keep up with everything that everyone has going on. As soon as you know about an upcoming event, write it on the calendar. There are many methods that can be used to organize your calendar. Click on the link above to read about them.

Tip #3: Family Budget

With the cost of living going up and salaries staying the same, it is more important than ever to set up a family budget. School supplies and clothes are not cheap, and they can blow your budget fast. Make sure to include them in your financial plan.

*Soapbox Moment* Don't buy things for school that you already have! You can save a ton of money if you just take a little time to look around your house. We found about half of the items on our school supply list by just going through a few boxes. My kids are also using backpacks we already had that are still in great shape.

A good idea for school clothes...a clothing exchange. You might be able to locate one of these in your community. If not, get together with a few friends and create your own. Here's how it works...Everyone brings outgrown clothes that are still in good condition. They are sorted by size. Then the participants can "shop" for clothes that are the correct sizes for their growing kids. Make sure everyone understands not to take more items than they brought. Nobody likes a greedy friend. *End of Soapbox Moment*

Tip #4: Homework Center

Get your kids excited about the homework that is soon to come! Let them help you set up a Homework Center. Make it a special place where they will do their homework every time. Let them personalize it so they take pride in it and want to spend time there. Be careful not let it become a distraction from the homework, though. Set up a "homework box" that will house common supplies needed for homework.

Tip#5: Out the Door Station

The "Out the Door Station", if used properly, will soon become your favorite place in your house. This is a place where everything your family needs to get out the door is kept-backpacks, shoes, hats, belts, umbrellas, jackets, etc. When your family learns to use your "Out the Door Station", your life will be so much easier! No more wasting time searching for a lost shoe...

We hope you can take these tips and incorporate them into your own "Back to School" planning. Make sure to let us know how they worked for you! Leave us a comment at .

Have a great school year!


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