Mom’s Back to School To-Do List That’s Not About the Kids

There are a ton of articles out there giving you tips to get your kids ready for school. You can find some of them right here on DIY Adulation. However, there are things that moms need to do to get ready for the school year that aren’t about the kiddos. That’s why I’m sharing mom’s back to school to-do list with you.

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Mom’s back to school to-do list is exactly what busy moms need to prepare for the school year from updating the budget to organizing your day! Click To Tweet

Mom’s back to school to-do list focuses on all of those things that we often forget about during the craziness of back to school. Is your monthly budget updated for the school year? Have you worked out what your day looks like while the kids are school? These are the things that aren’t covered with tips for preparing your kiddos.

They’re still totally important parts of getting ready for the upcoming school year, though. Make your life easy with this list of the often overlooked details that moms need to get ready for anything the school year can throw at you. You owe it to yourself to make the transition as easy on you as you make it for the kiddos.


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1. Prep Your Finances for Back to School

Back to school comes with extra costs that aren’t in your summer budget. It’s important to start planning for those expenses in your budget now. I also recommend keeping some of the school money budget in cash. There’s nothing worse than finding out right before school that your child needs money for something and not having the cash on hand. Here are a few school expenses to consider when planning your monthly budget.


Planner and Accessories next to Flowers

2. Grab Your New Planner

I’m a huge fan of refreshing your planner when school starts. Your kiddos are getting their new planners and your daily schedule is getting a major overhaul from summer. A fresh planner makes the whole process easier and helps you get excited to tackle your day’s organization. I love the Big Happy Planner because it’s so easy to customize with the sections that I need to keep our whole family organized.

3. Create Your Meal Plan

Speaking of getting your new planner squared away, now is the time to start planning your meals for the busy school year. Prepare easy breakfasts kids can make themselves in the morning and freeze sandwiches for easy lunch packing. Don’t forget about yourself too, especially if all of your kids will be in school this year. Prep your meals for the week and set an alarm to remember to eat. Without kiddos constantly requesting snacks and meals, it’s easy to lose track of time and forget to eat during the day.


Kids Sorting Through Clothes

4. Purge Kid’s Clothes

Before you go shopping for back to school clothes, you want to have a clear idea of what your kids actually need. Purging clothes that are in poor condition and that no longer fit them is the easiest way to do this. Take some time before the summer ends to sift through every piece of clothing and donate the ones that are still in good condition but don’t fit. Not only does this help you get organized, it will also save you money when you go shopping.

This is also the perfect time to separate school clothing from play clothing. I like to keep a drawer designated for play clothes so that the kids can easily find outfits to wear outside after school. This can be a great way to reuse those clothes that still fit but aren’t in good enough condition to wear to school.

5. Plan Your New Routine

Whether all of your kiddos will be in school or you’ll still have little ones at home, your daily routine changes drastically from summer vacation to the school year. Grab a daily planner (you only need one sheet) and sketch a rough idea of what your day will look like. Don’t worry if this changes once you get into the swing of the school year. This simply gives you a map to your days when you pull out your planner.

6. Review the School Calendar

It’s easy to get caught up in the back to school craziness and forget that life still continues outside of school. Review the school calendar and put it in your planner now. This makes scheduling the holidays and any vacations so much easier later on. You also want to make note of any administrative and one-off days that the kids don’t have school during the year.


Hands Rolling Up Yoga Mat

7. Think About You

Another thing that moms forget about during the school year is taking care of themselves. I’m totally guilty of this. Summer runs me ragged between vacations, activities, holidays, and the insanity that comes from having 3 kiddos at home during the day. It’s easy to let self-care slide during the summer months. School starting is the perfect opportunity to make self-care a priority again. Make it even easier on yourself and schedule weekly self-care in your planner. Scheduling it makes you more likely to follow through on it.

Find tons of tips about taking care of yourself in the series How to Rediscover Yourself After Marriage and Motherhood.

8. Create a Paper System Now

The school year means it’s time to get prepared for an onslaught of papers. Get a system in place now that makes corralling it all a breeze. I recommend having at least 2 different baskets. One for papers that need mom’s attention right away. This is for permission slips, order forms, and anything else that needs action from mom. The second basket is for all of the items that they want to share with you. My kiddos love showing me their artwork, great test scores, etcetera. Unfortunately, my schedule isn’t always conducive to a 30-page paper viewing right after school. The second basket lets the kids clean out their folder and prepare their bags for the next day without my immediate attention. Then when I have a moment, we can go through the papers together when I can give them my full attention.

9. Prep a Car Bag

As kids get more involved in sports and other activities, there will more and more time that you spend in the car. Be ready with a car bag stocked with items you need in a pinch. Items to include in your car bag:

10. Label Everything

Don’t put it off until the last minute. Instead, take the time now to label everything. I love my label maker for labeling things like lunch containers, school supplies, and water bottles but you also want label coats, jackets, and backpacks too. For these items a permanent marker works just fine. Again, don’t put this off. There is so much to label especially as you get more kiddos in school. Get started now to avoid a mad labeling dash the night before school starts.


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Mom’s back to school to-do list is exactly what busy moms need to prepare for the school year transition. It helps you effectively plan your new routine, update your budget, and generally make your daily life so much easier. I think we can all use a little more easy in our lives. Make your life even easier with the awesome back to school planner available to monthly printable bundle subscribers! Learn more right here!

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How to Plan Your Day when Kids Start School

There is an important part of prepping for back to school that moms overlook. You are so focused on getting the kids ready that you forget about getting you ready. Find out how to plan your day when kids start school so you don’t make the same mistake this year.

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Don't forget this important part of prepping for back to school. Find out how to plan you day when kids start school as a SAHM for the best school year yet! Click To Tweet

This is hitting me especially hard this year. I have been a stay-at-home mom for so long that I forget what it’s like to have any semblance of free time during the day. That’s all changing because my daughter starts kindergarten this year and my baby starts next year. That is quite a precipice.

On the one hand, I’m super excited to get to shower daily without interruption. Of course, on the flip side of that, it is scary. I’ve been a mom most of my adult life. It has defined me more than I care to admit. How do you move forward?

It starts with a plan. You and I can’t wait until school starts and hope it works out. Instead, we have to make a plan now to move forward in this next stage of life. Let’s make it as easy as possible with these steps for how to plan your day when kids start school.

Step 1: List Your Tasks

The first thing you need to do is list your tasks. This goes beyond a regular to-do list. Think about the stuff that you already do on a daily basis and add in things that you want (or need) to start doing as well. These should be things that you want to do in addition to the tasks that you have to do.

No matter how big or small the task, list it. Here is an example of a list of tasks to give you some inspiration:


Schedule written hourly on lined notebook

Step 2: Design Your Ideal Day

Once your list of tasks is complete it is time to design your ideal day. This is what your day looks like in a perfect world where everything always goes to plan and you accomplish every task on your list easily. Here are a few questions to help you plan:

Use these questions and your list of tasks to plot out your ideal day. This is easiest if you write down the times of day hourly on a sheet of paper, starting with when you want to wake up and ending with when you go to sleep. Then arrange your tasks along those hours accordingly.


be a Goal getter spiral bound planner

Step 3: Evaluate Your Ideal Day

This is the hardest step of the entire process. Look at your ideal day and evaluate it with the eye of a skeptic. Are you trying to fit in too much? Is there any room for relaxing or is every hour filled to capacity?

On the flip side of that, are you slacking? Do you have 2 hours allotted in the morning for putting away dishes? If so, chances are, you are not challenging yourself to truly be your best.

Take a hard look at your what your day looks like and think of adjustments you can make for your day-to-day life. Maybe instead of breaking up cleaning into individual tasks throughout the day it is better to designate a cleaning hour and call it done. Perhaps you gave yourself 4 hours of reading time at the expense of balance to work/homemaking. These are the things you need to think about and evaluate.


Weekly planner layout

Step 4: Create Your Basic Daily Plan

The last step in this process for how to plan your day when kids start school is to create your basic daily plan. Think of it like the skeleton of your day, supporting any supplemental tasks and errands. Ideally, there will be room for a bit of everything while creating the flexibility to change day to day without completely throwing you off track.

Example Basic Daily Plan

Don’t feel like your basic daily plan needs to be hourly and rigid. I typically break mine down by times of day. It also allows me the freedom to make changes as necessary (such as for field trips, grocery shopping, or doctor’s appointments) without totally ruining my flow or important tasks I need to complete. Here is a quick example for you:






Schedule written hourly on lined notebook with text overlay: How to Plan Your Day when Kids Start School

The key for how to plan your day when kids start school is to focus on key points and tasks instead of rigidity. If you try to start with too specific and tight of a schedule, you will be more tempted to give up when you falter or fail. Instead, adjust your schedule as your practice it more in a way that pushes you to try harder and rediscover yourself. Don’t use this new schedule in a way that leads to burnout. That doesn’t help anyone at the end of the day.

Also keep in mind that this basic schedule should be for during the week and not weekends. If you still want a schedule for the weekends create one that is different from your Monday through Friday. Weekends are inherently different from weekdays and your time will reflect that.

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Awesome Back to School Style Ideas: DIY Edition

One of the best parts of living a do-it-yourself life is the amount of money you can save. That is why I am so passionate about it. The back to school season is no exception but sometimes you need a little inspiration. To help you out, here are some awesome back to school style ideas you can make yourself!

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Save money on your kid's school year fashion with these awesome back to school style ideas you can make yourself! Click To Tweet

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Easy DIY Pocket Animal Shirts With Adorable Sloths (Hello Creative Family)

How adorable are sloths? Seriously, something with long sharp claws has no business being so cute. If you don’t believe me, just check out these DIY shirts. They are a simple way to add some style to inexpensive t-shirts!


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While this backpack won’t carry books and homework, it is a fantastic option for girls who love carrying a purse around school. You may love it so much you decide to make one for yourself, too!


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DIY Faux Druzy Necklace (Inside the Fox Den)

Does your daughter love rocking jewelry as much as mine? Unfortunately, kids can be super rough on their possessions. This DIY lets you create a gorgeous accessory for your kid on a budget (which makes it slightly easier to remain calm when it inevitably gets broken or lost).


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Don’t forget to keep those lips hydrated! This 2 ingredient crayon lip gloss is the perfect DIY way to do it.


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DIY School Shoe Ideas (Jennifer Perkins)

If you are looking for DIY shoe ideas for the whole family, Jennifer has you covered with these super simple projects. My favorite are these glittery pencil ones but she has so many more ideas for you waiting on the post!


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SportFlex Iron-on for Shirts that Stretch (Country Chic Cottage)

This idea is perfect for the little man in your life. Let him head back to school in style with this fun design. Even better, the SportFlex stretches so it fits his active lifestyle.


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Simple DIY Pom + Tassels Bag Charm (Made in a Day)

Okay, she put this charm on a purse but it would also make an awesome backpack charm! Bonus: it is super easy to make and you can customize the colors to fit your kid’s preference!


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DIY 5 Minute Personalized School Backpack Tag (Dazzle While Frazzled)

The pom and tassels might be a bit feminine for your son. Instead, add this super easy backpack tag to his school gear. It adds just the right amount of style and personalization to a plain school bag.


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Colorful DIY Stars Shoes with Beaded Laces (DIY Adulation)

Turn a plain white pair of shoes into amazing colorful fun with this super easy tutorial. Customize the colors to fit your kid’s style for a truly unique style accessory.


Collage of back to school fashion projects with text overlay: Awesome Back to School DIY Style Ideas

These DIY ideas are a fantastic way to save money on back to school. These awesome back to school style ideas let your kids express their style while you save money. What other ways do you save money during the back to school chaos? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments.

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Collage of back to school fashion projects with text overlay: Awesome Back to School DIY Style Ideas