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 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.


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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.


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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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