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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Back to School Checklist #1: Easy Tips to Get Your Life Together!

It’s hard to believe that the start of the school year is right around the corner (especially as it’s approx. 112 degrees right now in Las Vegas!).   

On this weeks’ blog, I’m sharing some practical back to school tips (Part 1) before school is back in session!

Back to School Checklist #1:  Easy Tips to Get Your Life Together!

Purge & Organize

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you had an organized landing spot for your back-to-school shopping spree purchases?   

 Avoid my personal habit of quitting before I start- since I usually I want to do everything, I end up overwhelmed and doing nothing at all…

Here are some easy hacks to avoid the Overwhelm:

  • Start with Baby-Steps:Try setting aside 15 minutes & sort thru your junk drawer.It’s amazing how this can inspire you to tackle a closet or entire room next!
  • Fall clothing:Sort & donate items so others can enjoy
  • School Uniforms: If the kids have uniforms from prior years – are they in acceptable shape? Do they fit? If not, donate or toss
  • Winter-Wear:Have your kids try on their winter coats & other cold-weather gear (which take up tons of storage space)- if they don’t fit, donate!
  • After the Sort, Make a List of Needs:What do they need (vs. want)?A pre-shopping inventory & needs-list helps to avoid buying things you already have & don’t really need, as well as impulse purchases (Target, I’m looking at you).

Paper, Paper, Paper:

On the first day of school, your kids will probably come home with approx. 1,287 papers for you to sign. You’ll want a dedicated space at home where kids can regularly leave paperwork, permission slips, flyers, etc., so you won’t miss anything important.

  • Keep a bulletin board or similar in the same spot, to keep the family’s calendar (school calendar, work, lunch menu, activity/sports/etc.) in the same spot for easy access.
  • Sort thru old stationary/paperwork/arts & craft supplies & organize, so you don’t end up buying stuff you already have (make sure to reference the teacher or school supply list beforehand!).
  • Scan everything possible (& shred/toss/recycle papers) to a handy app/site such as Evernote to get rid of the inevitable Paper-Clutter Nightmare
  • Password Management: I have approximately one hundred million passwords.  Download (& spend some time figuring out) a password-manager app- I could not LIVE without mine.. (Check out LastPass, Dashlane, & 1Password). Incorporating this into my life has saved me – literally- hundreds of hours spent looking for login info & other frequently used info.Most of these allow for synching with your phone and online browser and for family sharing as well!

Get Your Health (& Your Kids’) In Order!

  • Schedule Doctors’ Visits/Physicals
  • Fill Prescriptions
  • Get signatures/forms signed by doctors, as needed
  • Immunization Checks; make sure records are sent to schools/daycare ahead of time so you’re not left in the lurch
  • Dentist Appointments
  • Eye Exams
  • Haircuts
  • Vet Appointments

Get Scheduling!

  • Confirm Afterschool/Other Childcare Arrangements & add to the Family Calendar
  • Sign-up for Fall Sports/Activities/Extracurriculars & add to the Family Calendar
  • Gradually Ease Everyone into the School-Year Sleep Routine
  • Do a School Dry-Run (especially if they’re starting a new school or are anxious!)

Holidays & Vacations- Plan Ahead to Save Money (& Your Sanity)

Although, many of us are not ready to give up pool time just yet, take an hour to update your calendar (& your budget) for your & vacation plans for the upcoming year.

  • As we all know, once the school year starts, the rest of the year flies by.  Holidays are a major expense for many households and require planning. 
  • Are you planning on taking a trip over the holiday season?  Multiple trips?  Organizing dates and price shopping now will enable you to maximize family time and save money. 
  • Add any tentative or confirmed trips/gatherings/events to your Family Calendar so you have time to plan ahead – who’s going, what they’re wearing, gifts to buy/send, RSVPs to respond to, etc.


Check Out Part 2 of the Checklist- Getting Your Estate Plan in Order!

-by Tiffany Ballenger Floyd, Esq.,  © 2019, Phillips Ballenger, PLLC;

Photo by Becky DeCoite

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