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Summer is drawing to a close, which means a new school year is about to begin. With that comes busy schedules, plenty of paperwork, and a return to a routine. While summer is full of fun, back-to-school means back to business. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Prepare yourself with these tips on how to start this school year off on the right foot.

Don’t wait until the last minute to start earlier bedtimes. 

Kids need time to adjust to a new bedtime routine. Ease them into this challenging transition by instituting earlier bedtimes two weeks before the start of school.

Get organized with a calendar system.

 Calendars are essential to help keep the entire family on task. Create a go-to spot for everyone to look at each day that includes the daily schedule, important reminders, and other essentials like school lunch menus or permission slips to be signed.

Do as much as you can ahead of time. 

School mornings are busy enough without having to sift through papers and pack lunches and book bags. Try to complete as many tasks as possible the night before so that mornings run smoothly. Set out clothes, pack lunches, ensure book bags are ready to go, and bathe the night before to save time in the morning.

Make a list and check it twice. 

Lists aren’t just for Santa. Caregivers with little ones can also benefit from lists. This may mean making a list of the back-to-school essentials like clothes and supplies, or making a list of weekly musts like dinners, practices, and other to-do items.

Shop ahead. 

Once you make those lists, you’ll want to check items off as soon as possible. Don’t wait till the last minute to purchase school supplies as items fly off the store shelves quickly as the end of summer approaches. Go through dressers and closets to see what clothing items are needed so you can take advantage of all those back-to-school sales.

Practice a dry run. 

Practice makes perfect, and the same holds true when it comes to the first day of school. Perform a dry run of the morning routine to work out any problems beforehand. This way, you won’t find yourself frustrated and unprepared on the first day of school.