10 Tips for a Smoother Back To School Transition

by Andrea Bates
Originally Published: 

School is starting up in soon, and as much as I’m looking forward to it, I’m dreading certain aspects of the day-to-day. I thought I’d share a few tips to remind myself, and everyone else, how to make the back to school transition easier:1. Make lunch the night before. DO IT. I don’t care if you’re tired. I don’t care if you’re in bed and you just remembered. Get up and get out of bed and make that lunch. You’ll thank me in the morning in between teeth and hair brushing and reminding them to go to the bathroom again before they leave the house.

>2. Have them pick out their clothes the night before, too. Seriously. And don’t let them change their little minds the next morning. The battle and the search for socks at 7:45? NOT FUN. Get them together, hook them to the next day’s outfit by the pants hangers and don’t lose them before morning. It’ll save your sanity.

3. Prep for the whole week. While you’re at it? Have them pull five outfits together on Sundays. Then there’s less work for you each night. They kids have a pre-picked to choose from, can decide the order every night and be ready to go the next morning!

4. Make sure they find their shoes as soon as possible. Because you may think that socks are hard to find, but if you don’t have a specific spot for shoes there will absolutely be one single shoe of the pair she absolutely HAS to wear today. Because. Of course. Shoes.

5. You CAN have too many breakfast choices. I really try to encourage my daughter to make her own decisions. The mornings before school are not when I should be doing that. Take it from me, it just stresses everyone out. Pop tarts, cereal, smoothies, pancakes? It’s too many things to pick through. Give them one or two (if you’re feeling generous) choices and move on from there.

6. Figure out breakfast on-the-go. Sometimes our kids will move so slowly we have no choice. Need to get them to the carpool line before a certain time and find yourself one foot out the door before they’ve sat down for breakfast? Grab a granola bar, make smoothies in advance, whatever it takes that can be carried into the car and disposed of when they’re done. Get loads of disposable coffee cups with covers for smoothies or the morning beverage of their choice. Because using the reusable cups is a great idea, until the morning that your husband takes them to school and you’ve sent them with hot chocolate and you forget about that for a week and the cup ends up in the trash anyway because, gross, who wants to clean THAT?

7. No technology in the morning. It sounds like a given, but it also sounds so simple when you’re trying to make lunch (see #1) or get things together for the day and you hear those few little words that would lead to pure silence as you focus on ALL THE THINGS. “Mommy, can I go on the iPad?” Don’t do it. Don’t cave. It’s just going to make things worse. And slow things down. Just say no. And that goes for you, too. See my next tip.

8. Stop taking pictures. With exception of the first and last day, and maybe picture day (because you know there’s no way they’re looking like that come picture time), put your phone away. Or do like I do, don’t even bring it downstairs. Sometimes our kids look so cute and we tend to document everything with our smartphones as it is, so the mornings are the perfect time to take a quick snapshot. Don’t do it. It really will throw off your schedule. Especially if your kid is like mine and probably winds up making funny faces for the first 6-7 attempts. Then you’ll get annoyed and say forget it. You’ll walk away and she’ll call you back with promises of “I’ll smile, I will!”. – Just me?

9. Set yourself up with some duplicates. Get an extra toothbrush and toothpaste for downstairs. A comb and some hair detangler would be great, too. Basically an extra set of the things you probably use for their bedtime routine. Having these handy before they walk out the door will save you time in the long run.

10. Relax. If you get crazy, they will, too. If you think you’re going to feel rushed come morning, convince yourself to wake up earlier. Get your coffee going before the possible battles begin. Take a few deep breaths. Get some fresh air. And if right now you’re looking at me like I’m crazy? Skip #10. Sleep as late as you possibly can and make an iced coffee the night before. It’s just as good.

These few tips should help mornings go smoothly from here on out. Or they won’t. Either way, don’t worry; we’re all in this together.

This article was originally published on