58 – The ULTIMATE Back To School Checklist

Organize 365 Podcast
58 - The ULTIMATE Back To School Checklist


It’s that time again. I love shopping for the kids’ school supplies and checking each item off the list. I know I am sending the kids to school with exactly what they need.

However, the rest of the month is a big guessing game for me in long-term memory retrieval. When was the last time I had the kids’ eyes checked? Did I remember to send Benadryl to school? Whose clothes still fit?

So this year, I decided to make a MASTER Back To School Checklist.

I am systematically working through this list to get my kiddos and myself ready for an awesome school year.


  • School Supplies. When you are buying the kids’ school supplies, don’t forget extra glue, pencils, and pens. I send in new pencils in January and May. They also make great stocking stuffers and teacher gifts!
  • School Paperwork. Our school paperwork was due on August 1st. LUCKILY! Because that was my reminder for half of this list! If your kids’ paperwork comes home the first week of school, SCHEDULE an hour or two NOW to fill it out so you can check that item off your to-do list quickly and get it sent back to school.


  • Both the kids need new glasses each year. Our son’s prescription was changed in May, but we waited until this month to get the glasses so they would be fresh for the school year. If your kids don’t need new glasses, make sure you have theirs adjusted for a proper fit before the first day.
  • Doctor’s Appointments. Every year, I forget we need to do this! My son has an inhaler. We need a doctor’s sign-off and a brand-new inhaler in the package for the first day of school.


  • The Counter Meds. Our school will dispense Advil, Benadryl, and cough drops if the proper paperwork is filled out. However, my kids are allergic to the red dye on the capsules… and we prefer liquid, not pills… so I need a few UNOPENED, dye-free bottles to take to the nurse.


  • School Shoes. New tennis shoes for each kiddo.
  • New School Clothes. Now that my kids are in high school, I just buy a few clothes until school starts. It is still so hot and they can make do with just a new outfit or two. Then in late September, I buy a bunch of new fall/winter clothes.
  • Backpacks/Lunch Boxes/Gym Bags. I try to have my kids use these items for at least 2 years. This year, Abby needs a new gym bag and I get a pass on the rest. Whooo Hooo!


  • Toiletries. High school kiddos NEED toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo they LIKE and will USE!! This summer, the kids and I had a hilarious hour at Walgreens smelling soaps and deodorants and letting them pick their favorites. WELL. WORTH. THE. TIME!


  • Haircuts. I have no idea why I am always surprised when we need haircuts. {I need to add this to my Google Calendar!} I like the kids to have fresh haircuts the week before school starts.


  • My kiddos need reminders. We have to leave the house at 6:45 to catch their bus. Checklists make life simpler and less argumentative! I will update their lists and laminate them before the first day.
  • Walk Through Your Child’s School Schedule. If your child has anxiety, head on over to school and walks through the building, find their classrooms, and meet some people. In the past, this one has snuck up on me and we have skipped it. It really helps my kids to know where they are going.


  • Busing/Carpool. Our school district has state minimum busing. So all high school students and anyone within 2 miles of the school do not have busing. Our private school bus was cut as well. We have to sign up for a private bus service and also coordinate a carpool home from the bus stop.
  • Lunch Packing Station. Now is a great time to watch for coupons or shop with your kids to find out what they want to be packed in their lunches this year.
  • Stock The Car With Snacks & Supplies. As soon as school starts, I will be living out of my car again. Keeping a lunch box with snacks in the car can cut down on fast food expenses. Also, think about what else you need in the car. I keep envelopes for lunch money, a dose of my kids’ daily medicines, books on tape for reading logs, chargers to charge electronics, batteries, gum, scissors, a notepad, baby wipes, a lint roller, and tissues.


  • Create A Drop Zone. I LOVE my drop zone. Create a place for backpacks and coats to live. We also have a charging station for my kids’ school computers.

So, what did I forget?

I will be updating and re-posting this post each summer to help us mamas get back in the school groove!

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