As a single mom who works, I know how crazy and hectic it can be getting the kids ready to get back into “school mode” after a long and fun summer. In this post, I’m gonna share five of my best time-saving and parent-savvy tips to help you get your family back on track and ready for a productive school year!

Tip #1: Plan out clothes for the entire week. Picking out the kid’s clothes ahead of time will save you so much time and discussion on those busy school days. Don’t forget to include socks, undies and any accessories. You can hang them on labeled hangers or fold them neatly in stacks on or in the dresser.

Tip #2: Do as much breakfast prep as possible. Get out the cereal, bowls, and utensils. Have fresh fruit or other breakfast favorites out on the table so the kids can easily eat before heading out the door.

Tip #3: Prepare lunches the night before. My mom did this for me when I was growing up and it just makes sense. Why scramble around in the morning trying to make lunches? Save yourself time and the headache, do it at night.

Tip #4: Check the weather. Knowing what the weather will be will not only help you plan the kids’ clothing, but it will also let you know if you need to plan extra time for possible traffic delays, or if you need to make sure the kids take a jacket or sweater.

Tip #5: Have backpacks ready to go by the door or already in the car. Make sure homework is done, any papers are signed, and that your child has everything he or she needs to learn. This has saved me so many times because I made sure my son had his school stuff together and ready to grab.

I hope these tips help you and your family stay focused and efficient during those first few days heading back to school. It will take some time to find a routine that works for you, but with practice and a plan, you can totally make it happen! Good luck!