A Checklist To Get Your Routines Ready For Back To School

I’m back with the final season of the Routine and Things Podcast and in this episode I’m helping you prepare for back to school. This time of year brings about so much change and it can feel overwhelming to get back into the flow of things. In this episode of the Routine and Things Podcast, I’m running through a checklist to help you get your routines ready for back to school. You’ll want to grab a pen and paper for this one. Let’s get to it! 

Word For Word

Ashley Brown 0:00
I'm back with the final season of the routine things podcast and in this episode, I'm helping you prepare for back to school. This time of year brings about so much change and it can feel overwhelming to get back into the flow of things. In this episode of the routine and things podcast, I'm running through a checklist to help you get your routines ready for back to school. And even if you are already in the season of back to school, this will still be helpful. You'll want to grab a pen and paper for this one, let's get to it.

Ashley Brown 0:48
Back in 2018 When I was a stay at home mom struggling to manage my household and my sanity, I decided to use planning to get more organized. I went to the store I grabbed a really simple planner. When I got home, I opened it up just to stare at the lines on the page for 10 minutes. Then after some time, I decided you know what, let me plan based upon the areas of my life, I was constantly thinking about it managing Long story short, I stumbled upon a new way of planning that changed the way I organized my days. It's called the routine block planning method, which helps you simplify your planning by organizing daily tasks into four routine categories. Self care, family, cleaning, and cooking. And lucky for you, I put together a free training that tells you all about it. In this free 15 minute video training, you'll learn how to get organized using the routine block planning method. You'll learn how it works. And why is the solution to living a more organized life. To start watching head to routine things.com forward slash training or just click the link in the show notes. Hey, girl, welcome back for the final season of the routine and things podcast, I am so freaking excited to be back with you. I took a break this summer. And it was a much needed break. It was needed. And I enjoyed every second of it.

Ashley Brown 2:16
But I'm really, really excited to be back with you to be able to chat with you about routines to be able to support you and building healthy, strong routines for your life so that you stress less, and you live life with more ease and you feel good about the life that you're living. You know, that is the major thing here at routine and things is that you are living a life that feels good to you. Because when you feel good, the world is better for it. Period point blank. And so I'm excited to be back with you today. In this episode. This is our back to school episode, I tried to do an episode like this every single year to give you some insight about what you can do to help adjust to the back to school season because I know it can be a challenge. I have two girls, if you're new, if you're a new listener, you don't know much about me. I have two children, two girls, they're four and six and they are headed back to school. And with that it's a lot of preparation that takes place and it is getting back into the flow of those routines that can sometimes go out the window. When summer rolls around right summer is a time to kind of relax and summer is a time to kind of like let go a little bit. And with letting go of things it can be hard to get back into the flow of things and get your routines back established, it can be a little bit difficult. But today I'm going to be sharing the back to school checklist with you that you can go through and review so that you feel as if you are prepared for back to school and that you are at least taking action and slowly reincorporating your routines back before I get into this checklist.

Ashley Brown 3:56
I do want to say that they've routine and things planner will be back this year, September 25. We are going to restock the planners and they are going to be available for you if you have not heard about the routine and things planner, go check it out of routine and things.com forward slash plan you can read all about it is really to help you to organize yourself in a way that is realistic is really helpful in allowing you to build routines also maintain those routines. Because to stay organized is not just about planning routines are very instrumental in helping you to remain organized because they are consistent practices in your life that allow you to have some sense of balance to continue to be organized. And so when you couple of routines with planning which is what the routine and things planner does and what it's all about, you have this maximum effect on your life that really helps you To live life with more ease and less stress, and it's a beautiful thing. So you can go check that out yet again, at routine and things.com Ford slash plan, they will be restocked September 25. So stay tuned and get on the list so that you are notified when the planner returns.

Ashley Brown 5:18
So when it comes to back to school, and this checklist, I'm gonna run through this with you. So first and foremost, I think is really important that you've released the pressure that maybe you're putting on yourself right now to have everything just right for back to school, I'm going to share a story with you really briefly. I remember one year and I don't think it might have been last year that my daughter started school and they didn't have all their school supplies. When they started, I think me and my partner at the time, got their school supplies like a week after they didn't have it. And us part of me was like, oh shoot, like dying, they didn't have their school supplies. But honestly, it wasn't really that big of a deal to me, because I knew that they were going to get them.

Ashley Brown 6:03
And I had to release that pressure. The only reason why I'm sharing that with you is because we can put so much pressure on ourselves to get things just right to have everything just right. And it can cause us to be so stressed during back to school season, to where we are not feeling good, where we don't want to go to these events where we are like, just Can these kids start school already, and that I can get back to how my life was when we are not enjoying the moment sometimes when we have this pressure for things to be perfect or just right. And so I just want for you to know, it's okay. I'm giving you permission to release the pressure, you do the best that you can right now and getting everything prepared. Because honestly, back to school season is a lot to prepare, you know, especially if you have a new child going into school for sure. So if you're feeling pressure, or you're feeling stressed, overwhelmed in this moment, know that you're not alone, but also know that deep breath, everything's going to work itself out at the end of the day, and it's going to be just fine. And this school year is going to be amazing. By the way, I am claiming that I'm claiming that for you. I'm claiming that for me is going to be a beautiful school year. So when it comes to this checklist, let me run through it. So the first thing I want for you to think about because this really deals with your routine. So I'm focused more so on a back to school checklist for your routines, because you haven't routines during the school year is going to be super beneficial for you. I know you probably already know that or you would not be listening to this episode. But it is going to be amazing for you to have routines that you are either establishing or routines are already established and your continuing routines are going to help you get through this school year and to thrive during the school year. And you don't need all of the routines you just need routines are really going to help you to feel supported during the school year.

Ashley Brown 8:05
So the first thing I want you to think about when it comes to your routines during the school year and back to school is which routines are still going strong. Right? Because when we can think about the things or the routines that are going strong, then we can just cancel those out. Right? I want for you to think about what right now which routines did you keep which routines that you hold strong to during this summertime or during the summertime like which routines were that for you? Is your morning routine? So going strong? Is your bedtime routine still going strong? Is your homeschool routine, just going strong, still going strong? Like which routines are still going strong? Is it your exercise routine? Is it your meal planning routine? Which routines are still going strong right now. And if you think about that, then you can cancel out needing to try to think about those things right? You can clear some space in your head. The second thing I want you to think about in terms of this checklist is which routines have gone out the window and need to return. As I said, summertime we get really lackadaisical, which is fine. I don't feel like it's a problem as long as you're getting back on track to the routines that are helping you to thrive. But in the summertime, we let things go some and that's just the nature of it even I do to a certain extent. And so with that being the case which routines have gone out the window that may need to return I know during the summer time, bad time wake up time can be different because camps many times started at a different time. Bedtime were a little bit more chilled, especially depending on how old your children are. So maybe those are some routines that have gone out the window slightly. You're like you know what we need to get back on track with going to bed at 8pm 839 whatever the time is for you and waking up at this time. And getting our morning routine started at this time. So if that's the case, I want you to think about that which routines did go out the window during the summer and which ones need to return and write those down.

Ashley Brown 10:12
I know that for us, one of them that just needs to be a little bit tighter is the well, maybe not, I feel I was thinking the wake up time because bedtime, I've been on it with them for bedtime. I'm like 8pm is the bedtime. That's just it. Like, mommy her time to herself. 8pm is the bedtime. But sometimes in the morning, their mornings can be different depending on what camp they have gone to, because my children, my oldest did change camps throughout the throughout the summer. And so just making sure that we get her back on a routine to wake up at an earlier time is going to be something that I'll be doing in my household. And so you want to think about that for you. What does that look like for you? Next on the checklist is which routines have been edited that may need to be restructured for back to school. So this kind of goes into what I just say earlier, which routines have been edited. Maybe the routine that has been edited is the morning routine, because it's been a later start time. Maybe the routine that has been edited is the bedtime routine, because they didn't need to go to bed super early in order to feel refreshed the next day. So you want to think about which routines have been edited that may need to be restructured. Did you restart? Or did you edit your meal planning routine? And maybe you weren't really super structured with that throughout the summer? But you did some meal planning but it was kind of on a whim or you maybe thought about two meals instead of four to five meals a week? And does that need to be restructured?

Ashley Brown 11:55
The next thing is how will your timing change with back to school? This is one that is really important. So do you need to leave out earlier? Do you need to leave out later? Do you need help with someone dropping off your kids? What time? Are they going to get back home? What time are you going to go for work and pick them up from school to get them back home? Timing is huge when it comes to just feeling as if you feel organized and you feel put together because when timing gets off, we can feel very frazzled. And so it's important to think about how much time will I need in the mornings now for back to school because maybe during the summer time your children were in camp, maybe they supplied the lunch, you didn't have to make lunch is that the same for school? Right? Because maybe for their school, you need to make their lunch. Now you need to factor in a little bit more time to make lunches in the morning when you weren't doing it doing it during the summer. Because that can throw you off if you don't factor that in and you don't take that into consideration. So think about that. How will timing change for you now that you're back to school now that your children are headed back? Will the timing of things change for you? Maybe so maybe not though? I know for us, the timing doesn't change too much. But I will need to make lunch for my youngest again. So that's something that I have to factor into the time again, making her lunch, because I wasn't doing it during the summer. So think about that. Next thing on the checklist is do you have a plan for lunches and meals throughout the week? The only reason why I'm mentioning this is because meal planning can save you so much mental energy. If you just think about which meals you can make throughout the week, it's gonna save you so much mental energy. So do you have a plan for lunches? Do you have a plan for meals throughout the week? One thing that I like to do is I like to write out on a piece of paper lunches that I can make my youngest daughter so that I can just choose. Okay, this one put in her lunchbox today, I'm not thinking about it, I hang that piece of paper on the fridge. I'm not thinking about it. I also do meal planning. I have like a master meal plan list of meals that I like to make meals that are easy to make. And I'll choose about four because we always do like a takeout meal every week. I'll choose like four meals each day. I mean each week, and that really saves me time and mental energy so that I'm not getting into decision fatigue, which can really cause you to feel tired and overwhelmed and stressed. So do you have a plan for lunches and meals? And do you know where you're going to be making your children's lunches and even your lunch for work? Do you know when that's going to be is there going to be at night is that gonna be in the morning? Because you want to factor in that when it comes to an evening routine or when it comes to a morning routine? When are you making lunches? Next on the checklist is in what ways can you be proactive efficient with your time.

Ashley Brown 15:02
This school year, we being proactive. We are not being reactionary. We are being proactive with our time. In which ways can you do that? Some examples for you, getting your clothes out before bed, getting your children's clothes out before bed, even getting your children's clothes out for the entire week and even your clothes for the entire week, putting them on hangers, putting them in the closet, stacking your children's clothes up for the week, including underwears and socks, you know, because we're going into fall season. So with that being the case, can you do things like that? Can you pre make breakfast? Can you prep breakfast? Can you prep dinner? In which ways can you be proactive with your time this year that maybe you weren't last year? You know, because we will tell ourselves I'm gonna do this this year, and then we don't do it. Or we fall off the wagon, which sometimes happens we can jump back on. All good. But thinking about now how can you be proactive with your time? I love to take out my clothes for the week is really simple for me right now. And I'm gonna share more about why that is later. But I like to take out my clothes for the week. And I also like to think about meals. And like, is it a way that I can prep meals? Like pre cut veggies, preseason meats, things like that? Can I make the whole meal stick in the freezer? Like a casserole? Can I make it stick in the freezer is good to go? Pop it out? We're good. Last but not least on the checklist is what time? Have you been going to bed? And can you start to move that up little by little. I know I kind of touched on this earlier. But that's one that I think is really important to highlight is the bedtime. Because not having a good and decent bedtime and not having a bedtime routine can really affect your energy levels. So this is really crucial, especially when it comes to you and your kids, you and your children. If you've gotten really far like if you are going to bed during the school year at like at 8pm. And now your children have been going to bed at 930. That's a big stretch. So can you incrementally start to inch your way back to 8pm. It doesn't have to be all in one fell swoop. You know, if they've been going to bed at 930. Don't put them to bed at eight, the girl they're not going to be it at eight, you're not going to bed at night you will be a rumbling, acting, acting a fool. So don't do that. incrementally take it back, little by little every two days, 15 minutes, take it back until you get back to the time that you want your children or yourself to go to bed. That's really helpful. So think about that. That bedtime is crucial because I want you to have good energy this year, I want for you to be getting your rest getting your proper sleep, having the energy to be able to live your life with joy and ease and peace and calm and groundedness and all the beautiful things. All right. So that's the checklist. Hopefully that was helpful for you.

Ashley Brown 18:03
You know, I like to keep these episodes really short and sweet. Remember that the routine and things planner comes back September 25. I'm super excited about it. You can learn all about it at routine and things.com. I even have a routine blog training video for you that is absolutely free for you to watch and learn about the planning method inside of the routine and things planner that is absolutely amazing in helping you to feel as if you are organizing yourself in a way that makes sense. And that's realistic, and that's doable. So learn about that routine and things.com forward slash plan the routine and things planner is back September 25. Let your family your friends know. And that's it for this episode, I am super excited that you were able to join me it's gonna be a great season, we have a lot coming up, I have a lot of things I want to share, I've gone through a transition that I will be sharing about soon. And also I'm going to be having my bestie come on and share her experience about routines and how they have helped her in her life, which is going to be just such a beautiful episode. I'm really, really excited about it. And so stay tuned. One thing that is new as well with the podcasts that you can become a premium subscriber for only $5 a month. That is to open up episodes to really dive into episodes that will help you take action and also episodes that share more about the like inside look into my life. And so if you would like to be a premium subscriber, you can do so. So that is there for you. Thank you again for joining. I'm happy to be back. Like I said, this is the final season. So stay tuned. And until next time, continue to enjoy wherever you are, whatever you're doing, girl, Stay happy, and I'll talk to you next week. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed today's episode, take a screenshot and share it on social I would love to know you're listening and for tools to help you start maintain and enjoy your routines. Be sure to head to routine and things.com. Here's to staying happy.

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