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Get Organized for Back To School

This is a guest post by Marian Hyland. Marian Hyland writes about family life at Cozi.com. Cozi is a free web service that helps families manage crazy schedules, track shopping and to do lists, organize household chores, stay in communication and share memories - all in one place. Get ready for back to school with Cozi!

As we slip into the last days of summer, some families are lamenting the end of summer fun, and others are counting the days until the kids get back to school. Either way, the school year is nearly upon us, and it's time to regroup for the new season.

To Do Lists: Create a master "to do" list based on your family's specific needs and schedules. It's time to figure out when football practices start, which bus your son will take to high school, and who's going to be in your daughter's carpool to kindergarten. Without a list of all these important tasks, it's impossible to keep track. Having a master list also allows you to check off the completed items so that you can realize all you've accomplished!

School Supplies: Most schools issue supply lists on their school web sites by early July, and shopping early can ensure that you don't have to see empty shelves where the magic markers or lunch boxes used to be. You can also take advantage of the back-to-school sales if you shop early, which is always a bonus, especially if you have multiple kids to shop for!

School Clothes: Chances are that your kids have grown over the summer, and the jeans from last year now end around mid-calf. Help your kids go through their closets and drawers to see what they need. Fortunately, most stores offer back-to-school sales, so back-to-school shopping doesn't have to break your bank.

Scheduling: Figuring out buses, carpools, before and after-school child care and extracurricular activities for each kid can be a daunting task, but using a good family calendar can simplify life significantly. Entering all the upcoming activities and events into your family calendar will help you get organized, and it will also help you see where the conflicts are.

So, enjoy the last days of summer, but don't forget find some prep time for the season ahead. Heading back to school takes a little effort and planning, but the time spent now is well worth if it helps to get your family get off to a good start in the new school year.
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