back to school checklist

Print The Ultimate Back-To-School Checklist

Welcome to Day 1 of the Organized Home Back-to-School Countdown

In spite of long and lazy summer days, a new school year is on the horizon. To be ready for the first day of school, there are lists to make and appointments to keep, paperwork to be processed and shopping to be done.

Track them all with this printable back-to-school checklist. Free for the printing, it'll help you tick off back-to-school tasks and get organized for a new school year.

Join the Back-to-School Countdown

Welcome to the Back-to-School Countdown!

Whatever the format--home school, online or in-person--a new school year is on the horizon. Time to prepare for back to school, with the Organized Home Back-to-School Countdown.

Beginning Monday, August 2, we'll take two weeks to get organized, gear up and get ready to start a new school year from an organized home.

Following an ultimate back-to-school checklist, the Back-to-School Countdown includes weekday reminders, free printables and inspiring articles to help you prepare for the first day of school.

get ready for back to school

Do It Now: Tips To Get Ready for Back To School

Move over, summer--a new school year is coming! With the start of school, families face new organization challenges. 

School bells ring--and so do early-morning alarm clocks. Paper piles swell as hand-outs and homework stream into the house. Shorter autumn days bring a hectic round of sports, activities and events, and calendars fill with cryptic notes. Can the holidays be far behind?

Get organized now for the best school year ever! Use these ideas to prepare your home and family for the busy days ahead.

Summer Cooking Tips

Summer Cooking Tips: Cool Off In The Kitchen

Who can imagine summer without summer food? Steaming corn-on-the-cob, each kernel bursting with sweet flavor. Burgers and barbecue. Ice cream sundaes. The crisp red smile of a watermelon wedge, dripping with sweet juice.

There's a darker side to summer meals. Food budgets groan under the strain of substituting quick-cook steaks and chicken breasts for thrifty stove-top casseroles. 

Ravenous children make the refrigerator door thump-thump-thump like a dog's tail. Catch-as-catch-can mealtimes, eaten on the run, substitute convenience for nutritional value. 

Cut Energy Use

Chill Out! Cut Energy Use in Refrigerator and Freezer

With power bills on the rise--and hot weather just around the corner--it's time for an energy-saving tune up for your refrigerator and freezer.

Keeping food fresh while conserving energy can bring a helpful boost to the strained food budget.

Try these tips to minimize energy use and save money on groceries.

Fill the freezer, but give the fridge some air

The freezer works most efficiently when packed as full as possible. Need to fill in some space? Tuck extra ice for cold drinks or cold-packs for summer picnics into any empty space in the freezer.

Summer Chore Cleaning Checklist

Summer Cleaning Chore Checklist

Summer's here, hot, high and sweaty. Vacations beckon. The garden takes on a life of its own.

Busy families don't have much time for home chores these months. School's out, travel's in and it's easy to let life slide on the home front.  

These weeks will run more smoothly if you keep tabs on these important areas in the Summer Cleaning Chore Checklist.  This summer cleaning chore checklist list tackles hot-weather issues, summer health and safety.

House & Holidays Plan

House & Holidays Plan Week 18: New Year's Week

All good times must end; with the arrival of New Year's Eve, it's time to wrap up the House and Holidays Plan and move into an organized New Year.

In the coming week, we'll tie up the season's loose ends, make New Year's resolutions, prepare to store holiday decor, and set the stage for next year's celebration.

See you next year!

This Week's Focus: New Year's

Ring in the New Year this week, then make a good start toward an organized Christmas next year. 

Tips for a calm Christmas

Christmas Calm: 10 Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

Sure, you love the holiday season--but just not so much of it! This year, you're hoping to cut the crazy out of Christmas: to trim the celebration back to one that is sustainable and calm.

Question is, just how do you do less--and enjoy it more--during the Christmas holiday season?

If you're aiming to simplify Christmas, take time to ponder ways to cut stress, save money and tame over-the-top traditions. Setting simplicity strategies in place early will keep you from being swept up in holiday madness.  Try these ideas: