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Back to School: life hacks, tips, and tricks for getting back into a routine

Published: Aug. 26, 2019 at 6:57 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Transitioning from summer break to a new school year can be tough on the whole family. Sometimes finding that “perfect” routine and getting organized can be daunting, but one local mom has some tips.

Donna Garget works full time, owns a life coaching business, and runs a non-profit. She is also a mom of two, a wife, and a dog owner. Her motto is “strive for progress, not perfection.”

Donna has systems into place that work for her family. She says it’s trial and error to find what works for you, but she has some tips to get back into the swing of things for the new school year that are not only efficient, but budget friendly:

Grocery shop in bulk and plan meals. Donna makes a grocery lists and shops once a week. She then prepares snacks for each day at one time then her daughters pick out what they want and pack their lunches for the day. It’s gives the girls independence and is a learning moment for the whole family.

“We enjoy talking about healthy eating and monitoring our portion sizes, so it helps in a lot of different areas,” says Donna.

Donna even works ahead and writes notes to put into the girls’ lunchboxes each morning.

Donna even works ahead and writes notes to put into the girls’ lunchboxes each morning....
Donna even works ahead and writes notes to put into the girls’ lunchboxes each morning. (source: Donna Garget)

Put the technology away at night. Donna’s 8-year-old daughter, Bella, came up with the idea of a technology station. Every time at the same time, the iPhones and iPads are set on a table in the living room area to charge for the night.

“I know a lot of parents are struggling with shifting from summertime where they were maybe on YouTube or other things so we learned last year that we need to take away the technology at the evenings so now we have a charging station at night so they don’t take them to their bedrooms,” says Donna.

Setup a bedtime routine. Decide as a family what time the children are going to bed. Studies have shown sleep is important for productivity in children so going to bed at the same time each night and getting in a routine will help children be successful in the classroom.

Have a planner or calendar. This is key to organization. Donna has an office space that doubles as an organization center for her daughters. A planner is useful to know what appointments, meetings, games, etc. are when and where. Keep it in a space where the kids and see what’s going on for the week which will help keep them organized and help accountable for their own activities as well.

Have a designated place for book bags and lunchboxes. Establishing a “command center” will teach structure and organization to children. You can put decorative bins for each child to store school related items that way in the morning, it’s not a mad dash to find everything while trying to run out the door.

Those are just a few things you can do to start the school year on the right foot.

Donna is a life coach with a psychology background and applies what she teaches her clients to her own life. She owns her own business, RESET Life Consultant, and works to provide parenting strategies that are affordable and effective.

Overall, Donna says you have to find what works for you and your family. It’s trial and error bases and once you find it, it’s not set in stone.

“As parents we have to forgive ourselves and realize that different things come up and the also preparing our children for that too," says Donna.

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