The REAL Back to School Checklist

School starts tomorrow and Pinterest is on fiiiiiire with helpful back to school checklists, morning routine printables, ah-may-zing lunch tips, and the cutest teacher gift ideas you've ever seen. (Seriously, what sort of brown noser brings a teacher a gift on the first day of school?)

Last night I overheard a bunch of moms talking about how much they had to do before school started. They were sooooooooooooooooooo busy. I looked at my calendar. I've got absolutely nothing on there for this week (other than RUN AROUND THE EMPTY HOUSE NAKED for all day Thursday). I wondered what I was forgetting to do.

I decided to hit Pinterest and find a back to school checklist to help me get a bit more organized. Once I stopped laughing at Grumpy Cat memes, I got down to business and found a checklist to help me.

This list had lots of helpful suggestions like:


Oh shit. Didn't school get out like 2 months ago?? I was supposed to do stuff over the summer for this year? That doesn't really seem fair.

Schedule doctor visits and physicals.

Right. I'll call tomorrow and see if there is a cancellation we can have.

Bring required forms to the doctor and fill prescriptions.

I can't very well check this off since I don't have an appointment yet. Sheesh. Cut me some slack.

Sign up for fall sports and after school activities.

My kids recently decided that they are homebodies. The apples don't fall far from the tree, I guess. So, I'll go ahead nix this one.


Sort through fall clothing and donate what no longer fits.

I did this already!! Boom! It's actually a good thing I didn't do this 6 weeks ago, because at that point Adolpha still fit those clothes. She had a major growth spurt 2 weeks ago and outgrew everything. Gomer doesn't look much bigger than he did last year. I'm sure he'll be fine. Besides all he wears are swishy shorts with elastic waistbands. We all know those are the yoga pants of 9 year old boys and it's almost impossible to outgrow them.

Sit down with your planner and write in the entire school calendar.

This is hilarious. Like I have a "planner." I've got a Post-It Note on my computer screen with a few important dates, most notably: SCHOOL STARTS THURSDAY! DON'T BE LATE!


Purchase backpack, lunchboxes, and water bottles for each child.

Why? Did they outgrow that shit or something? They can use last year's stuff.

Purchase school supplies.

Did it! It was fairly painless this year. Nothing too crazy on the list. Unlike some of my friends who had to shop from "green" supply lists this year. Who knows what a Planetbox is or where to buy eco-friendly markers? Not me. I live in Kansas where my kids attend a school where Ziploc bags and Clorox wipes are on the list. Twice.

Check progress on summer reading and math packets.

Nailed it. My kids do schoolwork every day during the summer. Not because I'm a Tiger Mom, but because Hubs is a Wolf Dad. So, I guess I can't take credit for this one.


Create an "organization station" in a convenient location by the door.

Whoever made this list is adorable. Isn't "organization station" just a fancy word for "the kitchen counter where everyone drops their shit"?


Start getting kids back on their bedtime routine. 

OK, I'm working on it. Last week we were on vacation and the kids stayed up a few hours past their bedtime. I'm deprogramming them starting tonight. I'm going to put them to bed at 5 PM. That should make up for the last few nights.

Get a schedule for the babysitter so you have time in your schedule to work out, run errands, have a date night or girls' night out.

Hold on. Are you telling me that there are women out there who not only pay to workout, but they also pay a babysitter while they're working out? That thought depresses me so much I want to go eat ice cream. I should call a sitter, so I can go alone.


Haircuts for everyone.

I did this one! Well, just Gomer got a haircut. Adolpha is growing her hair out. This reminds me that I should call and get me an appointment now that I've got all day to while away at the salon. I'll put up a Post-It Note to remind myself.

Make a "favorite foods" list for each of your children. Make a note of what they like best so you can get these items at the store. 

If I only bought their favorite foods, they'd survive on Oreos and Veggie Straws. No, I won't be consulting the kids on this one.

Stock up on the lunch basics like juice, napkins, sandwich bags, and snacks.

I've got the snacks part covered. We might end up wiping our hands on our shirts, but we never run out of Goldfish.

Purchase homework supplies like pencils, markers, crayons, etc.

Ha! You call yourself organized? I'm already ahead of you. I bought a shitload of 25 cent crayons 3 weeks ago when I was buying school supplies! Get your helpful checklist sorted, lady. You just sent me to the store twice for something that could have been done in one trip.


Plan meals for the week of school.

Ummm ... how is this different than what I've already been doing? Did everyone else stop planning meals for the summer?

Go grocery shopping.

Didn't I do that last week when I stocked up on juice, snacks, etc.? Again, this is another needless trip to the store just to pad this list. Also, I grocery shop every week whether school is in session or not, so this one is kind of lame.

Make sure that your camera is full charged and ready for first day photos.

This is the Hubs' job. I will nag him to make sure this is done, because I might look like an underachiever, but I will cut someone if I don't get fabulous first day of school pictures.


Do the Underpants Dance.

Oh wait. That's not on the list. It should be.

Prepare lunches and snacks for the first day.

Yeah, I'm kind of tired from doing all of the grocery shopping and menu planning, so I think the kids will just buy lunch that day.

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Mommykinz said...

A boy in my daughter's class (now a sophomore) brought a "Happy First Day of Fall" gift to their teacher in 3rd grade. To this day the kids in class wish in a happy first day of fall every year!

Jennifer Hansen said...

"Organization Station". Yeah right. That has never happened and never will happen.

Meg said...

My organization station is exactly the same as yours!! Love it!

KCmomof2 said...

Gold Star for me because I actually DID the organization station this year. Of course my kids are now 5th and 6th grade and this is the first year I have had one but I didn't even need a list to tell me. We were just having our family meeting on Sunday and I complimented my kids at how good they had done keeping their pool towels and flip flops out of the dining room this summer per my first week of summer rant at our family meeting so I hoped we could do the same with backpacks. I mentioned I would like a "mudroom" type set up near the back door and DH seized on the idea. 15 minutes later the whole family was in the car to Bed Bath and Beyond and we are the proud owners of an organization station complete with backpack hooks for a mere $125. Too bad there isn't a way to upload a pic in the comments here because I would totally show it off!

mspice3 said...

Is there a black star? I get that because I've had to make 3 trips to town since school started on August 4th (yes, August 4th) to get my 10th grader binders and paper etc...I've failed miserably this year, brought home graph paper instead of college ruled, the wrong pencils... With one that just finished college, one getting ready to start college and this one that is a sophomore in high school, I'm kind of living in the lame duck parent mode ;)

Unknown said...

I want to know where you all live that you get supply lists BEFORE school starts? We don't even know who our teachers are going to be until the Wednesday before school starts, nevermind what folderol they are each requesting as a "Voluntary Donation". You know, the shit your kid needs to show up with on day 2 or he/she will become "that kid".

I convinced #1 to keep his backpack and lunch bag from last year, though he could use a new lunch bag. #2 and #3 got new backpacks (shredded fabric anyone?), but I draw the line at buying new lunch bags for them. We have a cabinet full of lunch bags to choose from. It's bad enough they have just suddenly and magically grown their feet enough that the shoes they've been wearing without complaint for several months are now pinch-y, poke-y, and hole-y and MUST be replaced before school starts. Dudes, I don't get paid until AFTER school starts. Besides, you know damn well you'd pick something nice (and cheap), then get to school and have your ass handed to you for wearing what you picked. Check out the other kids, make me laugh my ass off at your request for $200 Nike sneaks, then sullenly accompany me to Target to find a cheap knock-off for still-more-than-I-want-to-pay-but-will-because-it's -better-than-$200.

Come on kids, this isn't your first time. Besides, I need those shoe boxes for my "organization station".

Anonymous said...

Muuuuuah! LOL! I so needed this - again, thank you for being so beautifully human!

Unknown said...

"Sort through clothing": just did that last night, because jeans are 40% off at Target this week!

"Go through your planner": I'd love to, since I know when our curriculum nights are, but the school district doesn't send out our calendars (yes, we're lucky!) AFTER school has already begun.

"Purchase school supplies": why would I purchase school supplies until the week or two before school starts, which is when then they go on sale? And why does an 8th grader need a $90 calculator anyway?

"Check progress on summer reading": although I always have my kids read and go on a school recommended math website, this is the first year there was actual homework assigned. And it's horrible. Not just 'pick a book from this list and write a report' but 'create a Facebook site for a character with 10 posts' (why do I want my 8th grader on Facebook if she hasn't asked for it?) or 'write 6 letters between characters'. Boo.

"Back to bedtime"; yeah, that's real. And I need to do it YESTERDAY.

Unknown said...

Our school supply lists are on the school website! Target also had them at the school supply area...

Michelle Grewe said...

There are moms out there who do that stuff, and when I run into them, given I haven't done most of that list, but I'll still be like, "yeah, well we do hair cuts around the end of the school year for summer, so they have shorter hair for the sweaty hot days." The only reason that's checked off the list is because I usually get the kids hair cut at the same time, and my hairdresser is a girl I used to work with in high school and we've been friends all these years, and last May, I realized since the last time we got anybody's hair cut, me being longer, my hairdresser since got knocked up, gave birth, and taught her baby to walk.

Unknown said...

I have to admit I went to the Planetbox site and kind of wanted one... Until I saw the price. Wtf?

Sarcasm and Sass Mom said...

Some of the back to school lists kill me. Or the lunchbox idea posts where they post pictures of food shaped like cartoon characters. LMAO. guess what i won't be doing at 6:40am while i make lunch? Our "organization station" consisted of me pulling a new pack of mechanical pencils out of my stash and putting them in his desk drawer.

Sarcasm and Sass Mom said...

I start buying mine in july. That's when staples/office depot/walgreens start the good weekly sales.

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