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How to get organised for back to school – minus the overwhelm! [FREE checklist]

By January 20, 2019October 21st, 2019No Comments
kids back to school

It’s back to school time! Again!

Enter the tantrums. The tears. The turmoil.

Do I have to go back? What did I do to deserve this? Why meee?

And that’s just from you! Bwahaha!

Add into the mix your kids’ hesitations and eye-rolls and you have a recipe for disaster!

Without a plan, going back to school can quickly become a stressful and overwhelming experience, for EVERYONE.

No matter how many times you’ve told yourself, you’re going to get better next year and be more organised, the truth remains: Organising yourself, your kids, and your husband (sorry babe – it had to be said!) is difficult!

But this year’s going to be different.

This is the year you’re stepping into the most organised version of yourself.

And this time around, you’re equipped with my Ultimate Back To School Checklist!

No more morning madness.

No more tears or tantrums over forgotten lunches or late assignments.

No more unnecessary stress or loss of sanity.

Before you raise the alarms and throw that tantrum of your own, take a deep breath, download my Ultimate Back To School Checklist and start by taking ONE step at a time.

Here’s 5 steps you should take to have a streamlined and stress-free start to the school year.



Getting clear about the big-picture logistics for the year is one of the first things that I really enjoy doing, as I know once I’m clear about logistics, everything else becomes easier. Who will be responsible for the morning drop off and the afternoon pick up? What before school and after school activities are on each day of the week? I use the Life Sorted app to keep everyone in the loop about what’s going on. If anything changes, I use in-app notifications and event chat to update my family in real time about changes to our afternoon routine, without having to send multiple messages to everyone involved.


Using an app like Life Sorted to record upcoming events for the entire year will help you have a smooth start to the year and ensure your sanity stays in place year-round. The first thing you need to do is set up the school terms in Life Sorted. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do this. Next, you’ll need to add all events for the year into your calendar. This includes school and life events like parent-teacher interviews, school term dates, school excursions and camps, sports training, dance lessons, birthdays, and even due dates for school fees. For each event, you can choose to either invite other family members or simply notify them about events. Say goodbye to excursions being sprung on you the night before or your husband conveniently working the night of the parent-teacher interviews! If you also use Google or Outlook calendar, you can easily sync your Google calendar or Outlook calendar to Life Sorted too.  


We’ve all experienced the mad dash to the shops to purchase a costume for book week, art materials or gifts. Planning ahead will help you to avoid this. Do tasks that you know are time-taxing or stressful – such as contacting books – ahead of time so you’re not rushed and stressed by it. P.S I actually LOVE contacting books and highly recommend this hilarious (and simple!) book contacting tutorial.


Exiting the house on time can seem impossible some mornings, especially if you haven’t established or fine-tuned your morning routine. It’s important to reflect on your morning routine at the beginning of each year as the commitments of each family member changes and more activities always seem to be added into the mix! As your children get older, remember they’re able to help with organising themselves, contribute to household duties and take responsibility for their own schedule.


Finding your unique family rhythm is something that is always evolving. It’s okay and completely normal to have teething problems when new processes are introduced into your family routines. It’s important to remain flexible and understanding while routines are being re-calibrated for the new year. For example, maybe you always do the pick ups on certain days but this year you’re doing the drop offs. It takes time for you and your loved ones to adjust. Remember to identify and lean on your support circles such as grandparents, neighbours, after-school car and establish relationships with people who will support you and your family during busy periods. Developing unique family rituals such as roast lunch at the grandparents place on the weekend, hitting the markets, or no work weekends are great ways to maintain connection amidst the madness of the working week.


Stress-free School Year

Well it’s almost time. While I unfortunately can’t extend your holiday, I can certainly give you a few ideas about how to keep your holiday vibe for longer and I hope this article has shown you how to sail smoothly and effortlessly into the school year like the organised legend you are!

Here’s to a smooth and stress-free school year!

Jo xo

Jo Burgess

Jo is the creator of Life Sorted, one of the highest rated family organizers on the app stores. She’s proud to be helping thousands of families live a happier life together, by giving them a way to keep their family’s events, birthdays, to-dos, shopping lists and reminders in one place.

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