Episode 056: Tips for Back to School - Part 3

Episode Transcription

Have you implemented any of the tips from the previous episodes? If yes, send Diana a DM or leave a review because we’d love to hear how it helped!

Are you interested in joining our giveaway? Click the link below for more information and how to enter.

Back-to-School Giveaway: Click Here to Enter

This is the final episode in our 3-part Back to School series. Diana shares more practical and stress-free strategies to help make weekdays easier.

Tips in this episode:

  • Batch baking for the week
  • Pick out all your child's outfits for the week on Sunday to help with decision fatigue and searching for items in the morning
  • Fill up your gas tank and clean out your car on Sundays
  • Do a brain release when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. Find more details on Ep009: Power of Brain Release
  • Checklists! Click Here to get Diana's kids' checklists 

What can you expect from this podcast and future episodes?

  • 15-20 minute episodes to help you tackle your to-do list
  • How to declutter in an effective and efficient way
  • Guest interviews
  • Deep dives on specific topics 

Find Diana Rene on social media:
Instagram: @the.decluttered.mom
Facebook: @the.decluttered.mom
Pinterest: @DianaRene

Are you ready for a peaceful and clutter-free home? Watch my FREE training video "Kiss Clutter Goodbye" to learn how it's possible! And find all of my resources here.

This transcript is auto-generated. Please excuse grammatical errors.

Diana Rene: 

You're listening to The Decluttered Mom Podcast. A podcast built specifically for busy moms by a busy mom. I'm your host, Diana Renee, and in 2017, I had my second daughter, and it felt like I was literally drowning in my home. Okay, not literally. But I felt like I couldn't breathe with all of the stuff surrounding me. Over the next ten months, I got rid of approximately 70% of our household belongings, and I have never looked back. I kind of feel like I hacked the mom system, and I'm here to share all the tips, tricks, and encouragement. Let's listen to today's show. 

Welcome to another episode of the decluttered mom podcast. I am excited because we are on episode three of the three part back to school tips for busy mom series, and I've gotten a lot of great feedback on the first two episodes and everything that you guys are starting to implement and how it's helping and working in your home, and that is like the best thing ever. It's always, always, always so wonderful to hear from you when something clicks for you and you try it in your own home and it works really well, and that's why I'm here. That is why I'm doing this podcast every week, doing free content for you every single week, because I want to be able to help you just make life easier as a busy mom. And so don't forget, we do have a giveaway going right now for this three part series. You can enter up to three times. So that is what I'm trying to say, and my brain is not cooperating with my mouth but you can enter three times, one for each episode in this three part series. It's very simple to enter, so make sure that you check that out. But let's just jump right into today's tips.

Okay, so tip number one for today is to batch cook some things. I guess it should not be batch cook, but batch bake before school starts, and what I like to do is I and I am behind on this, this is something that I actually need to kind of get my butt moving on, but I really like baking, like mini muffins. Okay, hold on, I did not say that I do not love baking. I like batching these before school. I loathe baking. I am not a baker, I don't really like cooking, and but this is just something that has made things easier for me If I can batch a bunch of mini muffins. My favorite is like the zucchini banana muffins Like you can't taste the zucchini in them. I'm going to try. My friend Carly from Debt Free Mom was telling me about these lentil muffins that you can't really taste the lentils in, so I'm going to try those two. But I just batch cook a bunch or batch bake a bunch of those and then cool them off and then I store them in the freezer. That way I can just pull them out either for part of breakfast or part of lunch and it's just an easy way to add a like protein full, protein full is that a word? No, full of protein muffin into lunch or breakfast when I don't either have something planned or I just want some variety. If you're going to make these with kids, I have a tip for you, especially if you are someone who does not enjoy the baking process Just to make it less messy and less stressful pre-measure all of the ingredients and just put them in separate bowls or containers and have them ready out on the table or the counter for when your kids start to help, so they can help by like pouring them in and mixing and all of that, but like the actual measuring part, for whatever reason, would raise my blood pressure when I went up right, had my kids help me measure things, and this just is less messy and it's less stressful and it just works a lot better.

Okay, so number two is to either have your kids do this or you for them pick out their outfits for the whole week, for all five days, monday through Friday on Sunday, and that feels like a little a lot of work maybe, but it's not. When you are like in their closet looking through their clothes, it's much easier to just grab five outfits all at once and put them somewhere for the kids to grab in the morning, and it also greatly reduces morning like chaos when it comes to clothes, whether they don't know what they want to wear or they can't find the shirt that they wanted to wear or like, or it's dirty, it's in the laundry, but that was what they were supposed to wear today, like all of those things. Right, it gets rid of all of that because on Sunday you just pick all five days. We also do all accessories or like underwear, socks, what shoes they're gonna wear, if they're gonna wear a necklace or a bracelet or a hair bow or whatever. We make sure that we pick all of that on Sunday so that we know it's there If you live in a climate that you're not really sure what the weather's gonna be, then put layers out, so put a T-shirt, but also put a jacket with it or a hoodie or something like that, because that way you can make sure that you get this done on Sunday and you don't let that stop you, because there's really no reason for that to stop you. There are a couple of different ways that you can organize this. When my kids were really little, I had like a hanging organizer. That was it's like those cloth, like fabric structured organizers and I would use those and it would just like I wrote Monday on one, I wrote Tuesday on one, and so that was really easy. As they've gotten older, it's honestly just easier to hang them up. So I just hang the outfits up in a row. They know that this is where Monday starts, so this is what they're wearing the next day, tuesday. My girls, at this point, 90% of the time, pick out their own outfits, and so they do it. They know on Sundays they're supposed to. If they don't, I remind them and it's good to go, but every now and then I will just do it to get it taken care of and make sure on Sunday with them. Is this okay? Does this work? Just if they have a lot going on or they're extra tired or anything like that, then I just kind of do it, but I make sure on Sunday that the outfits work or if there's anything else they wanna switch out. That way we can limit frustration and potential disagreements in the busy morning time.

Okay, so tip number three is, if you have a car and you drive your kids to school and then you go wherever you need to go after that, make sure that you fill up your gas tank and clean out your car on Sundays. This has really been something that's been really helpful for me to just start the week fresh. There's nothing more frustrating than thinking like oh, I know, I'm really low on gas, I'll just do that. Like I'll get up early 15 minutes, I'll go do it before we have to get to school. And then, like, getting in the car and realizing that you have to get gas, not my thing, like not a fun thing. I have been there. It's stressful and it almost always happens when you're running late that morning and it's just not fun. So now, even if my gas tank is not empty, I just go fill it up on Sundays to make sure that we are starting the week off fresh. While I'm at the gas station, I empty our trash cans that we have in the car. I grab any other loose things a water bottle, whatever and I toss it in the trash at the gas station and then when I get home, I just make sure everything is out. So are there school papers that never made it inside, or is there two sweatshirts in the back that never made it inside? Just grab all the things and put them where they're supposed to go and start the week off fresh. If you wanna do extra credit, then vacuum it, go through the car, wash all of that, but for me the biggest thing is just making sure that the car is emptied out and the gas tank is filled up.

For tip number four, that is to do a brain release, and this is not like at a specific time. I think it's really helpful to do one before school starts, but really anytime during school that you are starting to feel a little overwhelmed or you're starting to forget things. That is like a sign that a brain release needs to happen. If you don't know what a brain release is, then I have an episode about it that we will link in the show notes below. But that goes through the entire process of what the brain release is and how helpful it is, but especially with the craziness of back to school season. And tip number five is the power of checklists. Checklists are a game changer in our home. I personally use three different checklists during back to school season just to help manage our daily routine and make sure things are not forgotten and everything is where it's supposed to go. And these are things that the kids are mostly responsible for, and so, again, it's giving them ownership of it, it's giving them responsibility and it's fun for them because they get a little clipboard, they get a dry erase marker and they get to check things off as they go. So it's like a fun thing for kids. I have these checklists actually as a freebie for you guys If you wanna grab them. They'll also be linked in the show notes, but we just have these printed before the start of the year and then I put them in like a sheet protector so that way then we can use dry erase markers on it so they can check them and then they can be erased and we can use it throughout the year. So the three checklists are a do not forget checklist and after school checklist and an evening checklist. So the do not forget checklist the first one, this is a checklist that is, we just literally tape it to the door that we walk through to go to leave for school in the morning and this is the things that your kids have to bring with them every day to school. So what we do is when we're about to walk through the door, I just read off the checklist and it's things like backpack and they have to say check, and I say water bottle check, lunchbox check. And then, like I have different days, so like Mondays, pe day, do you have your PE shoes check. And I cannot tell you, guys, even though we do so much to prepare for the mornings, at least once a week one of them is like oh, I gotta go get that, and so they go run and grab it. And so what this has done is it has allowed us to cut back on them forgetting things that they need for school, meaning to bring them to school or them just going without and having it be like a frustrating thing for them that they forgot. So it's just a good way to not forget things, and if I was working in an office. I would do this for myself also. So if you are working out of the home in an office setting, I would do this for yourself too, so that you can make sure that you have it, and it also kind of sets the example for them. They can see like, oh, mom does it too, and it's like a extra cool thing. Another is the after school checklist. So this is the one that they have on clipboards. They have two checklists on their clipboards and they're just. They each have one clipboard, but the checklists are just underneath each other, and so the after school one is just all of the different things that they need to do right when they walk in the door. So for us that's like put backpacks on the hook, coat on the hooks, empty your lunchbox and put it back in the cupboard, put your water bottle in the sink, put your shoes away, put Well gosh, I'm blinking Take off clothes, put them in the laundry basket and change, because that's something that we started post. When was that? No, that was when my oldest was in kindergarten. The pediatrician actually recommended doing that because my oldest was in kindergarten, so she was getting sick all the time, which meant we also were getting sick all the time, and the pediatrician said that with her own kids. She always requires them to change right when they walk in the door and wash their hands, and she said sometimes, even in the winter, she has them shower right when they walk in the door too. So we did that for a while. It got a little too too overwhelming right after school. So now the rule is that they have to change and wash their hands really well as part of their after-school checklist, just to hopefully cut down on bringing sick germs into the house and all of that. So again, they just check these off as they go. And then there's the evening checklist. These are just things that they need to be responsible for for the morning. So backpack by door, water bottle filled, and then I have my own right. So like lunchbox packed. So like all of the things that we need to do in the evening that are going to set up our mornings that we've talked about in previous episodes. So those are the checklists. Again, don't forget that you can get like a sample checklist on the show notes. I have a link that you can grab those.

But this has been the three-part series, you guys. I could go on and on and on. I could probably have like a 40-part series on the things that you can do in your home, but I don't want to overwhelm you. That's the opposite of what I want to do. I would just take one, two, maybe three things from this series and just start doing them and see how it starts to shift things. As always, I will always tell you that decluttering is number one. That is going to be the most major thing. That's going to help you in your home, and all of these things are easier if your space is already decluttered, but it's still going to be helpful to do them even if you have not gone through the decluttering process. Like having these after-school checklists is going to still be helpful for you, even if you haven't gone through that process, and so I hope this is helpful.

Please, if you post in your stories about where you're watching the podcast I love that Tag me and let me know. Let me know what tips you're going to be using. And don't forget to enter the giveaway, because that we're going to do a random drawing for that and someone is going to win $300 for just whatever you need for back to school. This is fun. I hope it was helpful for you and we will see you on next week's episode. 

Thanks for hanging out and listening to The Decluttered Mom Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean the world if you could write a review or share this episode with a friend or your Instagram stories, and if you're on Instagram, be sure to follow me at the dot decluttered dot mom and send me a DM to say hi.

I'd love to hear what you thought about today's episode. I hope you'll come back next week and hang out with us again.