It always amazes me how fast the summer months fly by. We're rounding the corner on July and that means that for many of us, a new school year is just around the corner. Since I'm a planner, I like to think ahead of what I can do to help transition into the more demanding schedule of a new school year.
Today I'm sharing with you four things I like to do to help prepare for a new school year. Whether you homeschool or not, I think you'll find these ideas helpful.
#1 Make Freezer MealsThis is, by far, the biggest help I can give myself when it comes to starting a new school year. We all know that once school starts, schedules can get hectic in a hurry, so why not ease the pain a bit and have some ready made meals for your family. (I've also done freezer meals ahead of time when I anticipated that we might be expecting a new little one into our family. Since I deal with morning sickness quite badly, having meals ready to go for my family was a tremendous help when fatigue and nausea tried to get the best of me.)
So, to help with the new fall school schedule, I become very intentional in my freezer meal making during the month of August.
Personally, I don't like to set aside a whole day for freezer cooking. It completely overwhelms me (and my budget). Instead, what I prefer to do is add the meals that I plan to freeze into my regular meal plan and simply double or triple them. That way I have one meal for that evening and another meal or two for the freezer.
Here are some great options for freezer meals.
Unburgers (to turn this into a freezer meal simply brown some ground beef ahead of time.)
Honey Glazed Chicken (add rice when ready to serve)
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Creamy Butternut Squash and Sausage Soup
Crockpot recipes can be a lifesaver (if you've planned ahead) and what's even better is if you have frozen meals that you simply add to the crockpot and let cook all day. My kind of life. Here are 225+ recipe ideas to get you started. And here is a link for Crockpot Freezer Cooking: 12 meals + a printable shopping list.
#2 Back to School CleaningI know that once the school year starts it will be hard for me to keep up with cleaning around our home. I'm lucky to get the basics done let alone any type of deep cleaning. I feel better if I take some time to do some extra cleaning before the school year starts because chances are, I won't have time to do some of those things again until spring break and possibly even the following summer!
#3 DeclutterThis is a big one for me. It's almost like I go into nesting mode like I do right before I have another baby. The last month of summer I find myself with a renewed vigor to declutter because, again, I'm not going to have time for that once the school year is upon us. I feel better mentally if there is a bit of "white space" in our home and we're not feeling like the stuff is caving in around us.
Plus, I don't know about you, but I find myself getting mentally bogged down when I constantly see stuff laying around that isn't put away. Less stuff to begin with means less stuff to clean up!
#4 Get OrganizedWhatever you have left after your de-cluttering stage, find a place for it. Since we homeschool, if I have things organized and simplified around our home, it helps us know where things are during the school day and we stop wasting time trying to find certain things.
Personally, I think our family functions better in an organized environment. Don't get me wrong. I'm your average homemaker. You won't see my cabinets alphabetized, our drawers neatly arranged (much to my husband's dismay) or our books color coded by subject on the bookshelf. I'm just talking about a general trip through the house room by room deciding what we need to keep or get rid of as well as re-evaluating each area of the house to see if we are utilizing our space as well as we can.
Juice Plus+-Organic, non-gmo fruit and veggie capsules and chewables
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