Most kids in Maine will be heading back to school for a new school year at the end of August/ beginning of September. And while I know it doesn't feel like it right now, that's just a couple of weeks away.

As a mom of 4, this is not my first rodeo, as they say, when it comes to Back-to-School season.

Cori Skall
Cori Skall

Through the years, I have developed a list of things to do BEFORE the kids start up school again, that make life so much easier when the chaos of the school year gets underway.

Cori Skall
Cori Skall

Here are 5 things you can do this month that will make life significantly easier for you this fall.

1.) Start stocking up on sanitizer, supplies & snacks right now. 

I'm not saying to stock-pile these things like they're going to go by the way of toilet paper during a Covid outbreak, but if you make it a point to pick up a few of these things during every shopping outing, by September you'll be sitting pretty while everyone else scrambles to find what they need.

Sandra Cunningham

Knowing how hungry my kids are those first few weeks of school, I usually start to stock up on granola bars and healthy snack items weeks before I start packing lunches. (The only issue I find with doing this in advance is finding a place to hide these things so the kids aren't tempted to help themselves to all the snacks early!)

The same goes for hand sanitizer. And speaking from experience, some of these items will likely be on a wish list or supply list that your teacher may email out to you at the beginning of the year. If you grab an extra bottle each time you stop into the store, you can start to check those items off those lists as well.

Back to School. Pens and pencils in a cup and a green apple.

Instead of paying big bucks at the start of September to gather all the school supplies your kids will need, you can also piecemeal those items out over the next few weeks. Grab some pencils one week, and paper the next. Like anything, if you break it up over the month, you can help yourself avoid that September sticker shock!

2.) Start your clothes shopping now, even if it's only for the small stuff. 

Portrait of Six Cool Looking Young Friends Stood Together
Digital Vision.

It's no secret that your kids have likely done some growing over the summer. And while you may be hesitant to get an entirely new wardrobe a month before it's time for them to go back, trust me when I say, taking care of even the small stuff first will help you big time later. Some of my kids, for instance, wear uniforms. I know that navy socks and tights are part of that, so I will get them all set up with those now. Next week, I'll tackle tops. The week after, make sure I have their bottoms covered. Taking on a little at a time, especially with multiple kids, helps. This also gives you a little time in advance to go through their closets to take inventory of what still fits and what pieces they need to replace.

3.) Book their yearly physical for August

Otolaryngologist examining a kid ear in a clinic

Most physicians I know are booked solid at the very least a few weeks out. Scheduling those yearly physicals now actually checks off a couple of boxes. If there's anything that needs to be taken care of or caught up (immunizations or medication refills, etc.) can be done with a little more flexibility, and you won't have to interrupt a school day to fit it in.

Teenage Girls Playing Soccer
Mike Watson Images

Also, if your child plans to participate in a school sport, you can contact your school's office and can pick up a sports permission slip that you can bring with you to the exam, and have your doc fill it out in person, right in front of you. So that will be all set to go for the beginning of the season.

4.) Don't forget about the dentist and the eye doctor.

Specialists such as dentists and eye doctors can also be quite busy once the school year starts. If you can get your child in for their annual dental cleaning before September, you may have more flexibility in planning that date. Not to mention it's a good thing to go into the school year with a nice, clean smile. :)

Child with doctor in the office shows thumb .

And if you get the eye exam before school starts, you can identify any issues early, and get them worked out prior to class.


This also allows a little extra time in case your student needs glasses or has a prescription change. Sometimes glasses need to be ordered. This gives you a chance to put that order in, and get them before your kiddo needs to really start reading things!

Looking through eyeglasses

And finally...

5.) Schedule an early Back-to-school haircut.

Pensive kid getting haircut at barber shop.

I don't know about your kids, but mine have spent the summer playing outside, in the dirt and mud, and they're looking a little on the feral side at the moment. Before you get ready to start snapping those First Day of School Selfies, only to realize that while their outfits and smiles are banging, their bangs are so long you can't see their faces, it's a great idea to get those heads tidied up.

Having a bit of first-hand knowledge with this, as well; if they get a cut that's a little too short, this also gives you a bit of a buffer to have it grow out just the littlest of bit, too.

Good luck out there!

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