1. Use the last week before the new term to transition bedtimes and wake-up times back to the school day routine. Starting the bedtime routine 15 minutes early each night will help your family edge towards their new bedtimes and waking up times, so they are ready for healthy sleep routines once school starts.
2. Before school starts, check that your child’s uniform is labelled, including shoes. A “Sharpie” laundry pen on the manufacturer’s label is an inexpensive solution, or you can fix iron-on name tapes with your hair straighteners very quickly and easily. Don’t forget shoes, bags and sports kit.
3. Unpack bags as soon as you get into the house each afternoon. Read notes, sign permission slips and diarise events while they are fresh in your mind, and involve the children so that they get used to telling you instructions and handing you notes when they get home too.
4. A few minutes of preparation each evening saves a lot of stress in the morning. Pack bags, prepare lunches, lay out clothes and check the diary ready for the following day.
5. Plan an hour each weekend to prepare for the week ahead. Schedule appointments on a centrally-located calendar to make sure each family member knows the plan for the week.
6. Work out a laundry routine to keep uniform and sports kit laundered and ready at the beginning of each week. Don't be afraid to get extra help if you need it - whether an agency helper or the phone number of your local laundry.
7. Take five minutes to check that your car is organised, clean and roadworthy each weekend. If you need to pass through a toll on the school run, check you have topped up your balance. Listen to your local radio whilst getting ready each morning to take note of traffic hot spots and delays or choose a traffic app to keep you updated.
8. Shoes get dirty quickly, especially white sports shoes. Stock up with trainer whitener, shoe polish and brushes, and get your little ones involved by giving them responsibility for cleaning their own shoes.
9. Get into the habit of always putting your keys / sunglasses / phone in the same place when you get home each day. That way you will know where to find them in the morning and avoid last minute panics!
10. Place a small blackboard, whiteboard or pinboard by the front door for important reminders that you can’t miss as you head out of the door in the morning.
Mel Carruthers is a UK-based organiser at More Organised, which specialises in helping families make more space in their lives for what really matters.