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    Wow. I was pretty exhausted last night. It was the first day back to school for my child who attends a Jefferson County Public School. Was it yours too? That first day is always hard on all of us. Somehow, it really hits me as a mother. If I am not completely on top of things and organized at the start of the school year, I feel like it can spiral out of control by mid-September and no one likes a spirally, out-of-control momma! Here are my top favorite things to have, either around the house, on my calendar, or have in mind for the back to school transition to go as smoothly as possible.

    1. Fall consignment sale dates. I completely use consignment sales to grab a few early holiday gifts and stock up on clothes for the next couple of seasons down the road. I love this list! My favorite Louisville children’s consignment sale is the KidStuff sale. Read about that one here.
    2. Weekend getaway ideas for the October Fall Break! I know you’re already scheming.
    3. Places where kids can eat free so I don’t have to cook every single night. Here’s my #1 go-to link. I’m not saying you shouldn’t cook at all, but hey if you really wanted to, your kids could eat for free 7 days a week in this town.
    4. Magnetic file folders that stick to my refrigerator (I really should make this Numero Uno). I cannot tell you how many times last year that school flier got stuck in my “stick everything in this drawer” and I lost a tiny bit of that aforementioned control. This year, they’ll be filed in a somewhat orderly manner.
    5. A great list of local shops to pick up something special after the first few weeks of total meltdown city start to fade away. Here is a place to start.
    6. A highly convenient, very organized, one stop shop kind of place where I can find all of the deals that are going on around Louisville and the region. has an awesome tab for this that I check daily! One of my secret pleasures is getting those photos and photo books for absolutely nothing (they always throw in that shipping cost on me though).
    7. A McDonald’s (or substitute your child’s favorite quick place to pick up a treat) gift card that I keep loaded with a little bit of money on it, stashed in my glove compartment of my car. When a spur of the moment “let’s get a strawberry-banana smoothie today after school” moment hits, it’s fun to just have that gift card for that special occasion.
    8. An extra two pieces of poster board and a special area where we keep school supplies at home so they are all in one place and the night before a project is due, I’m not out at that store that shall remain nameless trying to barter for the last piece of white heavy duty extra-large glossy on one side paper that my child needs to make her story about her famous person of the month.
    9. A board on your Pinterest page that’s entitled “I’m Never Going To Do This.” There, it makes me feel better already. I just created that board and stuck every single one of my pins there. (Just kidding). But don’t beat yourself up about it. Try picking out one idea a month that you will accomplish. Involve your children and do more together as a family.
    10. A plan to do a Random Act of Kindness once a month. Do one as a whole family, or take your kids after school one day to do one that they create. We’re taking this challenge in my house, and I can’t wait to see the results and how much it helps our family keep things in perspective throughout the school year, and all year long.

    What would you include on your list?

    Photo by Erin Nevitt

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    About Erin Nevitt

    Longtime Louisvillian, I am a children's librarian at heart and have a passion for children's lit. I am most recently a stay-at-home mom who is always on the move, searching for family fun in Louisville. If it's free, it's preferable!

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