Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My first "Back-to-School"

Since my oldest child started school last year, I've been thinking a lot about what this very first "back-to-school" will mean. Let's face it, the train has left the proverbial station and has embarked on an 18-year journey, making the fact that she's growing up all too real.  I wonder if my Mom felt the same.

As a kid, I remember back to school season fondly. Well, the shopping for school supplies and clothes was fun, but the end of summer... not so much.  I remember the last week of August being bittersweet. I wanted summer to go on forever, but I also really missed seeing my friends every day. I hope my daughter feels the same. There's an amazing sense of renewal at back-to-school season that is exciting. A new grade to conquer; new friends to make; old friends to reconnect with.

And, while it's exciting for kids, it can also be a lot of work for parents. My to-do list is already crammed with tasks to prepare for the first week back. I'm not always the most organized person, but I am off to a good start. I have already started a list of items to purchase - some that need replacing or upgrading from last year (I don't think the weeny backpack will cut it in SK!), a few new outfits for her ever-growing body, and of course, our newest tradition that was started this same time last year... letting her pick out new labels. I thought we would have enough to last two years, but I've just about run out of every type - especially shoe and Stick-eez clothing labels, which are always the first to go in our house.

And so the back-to-school countdown begins. Here are some of my tips for a successful - and stress-free - season.

1. Take a wardrobe inventory
Spend an hour or so going through your child's clothing and have them try on anything that looks like it might not fit, come the fall. Make a list of what's needed and start shopping now to ensure size availability. Don't forget to check your child's shoes to see if they fit! Many a parent has been caught off guard when junior puts on last season's running shoes only to find he's grown out of them over the summer.

2. Buy school supplies sparingly
Call your child's school and ask if they have a suggested list of supplies for their grade/class (some do). If so, this will help keep unneeded purchases to a minimum. If not, stick to purchasing the basics for the first day back; here's a great list to get you started. School supplies aren't cheap, so save your money - anything that's still needed can be bought later.

3. Check coupon / deal websites before you shop
Sites like Retailmenot.com and Couponchief.com are a wealth of coupon codes and promotional offers, so don't forget to check them before heading out to shop. If you're not familiar with how they work, it's simple - type in the store name that you'll be visiting, hit "enter" and the website will list any available coupons (or online promo codes) for it. Better yet, do as much shopping as possible online and save your sanity!  

4. Label everything
When I say everything, I mean everything! ;) There is no end to the number of things kids can lose... from pencil crayons and scissors to hoodies and shoes, it's a wonder anything is left at the end of the year. With over 40 designs and 17 fonts to choose from, there's something for everyone. My daughter, in particular, loves the fact that she can customize each kind of label and tag in her package with a different design and font - no other company has such a wide range of customization options. For kids with allergies, our wide range of Allergy Labels, Tags and Safety Wristbands are an excellent way of alerting your child's teachers to his or her allergy/ies, especially the first few weeks of being in a new class.

When ordering, don't forget our exclusive, optional (and FREE!) Found-it™ system - a must-have to help your kids' lost items get returned.  If you need assistance placing an order or simply have a question that isn't answered on our website FAQ, our wonderful customer service team is available by email (info@oliverslabels.com), phone (1-800-398-2060) or online chat (button is on right side of website), so let us know if we can be of assistance! Or, if you're on Twitter, feel free to tweet us!

Happy back-to-school shopping!


Unknown said...

It's amazing how much you learn the first year! My son will be in his 2nd year come this fall and I realize organization and preparation like you say is key, especially labeling! I can only imagine when my youngest starts school with her peanut allergy...will certainly rely on labels for everything :)

Gingermommy said...

I use to go overboard when it came to back to school and half the time my kids did not use most of what I bought. Now I buy a few things and get the rest a week or so after school starts

Mommy Moment said...

Labels are a MUST. Especially with my 6 year old. Sigh...

Torviewtoronto said...

Lisa labels are such a wonderful thing makes it easy when we need to prepare things :) lovely post

Elizabeth L said...

These are all great tips, I'll have to keep them in mind when it is time for my daughter to start school!

Country Mouse, City Mouse said...

You aren't kidding when you say school supplies are expensive. My daughter is going in to gr. 9 and we spent over $100 on just supplies yesterday. I know that is a little different than what you are talking about.

Yes! Labels are the wisest investment during back to school time.

Paula Schuck said...

I swear by labels on everything. The list and found at the kids school is always overflowing, but at least I can find our stuff easily!!


TinyWiggles said...

Hope you don't mind we posted a link to your shop on our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/tinywigglesdotcom

Unknown said...

I label everything.

Unknown said...

I have twins so labeling is a must.