5 More Products to Make the School Year Easier

My previous post mentioned some of my go to items to make the school year a little easier. Well, after having open house bright and early this week, I realized there were some more items to add to that list. So here are five more items to help your school days go a little easier.

1.Hanging Sweater Organizer
You may even have one of these around the house which is awesome! That means you are one step closer to being organized, but are you using it to its best advantage? Most of these organizers have at least five shelves. There are five school/work days in the week…do you see where I am going with this yet? You may have heard the advice to lay your clothes out in the evening before going to sleep to save time on getting dressed in the morning. Well, this system recommends laying out the full week on Sunday night. Another advantage to saving time is that kids can gain a bit of independence on putting outfits together and mom is saved from those “Where is my red shirt? I need to wear a red shirt today!” desperation calls when you only have ten minutes left to make the bus in the morning.

2. Snack Size Baggies and Sliced Lemons
I actually use these in my freezer. Maybe because I grew up on city water, I need lemon and ice in my water. So I will typically fill a stainless steel tumbler with ice water and two slices of lemon wheels. The rest of the lemon is also sliced into wheels and placed in these snack size baggies 2×2 and placed in the freezer. In the morning on work days, I add the frozen lemon along with my ice and some unsweetened tea. Then take that to work. When I run out of tea, I refill at the office water cooler, but by this time, my lemon is melted enough that I get a nice citrus dash to my water. It is also perfect to add a frozen lemon wheel to hot tea as it cools the tea without watering it down. Since these are in the freezer, I prep everything on Sunday night to last all week. If citrus is on sale, buy a couple of bags, slice, and freeze on sheet trays. Then you have plenty of frozen lemons ready to go. I have also been known to do this with cucumbers, oranges, and strawberries for jugs of spa water.

3. Blutooth Trackers
These small tags are a lifesaver if you are one of those people who misplaces things. The most popular brands are the Tile ones that you see in BestBuy or other computer stores, but I didn’t like that they stop working after a year unless you resubscribe. Unfortunately, my husband has memory issues as part of his medical condition. He misplaces his phone and wallet frequently. It only took a couple times of this happening at restaurants for me to know we had to do something. So I purchased a small plastic device that fits in his wallet and is connected via blutooth to an app on his phone. If he loses his wallet, the app tells him the last location it was at. If he loses his phone, he can hit a button on the device and it sends out a beep on his phone. It is also rechargeable and lasts for about two months on one charge. So far we are doing good on it and it takes hardly any room in his wallet. I wish we had known about these when my son lost his glasses last year. After two weeks of looking for them, we purchased new glasses only to find his old ones in the lost and found at taekwondo.

4. White Boards
We use the Amazon Alexa for reminders, but there are still things we need to write down. For example, I use a small whiteboard as an inventory list of what is in my freezer in the garage. We also have a big one that contains our son’s chore chart. Granted, he is almost thirteen and we don’t pay him an allowance allowance. It is expected that he help out by feeding the dogs, emptying the trash, and unloading the dish washer. In turn, I will give him money when he is going out with friends to the movies, the amusement park, or school events. He also gets to keep any change from these events. He loves food shopping because I tell him to grab what he wants (it is Aldi’s, so snacks are cheap though he tends to gravitate to the fancy cheese and bread). However, if there is something big that he wants (like a PS4 game), he does extra chores to help pay off whatever it was that he wanted. Like $10 for mowing the front yard or vacuuming the living room (we have three dogs, so this one is actually a big one). He also has to clean before friends come over which means making a list of the things he needs to pay special attention to…like cleaning his room.

5. Ice Packs
We have several ice packs of various size in our freezer. This year lunch is not until 7th period! So those ice packs are going to get a lot of use this year. We also have the flexible ice packs that are used for things like sore knees and shoulders. I have used this on my head too when migraines or sinuses have been bad.

I am sure there are many many more things that can be added to this list. Life is hectic, but why not try things that might make it just a little easier? Remember that we might not be able to be superhuman, but we can certainly try!

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A Back to School Must List

Our district goes back to school next week which means time to change our summer routine. While the school may have their official supply list with the notebooks, pencils, hand sanitzer, and the hundreds of dollars worth of other necessesties (seriously, our list ran us about $150…middle school), there are still some other items that can help the mornings run a little smoother.

1. Amazon Echo

This is my go to device for helping me stay on track. We use it for a timer, alarm clock, to check the weather, reminders of things to grab before walking out the door. Alexa helps to keep us organized and running on time.

2. Bento Boxes


My son actually picked this out for his lunch box. The one he has features flexible dividers to separate food like a traditional bento box. It also includes ice packs to keep food fresh. The best part is that it is dishwasher safe!

3. Academic Planners

I bought one of these for my son for school and liked the layout so much that i bought one for myself. This planner comes in two sizes making it perfect for a backpack or purse. It is an academic planner so it runs from July to June. There is plenty of room on the Monthly grid or the Week at a glance pages to keep all of your tasks, appointments, and lists well organized.

3. Bins & Totes

Grab a couple of these totes and some snack size or sandwhich bags. Fill them with things like bulk pretzels, popcorn, raisins, etc. Refresh your bins every week and you will have snacks ready to go to throw into a bag on the way to the bus stop or to grab as an afterschool snack. By buying snacks in bulk (or even making your own) and divying it up, you can save some change to help defer the costs of all those gluesticks.

4. Reusable K-Cup Pods


If you send a kid to school before the sun is up, chances are you are going to need some coffee. And if you are the only one in the house who drinks coffee, chances are you are going have a Keurig in the house. And if you are worried around all those plastic pods filling landfills, well, then these pods are for you. I buy my coffee by the canister, but use the reusable pods instead of the pricy k-cups.

5. Sharpies!!

Your child’s school list might already have Sharpies on the list, but these are for you. There will be gym uniforms, brown bag lunches, and so many other things that are going to need a name written in them…don’t find yourself lost without a permanent marker on hand. Stock up at the beginning of the year and if you are lucky, you will still have some by the end of June.

What other items would you add to this list? Leave us a comment through the link at the top of this post.