Organizing mom and dad for this fall season

When September rolls around, it’s easy for parents to be consumed by back-to-school shopping, extracurricular-activity planning, book lists, lunchbox packing and school-bus or carpool schedules.

When September rolls around, it’s easy for parents to be consumed by back-to-school shopping, extracurricular-activity planning, book lists, lunchbox packing and school-bus or carpool schedules.

But don’t let “you” fall to the bottom of your to-do list; organizing these tasks should also be top priority.

Alicia on “Organizing Your Health: Mammograms/Prostate/Skin Exams”

We get it: Doctor appointments are a pain and nobody enjoys going, but they are a necessary evil.

Recently, I have had more friends than I would have ever imagined announce that they have to get a skin malignancy removed, or that they have high blood pressure or worse.

No matter what your age, bodies need regular upkeep, especially as you get older. So it’s important for you and your family that you do what you can to prevent serious health-care problems down the road, and early detection screenings are a great way to do that.

Make the appointments around the same time you’re sending your kids to the doctor for back-to-school physicals and dental work.

Sarah on “Organizing Teamwork”

How many times have you reminded your husband of a parent open-house night at school, only for him to say, “Wait, what? That’s tonight? But I have that dinner meeting. You never told me about this!”

Avoid these kinds of conversations by spending 45 minutes going over important school dates for the year.

Prioritize events, making note of ones that you feel both parents must attend, those you think one parent can handle, those where you can send a grandparent or other VIP and, finally, those “if we can make it, great; otherwise, it’s OK” events.

Prioritizing these dates is especially crucial if you have more than one child, or children in different schools. When you two are on the same page, it’s going to make the schedule run a lot smoother.

The same goes for meals. Mom, if you make breakfast and the lunches, then Dad can be in charge of dinners. Even if you are a stay-at-home parent, you should at least get one or two days/nights off from meal prep per week.

The more you can get organized to work together, the better the system will run and the more appreciative you’ll be of each other.

Here are a few more tips for getting Mom and Dad ready for back-to-school:

1. Get Active — Before school begins. Whether it’s taking family bike rides twice a week and yoga on Saturdays, or going to the gym at 5 a.m. every other day, start (or restart) your fitness routines ASAP.

Organize the best times that fit into the family schedule and get active. The delicious holiday cookies and treats will be here before you know it, and the more you motivate yourself now, the easier the plan will be to stick to.

2. Plan to be around the first week — Be available not only the first day of school but for the entire first week. Be home when your child gets home and listen to what he or she is telling you about their day. Addressing problems, fears or concerns early is much easier than dealing with them after they have gotten worse over a four-week period.

3. Hire a sitter and organize a “couples only” night — Regretfully, you may have planned on a lot more “me time” and “couple time” than you actually cashed in on this summer. Well, send out a mass e-mail, make some phone calls and hire the sitter for a “couples only” late-night excursion.

Hit up the local college hot spot, check out that jazz club you’ve wanted to try or host a bonfire party.

Whatever it is, get out of the house, get your mind off work and enjoy a night with friends and laughter. The back-to-school routine is coming, so make the most of your time.

The writers are co-founders of Buttoned Up, a company dedicated to helping stressed women get organized. Send ideas and questions to

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