Welcome to our Mom Hacks series where we provide moms and dads around West Michigan with our favorite tricks for surviving this gig called Parenting. Many thanks to Family Fare Fast Lane for partnering with us on this family-helping project.

Fast Lane at Family Fare is our new online grocery shopping experience. Fast Lane provides yes Rewards members with online ordering and quick pickup. Spend more time exploring your city and leave the shopping to us!

Sail Into Back to School Season With These Ideas

Summer is flying by, and school supplies are already adorning the Meijer aisles and school registration emails will start appearing in your inbox.

Whether you dread the start of the school year or are looking forward to the routine again, making a smooth transition is the key to a successful start.

These 10 handy hacks will help you before school, after school, and all the times in between!

10 School Hacks for Parents and Kids

1 – Create a Homework Station

Set up a space in your home dedicated to homework. Whether it’s a small desk in the living room or a space on the family desk, as long as it’s stocked with homework supplies, it will make homework time much more pleasant.

Fill the space with pencils, pens, a pencil sharpener, paper, sticky notes, a comfy chair and more to make it a practical and cozy place to get the task done. Provide tissues and snacks and anything else that will help them to stay put longer and get up less, minimizing interruptions and distraction!

2 – Organize Lunch Items for Easier Choices

Create bins or spaces in your panty and refrigerator for lunch and snack goodies. This will make it easier for the kids pack their own healthy and complete lunches and grab a healthy snack when after school hunger strikes.

3 – Make Routines Clear and Visible

Print the morning routine and hang them where kids can see them, making mornings flow without hiccups.

Laminate the sheets and let the kids check off the tasks with a dry erase marker daily to make it more fun.

4 – Use Personalized Stickers to Avoid the Lost and Found

Save yourself a trip to the lost and found bins with permanent personalized stickers. These life-saving stickers stick to everything – clothing, shoes, supplies, backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, you name it!

These stickers can be easily ordered online and are fairly inexpensive.

5 – Stock Up On School Supplies When Sales Hit


Don’t miss the sales on school supplies! Hit them early to score the best selection and deals. Grab extras at these super low prices – you’re sure to need them come February when markers are dried up, glue is empty and notebooks are full!

6 – Stock Up On Lunch and Snack Time Goods

Nothing is worse than having nothing to put into the lunch box! Save your mornings and prep ahead of time and stock up on lunch (and snack) items so there are plenty of options available to pack.

Most packaged items keep for a long time so you can stock up for several weeks and make easing into the packing a lunch routine a snap!

And with Family Fare Fast Lane, stocking up on lunch and snack goods couldn’t be a more convenient way to save time. You can choose curbside pickup, or have them delivered (locations vary).

7 – Create An Afterschool Clock

Kids, especially little ones, like visual reminders. Buy a cheap clock and color code it with the after school schedule so kids know exactly what to do when – and save you from having to prod them along and answer a hundred “what now” questions.

8 – Control The Clutter With An Artwork Binder

Eliminate the clutter that is sure to find its way to your counters, tables and refrigerator by creating a binder with plastic sheet protectors to put artwork and other keepsake-worthy papers in throughout the year.

Keep these binders on a shelf or other handy place so all you have to do when you empty the backpack is fill it and boom – clutter free!

9 – Simplify The Mornings With A What To Wear Daily System

Create a system where you can pick out outfits at the start of the week for the entire week. Tops, bottoms, unders, socks, accessories, and even shoes – everything can be set out together and ready for each day of the week to take the guesswork out of the morning what to wear conundrum!

Use a drawer, a hanging closet organizer, a shelf, labeled hangers…whatever works for your space!

10 – Prep Brainy Breakfasts Ahead Of Time

Breakfast really IS the most important meal of the day. Make your mornings stress-free and provide the kids with some healthy breakfast options by prepping ahead. Make breakfast burritos, egg bites, and smoothie packs ahead of time and freeze them so a healthy breakfast is ready to go.

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