Sunday, July 28, 2019

Your Back-to-School Countdown Checklist!

August is just around the corner, which means it's time for our annual BACK-TO-SCHOOL COUNTDOWN!!

To help us start getting back in the groove, we put together a fun little School Countdown Checklist of all the things we want to accomplish in the next few weeks before heading back to school. Both my daughter and my niece contributed to this list {see "family trip" and "play dates with friends"} and I think we've covered some of the most important reminders.

2 Weeks Before School Starts

If your school is like ours, you've had your school supply lists since the beginning of summer, so now is the time to pull those out and start watching sale ads. Because most of us don't do all of our school shopping in one place, it may be helpful to break up your shopping lists by store. To help you out, our first back-to-school Free Printable is this handy School Shopping List:

These lists print two-to-a-page and you will want to cut them down the middle to make two lists {we recommend printing borderless if you can}. They are blank so you can use these lists throughout the year! Just write the store name at the top and jot down your items.

As you start collecting all of your school paperwork and lists, you may notice that your planner or family calendar needs some refreshing. Our  Printable shop has a lot of fantastic options right now for planners, calendar pages, student planners and more. We also still offer our Free Home Management printables in 3 sizes, and if you are looking for a new way to organize your week, our second back-to-school freebie is this great List Organizer!

If sticky notes and Post-its tend to pile up in your house, our new Weekly List Organizer is a great way to keep them all together. Just print this organizer once, laminate it for durability, write your lists for the week, stick them on and stay on task!! You can put this page in your Home Management binder, your planner, or even stick it to your fridge or family bulletin board.

After your lists are made and your calendar is in order, it's time to start working on another schedule.


Did you know that our Kids Chore/Reward Charts can be used as a Routine Chart too? With tasks such as Brush Teeth, Read Book and Take a Bath…you can set up your chart for morning and bedtime routines! A few fun stickers may make the process go a little more smoothly for everyone :) And adults…don't forget about your routine as well! With so many tasks and responsibilities to juggle each day, it's only fair that we have our own Chore/Reward cart too! You can download this free printable {HERE}.

Saying farewell to summer is hard, but having an end-of-the-summer trip, outing or special day gives us all something to look forward to. Even if you can't get to the beach or travel, planning a backyard campout or trip to the zoo is a great way to end a fun summer {Thanks for this reminder Addie & Nia}.

1 Week Before School Starts

For some of you, school is only a week away at this point, which means it's time to reconnect with school friends and start getting our home in order!! The hustle and bustle of school days starts right away, so it helps to be organized from the beginning. This is a great time to clean out closets and start assessing which school clothes and shoes fit…and which do not. It's also helpful to find a place for backpacks, lunch bags and other gear. 

And speaking of lunches…

Your homework assignment for the day is to search the keywords LUNCH PACKING STATION in Pinterest and then carve out a good two hours to browse all of the amazing images. Organizational eye candy, I'm telling you!!

Getting your lunch packing supplies together in one place is such a smart idea, especially when it makes things easy enough so that your kids can help you pack the lunches (or do it themselves!!). It also helps when it comes time to grocery shop. You can better assess what you have and what you need to stock up on. One thing you will find in almost every Lunch Packing Station is a space for some fun Lunch Box Notes. Last school year, we shared a free set of Lunch Box notes each month and you can download all of them HERE!!

Print these babies early so that they are ready to go! We hope to share some fun new ones throughout the year :)

And while you are on Pinterest, be sure to also search the key words HOMEWORK STATION and READING NOOK. We may not all have the space or the money to create those beautiful work stations that we see in the Pottery Barn Kids catalog, but even something as simple as setting up a desk in your kids bedroom or putting together a caddy of supplies and other homework/reading essentials can be helpful. Professional organizers always claim that having these dedicated spaces keeps away distraction and gets kids excited about doing their work. I don't know if "excited" is the right word…but anything is worth a try, right?!

Depending on your school's schedule of events, you may have the opportunity to attend a "Find Your Way" day or a "Meet the Teacher Day" before the first day. You will be coming home with a lot of information about important phone numbers, schedules and events for the upcoming year and if you want a more centralized place to keep the important stuff, here is a School Information Sheet you can use in your planner, home management binder or on your family bulletin board. You can download it X-SmallSmall & Large {Please note that the X-Small/Personal size may look blurry in the download preview, but will not print this way}.

Now, if you would also like to gather some additional information about your teacher to make the whole gift-giving process easier this year, be sure to print and send in this Favorite Things list! They can fill it out and you can keep it on hand all year to help you with the holidays, teacher appreciation, classroom donation and more! You can download it {HERE}.

The Day Before School Starts

This can be such an emotional day! On one hand, we are a little sad that summer is officially over, but on the other, we are excited for a brand new school year full of possibilities and memories to be made! Staying positive and excited will get your kids excited too. Before bed, talk about the first day, read some "back-to-school" books and plan a special treat or activity for when they get home from school. 

After all that, make sure EVERYONE gets to bed early (you too, parents!) but before you do, make sure your camera is out and you have your First Day of School signs printed and ready to go for the morning. Our Printable Chalkboard First Day of School signs have been a big hit over the years, and we've updated all of them for this school year!

The First Day

It's here!!! The first day of school. You've already done all the prep work and you are organized and ready to rock-n-roll!! Now smile, take lots of pictures and get excited for a GREAT YEAR!!!!!!


Please feel free to share the link to our shop blog with all of our back-to-school goodies, but PLEASE do not link to the downloads directly. These printables are free to download and use for personal use, but they MAY NOT BE EDITED, SOLD OR PRINTED FOR RESALE in any way. If you have questions about these printables and how they may be used, please contact us in our shop. If you like the beautiful cliparts used in some of these printables, they can be purchased from some of our favorite Etsy shops, including: 
© Erin Bradley Designs |
© Sugar Studios |
© Goodness & Fun |

Saturday, July 27, 2019

31 Day De-Clutter Challenge Printable

There are 3 times of year that I REALLY get the urge to de-clutter my life: After Christmas, the first beautiful day of Spring and right before Back-to-School!

Typically when I get this urge I pick a weekend and try to go through as much as I can and while that does help some, I find that there are lots of important places that are missed. Even Marie Kondo doesn't organize a whole house in a weekend, so why do I think I can?! I've been reading a lot about organization lately and one common belief among the gurus is that de-cluttering is more successful when broken into smaller tasks vs. cramming everything into a weekend. There are hundreds of different challenges to follow, but I decided to make a list of the 31 most cluttered areas of my life (and most likely yours, too) PLUS I surveyed some of our friends on ThePolkaDotPosie Facebook Group Page and came up with this NEW Free Printable!

Our 31 Day De-Clutter Challenge isn't that different from the rest, but it was a lot of fun to make and I hope that you find it useful as you begin de-cluttering before back-to-school! We tried to keep the tasks as even as we could timewise, but obviously the closet and garage days will take a little longer, so feel free to shuffle the tasks around to meet your schedule. After you've completed a task, simply cross it off until all 31 tasks are done!

This challenge can be started any time you like, but we will be having periodic challenges on our Group Facebook page so be sure to join in on the fun! August 1st will start our FIRST CHALLENGE!

Wanna join the fun? Download your 31 Day De-Clutter Challenge Printable {HERE}!

Friday, July 26, 2019

50 Self-Care Ideas and Inspiration

As a busy mom, teacher and small business owner, I REALLY struggle to make time for self-care. It is in my nature to always put everyone else's needs ahead of my own, but as the old saying can't fill from an empty cup! Even a small moment of self-care each day can totally change your mood and well-being overall. So with that in mind, we put together a little list of 50 different self-care ideas and inspiration to get motivated.

And for those of you that might find it helpful to schedule your self-care each month, this FREE Printable Self-Care Set comes with a matching blank calendar. Download your copy {HERE} and feel free to share any other great self-care ideas you might have!

Friday, July 5, 2019

FREE Printable Monthly Habit Tracker

"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."

- Jim Ryun

I don't know about all of you, but I tend to be really motivated when I want to start something new, but reeeaaalllyy struggle when it comes to making that something a habit. 

"Oh article on the importance of taking vitamins!"

{purchases said vitamins from Amazon}

Day 1: I feel like they are already working!
Days 2-4: YES!! I feel like a new woman.
Day 5: Whoops...forgot today.
Day 6: Same
Day 7 - infinity: What vitamins?

Does this sound familiar? Whether it's remembering to take vitamins, exercising, making your bed, staying hydrated or writing in your journal, there are lots of great habits that we all want to make part of our daily routine. And like the satisfaction of physically crossing off an item on your ToDo list, tracking habits can be equally rewarding (and motivating) when you can see your progress.

So with that in mind, we decided to create this new Monthly Habit Tracker:

This one-page tracker has plenty of room to list all of the habits you want to track each month, so spend some time brainstorming the goals and routines you want to achieve. Some popular habits to track are:

Wake-up times & Bed times
Taking vitamins or medication
Making your bed every day (or other important chores)
Drinking enough water
Mediation or Mindfulness
Creativity time (knitting, sketching, painting, etc)
Expenses or Budgeting
Social Media Posts (for business or personal)
Alcohol use
Romantic time with your significant other
Check-ins with friends or family
Watering plants
Mood Tracking (designate certain colors to represent each mood)

The goal of this Monthly Habit Tracker is to make it your own and only track the habits that are truly important to YOU. This will make you motivated to start and once you see the progress you are making, the hope is that it will encourage you to keep going.

So...who's ready to get started?? To download our FREE Monthly Habit Tracker, just click {HERE}. This tracker is available in Large - Letter size 8.5 x 11 and Small - Half Sheet 5.5 x 8.5.

Be sure to also follow us on Facebook and join our group page for tracking check-ins, freebies and other fun stuff!

Happy Habit Tracking!!

We would love for you to share our Free Printables with your friends and family, but we ask that you PLEASE link to this blog post and not to the downloads directly. These printables are free to download and use for personal use, but they MAY NOT BE EDITED, SOLD OR PRINTED FOR RESALE in any way. If you have questions about these printables and how they may be used, please contact us :) Thank you!