I am getting that feeling again… that feeling like school will be in session before I know it.  Those with school age kids know the drill; the enrollment forms and emergency contact cards, the school policy acknowledgements, medical release forms, etc.   In my school district, we even have to prove that we reside where we say we do, which means providing documents from our utility companies, service providers, and property tax assessor or landlord.
And then, the classroom list of required supplies comes home, and the requests for donations weighs upon us.  Even the most organized teachers – you know those that publish the general supply lists way in advance – can throw us a few curveballs when the kids are back in the classroom.
The best way I can prepare, and save money, is to inventory supplies on hand NOW – before the back-to-school sales start.  Each year I seem to pick up a few extras that make their way to the back of the supply closet over the summer.  Out of sight, out of mind!  And, I’m guessing that I am not alone.  We all tend to enjoy a great sale at our favorite discount store.  With my inventory handy, I can use the school’s group email to offer to swap supplies with other parents; those who may have taken advantage of the bulk rate on the 100 pack of glue sticks!
My personal overstock includes book covers, notebooks, and pens and pencils of every imaginable color.  With my inventory in place, I will buy what I need and not have to guess if the supply is lurking out of sight in the closet.  And, those extras will make it easy to make a classroom donation on the first day of school.  Especially those cute animal folders that my “too cool for school” son wouldn’t be seen using.
Of course, we can’t always anticipate and plan for those course specific needs.  I have definitely been on a late-night hunt for a special calculator at the same time as 75 other parents at the local office supply.  Brings back memories of those holiday movies where everyone competes for the “best new toy of the year”. But, hopefully that stress will be somewhat minimized by the fact that I know exactly what I do have on hand and what I will keep my eye out for on sale in the store circulars.
Since my inventory will force me to organize the school and crafts supply areas, I guess the next step will be to take stock of the clothing, shoes, and backpack.  Seems never-ending,  but maybe the silver lining will be the example we set for our kids –  to take stock and be prepared ahead of time so that supplies and money are not wasted.