Riley Heruska
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With the chaos of a new academic year and the start of various extracurricular activities, life as a parent can become pretty crazy. Here are a few tricks that will help you stay on top of a hectic schedule without feeling like you're going to lose your mind. 

Buy a Planner and Actually Use It 

Juggling a million different obligations without some sort of planning system is impossible for any parent. If you've been relying on hastily scribbled sticky notes or iPhone alarms to remind you of everything, then you might want to try the old school method: put pen to paper and keep a written schedule. The process of writing things down will calm your nerves, and fewer things will fall between the cracks if you're constantly looking at a tangible schedule. 

Clear Out All the Clutter 

New classes, parent teacher meet and greets, and back-to-school events all have one thing in common: papers. Before you know it, your office and kitchen are overrun by flyers advertising new clubs and rule handbooks that might never actually be read. Do yourself a favor and prevent those papers from piling up. A clean home helps with a clean mind, and chances are, you don't need half of the papers that wind up on your counters. 

Delegate Tasks 

As a parent, it's often tempting to just do everything yourself. However, that's not always possible. Try to evenly share chores with the entire household. Assign jobs to specific people so that everyone knows what they are responsible for. Not only will the household run smoother, but people will also have a better idea of what's going on. 

Do As Much as Possible the Night Before 

We all know how incredibly chaotic mornings can be. Between fixing breakfasts and tying various pairs of shoes, there's often little downtime. Try to make things as simple as possible by prepping lunches, backpacks, and other items the night before. If you can, set out your kids' outfits in advance so there are no tantrum fits when a certain red dress isn't clean. No matter how tired you are the evening before, you'll thank yourself the next morning. 

Designate a Homework Station 

Ever get tired of kids forgetting their math assignment or misplacing a library book? Try to cut down on the hunt for lost homework pieces by setting up a certain area of the house. Keep all the necessary tools there, including a calculator, pencils, pens, art supplies, and whatever other items might be helpful. It'll help keep everything in one place, and it'll encourage your kids to focus more when they're in their special homework environment. 

What are your go-to methods for keeping things under control during the school year? Leave ideas in the comments below! 

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