A simple list to make Back to School easier

In Australia, we’re almost at the end of our summer holidays, which means it’s time to start preparing for starting school (or back to school).

I have a simple list I follow that helps me keep track of the to-do’s without the overwhelm and thought I’d share it with you in case it comes in handy!

Here’s what we cover in the lead-up to the return to school:

The personal stuff

  • Nit checks
  • Haircut if needed / wanted
  • Eye checks
  • Hearing checks
  • Check vaccines are up to date
  • Asthma plan update from GP / Telehealth
  • Book in for dentist check-up

The school stuff

Basics: School bag, hat, lunchbox, drink bottle. Don’t buy super expensive ones (especially if the kids are little) because they’ll get lost or broken and need replacing pretty quickly. It’s fine to use last year’s if they are still in good condition.

Uniforms: Do last year’s still fit? If not, or if this is your first year of school, check in with your local school’s website and Facebook page for uniform updates as emails and phone calls may go unanswered at this time of year. Lots of schools have a second-hand option if uniforms are too expensive and you may also see posts in your local community group on Facebook with parents offering to donate old uniforms to other families if their kids have grown out of them, so check there too.

Books, pens, and pencils: Our school does a book pack each year so we don’t shop separately for them. You can usually find information on your school’s website or Facebook page on whether purchasing school supplies in necessary.

Transport: Do you need to order an Opal card? If you’re going to drop off and pick up, can you drive past the school this week and check the parking options so you don’t have to wing it on the first day?

Lunches: Pack lunch for the first day in case the canteen isn’t taking orders yet. Keep it simple - a sandwich, a piece of fruit, a snack, and a bottle of water.


  • Stock up on sunscreen and mosquito repellant to put on the kids before school each morning. In our area, we have lots of mozzies at this time of year!
  • Grab a packet of bandaids with your next grocery shop, a couple of bandaids on heels make new school shoes less painful (no blisters) for the first week.

If this is the first year of school for your child / children

Use the week before school starts to practice opening lunch box containers, using a public toilet unassisted, putting on or taking off jumpers, filling up a drink bottle.

Go somewhere this week (library, park etc) and let the kids take their backpacks with lunchbox, hat and drink bottle inside so they can practice carrying and using it (zips can be tricky at first).

Give yourself buffer time on school mornings for unexpected delays like last minute nerves, finding shoes, trying to get a car park, etc.

Check backpacks for school notes each day and take a photo of them so if they get lost, it’s no big deal.

Check the school starter hacks eBook for other (optional) ideas

I hope you found this helpful. If you’re ready for the next step in organising your home, you might want to check out my popular House & Family Binder. It’s a simple set of prints to help you get organised and run your household without stress and overwhelm.