Beautiful Stockmar Crayons

Do you ever feel stressed out about the back-to-school frenzy? The lists, the clothes, the anxiety of new places and so on.  As a parent, it’s our job to stay calm in the face of the growing to-do list.  Here are a few strategies and places to visit to get prepped, all from your own home.

1. Gather all your kid’s school supplies into one place.  Take stock of everything before hitting the stores.
2. Combine multiple class supply lists in one master list for yourself.  It will be easier to do this at home than walking through the store.
3. Get inspired.  I searched for Back to School in Pinterest and was welcomed with many fun ideas for supplies, outfits and lunch ideas.
4. Organize the kid’s clothes before going shopping.  Start a donation pile to make room for the new items. Have the kids help.
5. Check in with the neighbors to see if you can order some bulk items to share. There are often better prices online for supplies via ebay and Amazon.
6. Make sure your kids have what they need for both during and after school activities.  I put lunch boxes, gym clothes, and dance shoes in this category.
7. Do your shopping online when the timing works for you.  Sites like Ebay have specific back-to-school collections already pulled together for you.
8. Teach your kids the value of “less is more.”  It’s easy to get caught up in the consumerism and commercials during this time of year.  Talk with them about wants vs needs.
9. Ask the teachers if there is something they need.  It’s always nice to get off on the right foot with a new teacher or coach.
10. Buddy-up with another Mom to split the back-to-school shopping.  Maybe one likes the mall better than searching for the perfect notebook.  Use each other’s strengths to make it a more efficient project.

There are a couple of other fun ways to get ready to back to school, plus some great prizes! eBay is hosting a Twitter party on 8/14, from 3-5 EST, sharing more tips on how to take the stress out of getting ready for the return to school.  Please RSVP here.
Not into Twitter, but love Pinterest?  Here are some chances to earn some prizes while spending time on Pinterest.
Pinterest Backpack Sweeps – 7/25-8/31 – Is your kid heading back to school? eBay’s Back to School Pinterest Sweepstakes will award daily winners a $100 eBay Gift Card to shop for their back to school essentials on Enter here
Pinterest Dorm Room Sweeps – 7/25-8/1 – Are you or your child heading to college? eBay is holding a Pinterest sweepstakes where one Grand Prize winner will receive a $5,000 eBay Shopping Spree toward a dorm room makeover. Enter here
Facebook Instant Win Game – 8/1-8/31 – Play the eBay What’s In Your Backpack Instant Win Game for a chance to win a $50 eBay Gift Card to do some back to school shopping. Hurry, sweeps ends August 31, 2012! Enter here 

What are your tips for a stress-free back-to-school season?

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Disclosure: I was compensated for the eBay back-to-school promotion.  I love eBay’s commitment to the resale business and happy to spread the word.