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It's difficult to remember everything you and your child need when school starts after a lazy summer. Stay organized with these back-to-school essentials.

Things to Get

___ School supplies. Most schools provide a list of supplies your child will need for school. Depending on your child’s grade, the list may include crayons and coloring books, or pens and multi-subject notebooks.

___ Wall calendar. A calendar in your kitchen, online, or on your mobile phone can help you keep track of important events like big tests, sports practices, rehearsals, and other school happenings.

___ Clothing essentials. Take a look in your children's closets and make a list of items that they need. Buy only the essentials. Kids’ fashion tastes tend to change in response to what other kids are wearing. Unless your child wears a uniform, it's better to take your child clothes shopping a week or two after school begins. One hint: It's a good idea to let your children choose their outfits for the first day of school.

___ Shoes. Start your child’s school year off with at least one sturdy pair of shoes that fit well. If the school day includes PE, make sure your children have good gym shoes too.

___ Backpack. Look for a pack that is not too heavy or too big for your child. It should have padding on the straps and back.

___ Lunch box. If your children bring their own lunch to school, let them pick out a new lunch box. That can get them excited for the first day.

___ Alarm Clock. Get an easy-to-use alarm clock for your child’s room and teach your child how to set it.

___ Back-to-school nutrition. Stock up on fruit, whole-grain bread, yogurt, and low-fat deli meat to keep your child fueled throughout the day. Prepare some dinners and freeze them so you simply heat them up on the first few nights.

___ Keep the receipts. Even with a list, it’s easy to buy the wrong type of notebook or pen by accident. Keep an envelope in your purse for receipts and coupons. This will make returns and exchanges a lot easier.

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