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Top Ten Tuesday: Back To School Tips And Tricks



Hey guys! We know August just started, but with tax-free weekend and the big Back To School Expo and School Supply Drive coming up in just a few short days ( Aug. 8th),  we couldn't think of a better time to share a few of our favorite Back- To -School tip and tricks!


Back To School Tips And Tricks


1)Stephanie M., Office Manager/ Events Staff Manager- “Start early- we usually start our routine a week or two before school starts.  Going to be early, getting up early, organizing schedules, etc.  This allows us to work out any kinks in our plans ahead of time."


2)"We have a family meeting the Monday night before school starts.  My husband and I discuss the upcoming school year and help them to set individual goals.  We usually use this time to set some new family goals as well."- Stephanie M., Office Manager/ Events Staff Manager



Also something to consider: "With warmer weather lasting well into the beginning of the school year, I find that there is no need to rush out to buy a ton of new clothes NOW when they won’t wear most of it for a few months."- Stephanie M., Office Manager/ Events Staff Manager


4)"If your child has an A/B or X/Y schedule in middle/high school, use two backpacks – we put initial key chains on them to indicate what day they are for.  It keeps my daughter from forgetting something at home."- Nancy M., Office Manager/Bookkeeper.



Our Advertising Sales Consultant, Jodi U., suggests that you "Lay their clothing out the night before so there is no melt downs over what they don't want to wear the morning of!"


6)Sheila G., Advertising Sales Consultant, recommends that you, “Have a routine rather than have a schedule.  A routine you can follow no matter where you are or what is happening:  dinner, bath, tv/books, bed.  If you have a band recital one night you still have dinner, bath, book/tv, bed.  A routine is a lot better and more flexible than a schedule.”


7)Heidi D., our Director of Marketing and Operations, gives one great piece of advice, “For new middle schoolers - buy a combination lock and let them get comfortable with how it works.  It will prevent LOTS of frustration (tears, embarrassment, etc.) the first days of school.”


8)Leigh Anne V., Publisher, recommends planning for the unexpected. “On the first day of kindergarten, the school bus came 25 minutes early and we missed it. (We were merely 15 minutes early) Be Alert!!!! There were many tears.”


9 & 10)Brenda S., Social Media Manager- Take pictures (time goes by so fast!) and print them out. Scrapbooks or photo-books are great ways to keep pictures from disappearing into the digital abyss. I don’t know about you, but between my computer, phone, external hard drive, and The Cloud, I have a million photos!


Be sure to come by The Spotsylvania Towne Center, Aug.8th, from 10:00am - 4:00pm, for our big Back To School Expo and School Supply Drive! Keegan Allen will be there for autograph signings, The Nature James will be performing live, we'll have amazing vendors, a scavenger hunt, prizes, and a lip sync battle!




What are some of your favorite Back To School tips?


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Top Ten Tuesday: Get Organized!


Anyone wish they were a little more organized? Unsure of how to keep your house together once you get it just the way you like it? I think many of us fall into the trap of organizing and purging a few times a year, then feeling overwhelmed when everything falls to pieces again. Here at FredParent, we’ve collected a few sage pieces of organizing advice that we think anyone can implement into their daily lives. Let’s do this! 

Top Ten Tips For Getting Organized!


1Have a “Donate” and a “Needs Sorting” box that's easily accessible. Let’s be honest. We don’t always have time to do large scale closet or toy editing sessions when they’re needed. However, we can toss an unused toy or sweater into a “Donate” box on our way out the door. We may not always have time to find a place for items that need to be stored or organized. Instead of leaving them on a table or countertop, toss them into the “Needs Sorting” box.

2That being said, make donating a habit. We keep the “Donate” box and “Needs Sorting” box next to front the door. Once the "Donate" box is full, one of us will eventually grab it and do a quick drop off at Goodwill. If you plan on deducting the donations from your taxes, make sure to get a receipt and keep a list of what you’re donating. Ask a tax professional about the best way to keep tabs on your donations. We are NOT tax professionals.

3Where do you open the mail? Paper clutter gets out of control so quickly! Take a few days to watch where your family habitually opens the mail. Once you figure that out, set out baskets for mail to be shredded, recycled, filed, added to the calendar (then recycled!), and for bills to be paid. Get a head start on tackling paper clutter by going digital; pay bills online, get statements emailed to you, have doctors text you appointment reminders, use Facebook and evites to organize small, informal parties. Make sure to keep the calendar near where you open mail! It just makes life easier.

4Edit and purge routinely. Know thyself. This can mean 10 minutes a day making decisions on what you actually use and need, or it could mean an hour of editing on Sunday. Do what works best for you and the family, and be honest! Just because you like something doesn't mean you will ever actually use it.

5Know your hot spots. Is the area in front of your door always covered in shoes? Is the kitchen table a hot mess by the end of the day? Does the bathroom floor look like your hamper exploded? Pick one area this week and tackle it! Start with checking on it every so often while you’re home. Get the family involved, too. Soon, you will discover why it is so hard to keep that area clean. You may just need a new organizational method. Pinterest is full of ideas! After awhile, keeping that area tidy will become habitual. Once you’re at that point, tackle another hot spot.

Make closets and drawers easy to access. Sometimes the front door is littered with shoes because you can’t open the closet without a landslide of stored items knocking you over (been there!). Maybe the kitchen counter is piling up because the kitchen drawers are full of unsorted, loose items. If storage areas are easy to access and use, people will be more apt to use them. So simple, right? Check out our Pinterest boards, our resident organizational blogger, and even Ikea for ideas on how to utilize storage in these areas.

7On that note, keep seasonal, hardly used items high and everyday items low. The items you need to get to regularly need to be easily accessible. Keep everything else neatly tucked away.

8Label what you can. This makes it easier for everyone in the family to remember where things go. No more guessing! Use pictures if you have family members that are too little to read.

9There’s an app for that. You can find loads of free apps for organizing lists, calendars, and even pictures! Most of these apps can be used by multiple family members, as well. We love Cozi and Evernote.

10Get everyone on board! This may be the MOST IMPORTANT tip we share. Before implementing any sort of organizational methodology, make sure everyone is on board. Ask your kids where they want to keep their shoes and backpacks. Where are they most comfortable doing homework? Where does your partner like to decompress? What is driving everyone crazy? What do they think is working or not working? What charity do they want to donate their used clothes and toys to? Be honest and don’t point fingers. Getting everyone on board is crucial to staying organized.

11 *BONUS!* Be flexible. Your life and home are evolving every single day. So should your organizational methods. What works now may need to be tweaked or even tossed next month. That’s OKAY. That doesn't’t mean your method was a failure or that you are a failure. It means your home has simply outgrown the method you were using. Time to move on to a new one!


What organizational tips work best for you? Have any you’d like to share? What part of your home needs the most love?


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Pouches' Community Corner

Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area Splash EventMassadYMCA

For the past seven years, Smart Beginnings has thrown the Splash Pool Party fundraiser. This summer, the event will be held on June 24, 2018 from 6:30-9:30 pm at the Steve & Cheri Thurston Water Park at the Massad Family YMCA. Tickets range in price from $12 for a single ticket, $20 for couples and $35 for a family/group of four and each ticket also covers a hot dog, bag of chips and a drink.