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Thursday, August 3, 2023

Free Printable Back to School Checklist for Parents

If you're in the northern hemisphere your kids are probably near the end of their summer break and getting ready to head back to school at the end of this month. This means you'll be busy getting everything organised for the new school year, which can be overwhelming and end up in a crazy rush to get everything done in the last week of holidays {I know I've been there}. 

To make life easier for you our friend Jenn from Sleepy Mommy has created this comprehensive printable back to school checklist and you can download it for free! Take the stress out of preparing for school with everything written out for you, just check each item off as you get it done.

free printable back to school checklist


This printable back to school list isn't your average list to check off individual stationary and clothing items as you buy them before school starts, it also includes tasks that can sometimes be overlooked until the last minute like organising physicals and haircuts, entering school events into your personal calendar and practicing bedtime and morning routines with children before school starts. It's also important to organise the following items ahead of time.

Labelling school supplies

Nobody wants to be rushing to label school items the night before school starts. To avoid this I recommend ordering personalised name labels or a bulk pack of blank name labels a few weeks ahead of school starting. You can also get personalised iron on labels or stamps for clothing that won't fade off as they're washed.

To get the most out of your labels, order them with just your child's first and last name {no year level or class}, so that any left over labels can be used for the next year of school.

Organise and stock up the pantry

To make life easier when packing school lunches, we have a dedicated shelf for school snacks that the kids know are only for school lunch boxes. We also have an after school snack box that they can eat anything from for afternoon tea once they're home from school. 

It's a great way to give children independence and choice over what they eat and it's a good way to avoid the I'm hungry what can I eat whinging when they already have a box full of snacks ready to choose from. It's also really easy to see when you're running low on certain foods and need to stock up.

First day of school photos

Every parent I know does first and last day of school photos for their kids, because it's so fun to look back on how much they've grown during the year and how much they've changed as they move through the years of school. Sometimes these photos can be a last minute snap as they arrive at the school gate, however if you want to be more prepared, you can get first and last day of school signs or boards that can be reused each year. Make sure you order them in time for them to arrive before school starts.

Set up a command station

Life is so much easier during the school term for us as parents and for the kids themselves when there's a designated place for all of their school items to live. Nobody wants backpacks, lunchboxes, shoes and books strewn all over their loungeroom floor. The key to avoiding this is to set up a command center for each child's items before school starts. A command center can be as small as a bookcase, or as big as a wall in a mudroom. 

Typical items included in a school command center are:


To get the most out of your back to school checklist I recommend printing it out and starting to organise all of the items that need to be done at least 4 weeks before school starts.

1. Print and laminate the back to school checklist. Print the checklist onto cardstock or paper. I highly recommend either laminating the list or using it with a dry erase pocket so it doesn't get bent or damaged as you'll be referring to the list for a few weeks.

2. Use in conjunction with school supply list. Because this checklist doesn't include an area for itemised supplies, you'll need to refer to your school district or homeschool supply list, which you can tick off as you buy each item and then tick off purchase school supplies on the master list once you've got everything you need.

3. Check off all the items as they're completed. The list is compiled in the general order tasks should be completed, so work through the list from top to bottom and check off each item as you complete it.


Click the download template button below to download the back to school checklist. This will take you to the PDF that can be downloaded to your device and printed.

Please note that this back to school checklist PDF is for personal or classroom use only and may not be shared, electronically uploaded or sold on any platform. If you would like to share or feature the checklist in a blog post please link back to this post directly.

free printable back to school checklist sample image

download template here

Special thanks to Sleepy Mommy for creating this free printable back to school list and allowing me to share it with my readers.

free printable back to school checklist for parents


Disclosure - This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience, which means I may make a small commission at no cost to you, should you make a purchase.

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