How to Avoid Night-Before-It's-Due Trips to the Store

Here's how to stock the right school project supplies

Get extra school supplies early to save your energy
Getty Images / Tooga

Don't you hate those last minute shopping sprees you must do for your kids? After a long day, when you've got no energy left, the last thing you want is your child freaking out because the printer is out of ink and their research paper is due the next day. 

Sometimes defense is the best offense. Get organized and be prepared by keeping supplies for school projects on hand. Follow these tips and suggestions to avoid last-minute emergency trips to the store.

Make A Supply List for School Projects

In addition to the back-to school supplies add these times to your list. 

Buy both white and colored poster board. Keep at least five white and two of each color on hand at all times. Frequently, warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam's have poster board in bulk. Considering how much poster board your child will use in a given year, it's a good investment. Or you could also pick these items up at your local Dollar Store.

More and more teachers are requesting that students use sturdier foam board for major projects. Purchase one black and one white 20" x 30" board and store them with your other project supplies.

You can be guaranteed that your child will need at least one tri-fold display boards at some point during the school year for a science or social studies project. Go ahead and buy one so you'll have it when he needs it.

You will need plenty of extra art supplies like colored pencils, markers, crayons, tape, glue sticks, or rubber cement.

Also buy a large, multi-colored pack of construction paper. Again, you can find economical, bulk construction paper packs at Sam's or Costco. This is another item your child will need frequently during the school year. One last thing can be Popsicle sticks.  The mainstay of many a school project, you can find boxes of Popsicle sticks in various sizes at any craft store or in the craft section of many retail stores.

Last, but most important, keep extra ink cartridges stocked up. Watch and buy them when they are on sale. The only thing worse than a last-minute trip to the store for an ink cartridge is a last-minute trip when you pay more than your normally would for a cartridge.

Household Supplies to Keep On Hand

More often than not, your child will need access to old magazines or newspapers to complete a project. Collect all of the old magazines that are cluttering your den and put them in a storage container. You can keep them with your other stash of school project supplies.

Your child may need access to recent newspaper articles for school papers or current events projects. If you receive your local newspaper on a daily basis, use a 30-gallon storage container as a recycle bin. Empty it as it gets full (usually every two to three weeks). In the meantime, your child will always know right where to go when looking for recent articles.

Control Access to the School Project Supplies

If you don't want your school project supplies to fall into the hands of budding artists or groups of girls making craft projects on a rainy Sunday afternoon, you'll need to control access to them.

Use an under-bed storage container and keep project supplies either in your bedroom or your home office. Make it clear to your children that these supplies are for school projects only and are not to be touched otherwise.

Check your inventory after each school project. Add items that need to be replenished to your list for the next time you go shopping.

Get to the Root Cause of Your Child's Procrastination

At some point, you will need to address the organizational issues that cause your child to only remember projects and the required project supplies at the last minute.

Perhaps they need help getting organized for school. Depending on their age there's many different avenues you can take. A middle-schooler will have different needs than a high-schooler.  It's best to nip this type of behavior to help reserve your energy and theirs in the future.

With these tips and suggestions, you can start the school year in an organized way and stay organized throughout the year.