Mission Possible: Back to School Shopping Survival Guide

Mission Possible: Back to School Shopping Survival Guide

The troops are ready to be loaded in the van - but you're missing the cargo. Back-to-school shopping for your kids' supplies can seem like survival of the fittest after a summer filled with barbecues and family vacations.

This year, parents' missions to fill their children's backpacks begin with one common goal -- organization. According to a recent Office Depot survey conducted by Harris Interactive of more than 500 parents, more than one-third (35 percent) of parents said they'd choose keep them organized glue for their child as the No. 1 super-powered supply.

While this super glue isn't available just yet, Maria Bailey, Office Depot's family organization expert, an award-winning author, founder and working mother of four kids, has tips to help parents get their kids in gear this school year.

"Parents can start the school year off on the right foot by getting their kids and home ready for the back-to-school season," says Bailey. "It's as simple as following a few survival tips to make sure your child is ready with the right tools to make the grade."

Basic Tips to Guide Parents Through the Back-to-School Shopping Season:
Prepare the Supplies: Before sending your troops off to class, make sure they're fully loaded with this year's best supplies, such as Elmer's Fun No Run Glue (under $1) or Liquid Graphite Pencils (under $3). Survival Tip: Buy in bulk to save on items like construction paper, poster board, markers and glue. Not only will these supplies fill backpacks, but five percent of your qualified supply purchases at Office Depot will be donated to the school of your choice.

Balance Your Act: Back-to-school time also means it is time to start balancing busy schedules. Make sure your child can be productive while on-the-go by creating a mobile workstation. Grab the Lap Desk by Smart Lap and fill it with travel-sized supplies. Now, home-work can be done in the baseball stands or in the car. Tip: If space, not time, is your obstacle, try the Easy Fold Desk ($60).

Secure the Home Base: Office Depot's survey of more than 500 parents also revealed that the two most popular study areas at home are the kitchen and bedroom - with or without a desk. Stock up on Eldon Shelf Savers Bin Organizers ($13) to store and organize those extra supplies.

Tech-Savvy Skills: An overwhelming majority of parents, 93 percent, indicated that their child needs at least some technology to be successful in school. If you're investing in tech tools, help protect and organize these products with items such as the Extreme Sling Cross Over Backpack ($20) or Nike Zipper Binders ($15). The multiple compartments in each are perfect for carrying the latest gadgets from hand-held organizers to graphic calculators to cell phones. In addition, use a portable thumb drive such as the Memorex 1GB USB 2.0 Thumb Drive to store data, files, photos and more and retrieve from any computer -- no more floppies!

Re-evaluate the Field: Each school year is filled with quizzes, group projects and assignments. Have the latest software on hand to alleviate late night homework stresses. Microsoft Student is a new addition to MS Office that includes such features as: Encarta, Graphic Calculator, Essay Organization, Foreign Language Functions and more. This software offers everything the serious student needs to stay ahead of the curve at school, from state-of-the-art research resources to helpful organization tools.

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Courtesy of ARA Content