That time that all parents secretly celebrate is nearly here. Yes, Cherokee County schools start back next week at the start of August. So it’s time to get your kids ready to go—school supplies, backpacks, new clothes, etc.

Georgia Tax Free Weekend  The first and best tip we can offer you is that the Georgia Tax-Free Weekend begins this Friday, July 29 and goes through Sunday. While it may not be a huge savings, every little bit helps, especially if your kids or household needs things like a new laptop, printer, ink cartridges, scanner, router, etc. The Georgia tax exemption covers personal computers and accessories $1,500 and under, as long as these items are for noncommercial use.

Clothing is tax-exempt up to $100 per item. Assess each child’s needs before you leave the house. This will make it much easier once you’re at the store. Clothing exemptions are not just for kiddies, but everyone in your household. The approved list of items includes formal clothing, ties, belts, shoes, coats and sleepwear. Surprisingly, it also includes exemptions for the youngest members of your household, as baby clothes and diapers will also be tax-exempt.

The next tip is to know what your child needs for that school grade and class within that grade. Different teachers sometimes require different supplies. Make sure you have the supply list with you when you shop. This way, your children will be fully prepared the very first day of school. It will also make them feel like they fit in with everyone else and are equipped to handle any projects or assignments.

Cherokee County Schools  Another tip that could prove helpful relates to those in new schools. If your child is attending a new school, try to visit your child’s school in advance. Let your child get familiar with classrooms, hallways and important offices, such as the principal and the nurse.

If you haven’t already started, take this week to start getting your children on a school bedtime schedule. This may mean going to bed 15-30 minutes earlier each evening all through the week, including the weekend as well as getting up earlier. Studies have shown that kids (even into their teens) need about 10 hours of sleep daily and many are not getting enough sleep.

Try to avoid dragging them through Walmart or other stores at 9 o’clock at night or even later, all in an effort to get everything done. Go to one or two stores each day over the 3-day tax holiday to get all your purchases made. This will make everyone happier than a single marathon day of 6-10 places.

If necessary and possible, divide and conquer—one parent takes the younger children and the other the older kids. Except for school supplies, some of the clothing stops will be completely different for the two age groups, so why drag everyone to every single place?

If necessary, order some items online to save time and frustration—how many times have you chased down a school supply sale, only to find the store was out of half the items you wanted to buy? Many of the sales prices will still be honored at the store websites (but they will not acknowledge the Georgia Tax-Free Weekend as you will be ordering out-of-state). If you are lucky enough to know everyone’s updated shoe and clothing sizes, you might even pick up a few items for the wardrobe as well.

If you now have at least one child going to college, you get a slight reprieve with them, as most colleges start back a couple weeks later.

If you don’t have children in school or they have already completed their education, keep in mind that early morning traffic in Towne Lake and Woodstock is likely to be more challenging. Plan accordingly and allow a little extra time to get to the office, especially in the first couple weeks of school being back in session.

And finally, we’ll end on a practical, humorous note. At all costs, avoid showing your absolute giddiness at the prospect of school being back in session. Wait until the bus has driven away or your child has gone inside the school!

Ursula & Associates is a residential real estate team specializing in the Towne Lake/Woodstock area along with the rest of Cherokee County and portions of Cobb County. Ursula & Associates is the number 1 home seller in zip code 30189.

Please call Ursula & Associates to discuss your potential Home Value in Woodstock, Canton, Cherokee and Cobb County at 678-569-4044 Find out what your home is worth NOW!

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