(BPT) - The start of the new school year is fast approaching. It’s a time when kids will rush back to the classroom, ready to see their friends, enter a new grade and jump back into sports. While the last month of summer can be eaten up by never ending to-do lists, there are plenty of ways to make the transition from the carefree days of summer to the school year a breeze for parents and students alike.

The key is getting organized and easing back into a routine so it doesn’t feel like such an adjustment for the family. The following tips help both students and parents ease any last minute jitters and instead feel ready to conquer the year.

*Plan outfits early. Nothing can throw off a morning routine like hearing, “Mom! I can’t find my shoes!” The week before school starts, organize your child’s closet with them, ensuring shoes, shirt and pants all live in their designated areas. Then, you can easily pick out outfits for the entire first week, allowing your child to infuse their personal style and guarantee excitement for the ever-important first day of school outfit. This will help establish the routine of always laying clothes out ahead of time, so getting dressed is a snap!

*Conquer the routine. You can’t spell lunch without PB&J. Never miss an ingredient with your digital personal assistant. With Microsoft’s Windows 10 you can have Cortana remind you to get bread the next time you drive past a grocery store. Lisa Gurry, Microsoft’s consumer lifestyle expert, says, “With my kids’ school 20 minutes away, I rely on Cortana to alert me if traffic is causing a longer-than-normal commute. Cortana is a lifesaver!” With carpool and shopping done, your parent of the year award will be pending!

*Reschedule bedtime. Long summer days mean later bedtimes. Two weeks before school starts, get your kids back on course by easing into earlier bedtime, but don’t forget to wake them up earlier too! Setting daily reminders on your phone will keep you and your kids on track.

*Upgrade your tech without breaking the bank. The only thing that moves faster than summer is tech innovation. This school year the best tech money can buy just might be free and waiting on your student’s PC. Microsoft has made its latest software available for free with Windows 10, bringing users a suite of new features, including Cortana. To upgrade, visit www.Windows.com.

Whether it’s your child’s first year in the classroom or you’re a carpool veteran, following these tips will ensure you have a smart and successful start to the school year.