Top 10 must-haves for a stylish and successful Back to School season

Top 10 must-haves for a stylish and successful Back to School season
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Top 10 must-haves for a stylish and successful Back to School season

Milton’s first day of school for grades 1-12 is Wednesday, August 30 and it’s time to gear up for a fresh start!

(Check out the MPS calendar here.)

Whether you’re a student excited to embrace a new academic year or a parent preparing your child for the upcoming challenges, having the right essentials can make all the difference. From innovative gadgets to organizational tools, here are the top 10 must-haves to ensure a stylish and successful return to the classroom.


In today’s digital age, a reliable laptop or tablet is essential for effective learning. From taking notes to accessing online resources, having a portable device can streamline your educational experience.

If you want a laptop that will last for 5+ years, I recommend a MacBook Air. (I *just* retired my 2015 MacBook Pro a couple of months ago and it was only because it couldn’t keep up with the memory needed for certain apps, like Photoshop!)

If your child is still in elementary school or is the kid who is constantly losing or breaking things, you’ll want a lower priced ChromeBook. We’ve had good luck with Acer Chromebooks and this one has a touchscreen!

Backpack with tech compatibility

You know that laptop you just bought?

You’ll want to protect it!

Invest in a sturdy backpack designed with compartments for your tech gadgets, like laptops and tablets. This will help keep your devices safe while ensuring easy access to everything you need and ample room for other school supplies. This JanSport Right Pack comes in a variety of colors and has a protective laptop sleeve and a leather base. My last JanSport lasted about 20 years!

Noise-canceling headphones

Create your own study oasis with noise-canceling headphones. Block out distractions in a bustling environment and focus on your tasks with enhanced concentration.

For your older teen, you may want to invest in Apple Airpods Pro. As long as your teen is responsible, they are a wonderful investment and will last a long time.

My accident-prone kiddo has had these foldable wireless headphones for over a year and they’re fantastic. They don’t have the same noise canceling capability of AirPods Pro, but at a current price of under $20, they’re a steal!

Planner or digital calendar

Stay organized by using a planner or digital calendar to track assignments, project deadlines, and extracurricular activities. A well-organized schedule is key to managing your time effectively. I love Google Calendar, but I also adore my Full Focus planner. Your kiddo may need a student planner that is a bit less intense.

This Blue Sky planner gets raving reviews, like “I use this planner to keep myself organized throughout the school year. I love that there is plenty of space to write tasks each day. I also like the monthly calendar pages to plan ahead.”

This is an excellent introductory planner for younger students:

This Global Datebooks Dated Middle School or High School Student Planner has planning stickers! Who doesn’t love stickers?!

Writing implements

Stock up on pens, pencils, highlighters, etc. to keep your note-taking and studying engaging. We all have our favorite pens. Mine are Papermate InkJoy’s super colorful set (yes, I color code my calendar).

For a more basic black/blue option, I love Uniball Vision Needle pens.

Reusable water bottle

Staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial for maintaining focus and energy levels. A reusable water bottle will not only help you stay refreshed but also contribute to reducing plastic waste. I prefer metal water bottles because they don’t taste like Cascade soap when they come out of the dishwasher.

We are the proud owners of a bunch of Hydroflask water bottles, but of course, my kids are always stealing my Yeti.

Laptop pillow

Teenagers especially are known for their spectacular posture. A laptop pillow is an essential back-to-school accessory as it provides ergonomic support, allowing students to comfortably work or study from anywhere, reducing strain on their back and neck. Its padded design also protects both the laptop and the user’s legs, making it a versatile and practical addition to any student’s toolkit. Plus… laptops get so hot!

This laptop pillow gets great reviews and currently has a 20% off coupon offer:

Portable charger

Since you won’t be at school with your kids when they say “Moooommmmm, do you have a portable charger?” Never let your devices run out of battery again. A portable charger ensures that you stay connected and powered up, especially during long days on campus.

We have a two pack of these Miady 2-Pack 10000mAh Dual USB portable chargers and they’ve lasted 18 months so far with very frequent use. Yes, get the two pack, because you know this will make regular disappearances.

Lunch box

Everyone needs a lunch box! This HABOPET Lunch Box is rectangular, meaning you can squeeze it into that overpacked backpack, and comes in 3 colors.

Notes from Mom and Dad!

My kids love to receive lunchbox notes from Mom. Keep these cute notes in the kitchen for when your kiddo needs a little extra TLC at school. Each box of these Compendium ThoughtFulls for Kids pop-open cards holds 30 upbeat sentiments to support a child every step of the way. Tuck one into a lunch box, a pocket, or a backpack, and let each hidden message add delight to their day.

Best wishes for a wonderful school year, Milton parents & kids!

As you gear up for another exciting academic journey, make sure you’re well-equipped with these top 10 must-haves for a successful back-to-school season.

From staying organized to embracing technology to maintaining their connection to Mom & Dad, these essentials will help you navigate your studies with style and efficiency.

Remember, the right tools can contribute significantly to your learning experience, setting the tone for a productive and fulfilling school year ahead.


*This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on them and purchase the item, we’ll receive a teeny tiny commission, which we’ll use for more lunchbox notes. 

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