Why does the back to school season matter to people who don't have kids?

Posted by Rachel Southmayd on August 6, 2013 

Yesterday, a reader commented on a "Sharpen Your Pencils" post about tips for getting ready to start the school year. The person wrote that he used to hate seeing articles like that, presumably because he or she didn't want the summer to end. But it got me to thinking, why should people who don't have kids care about school starting back up again? How does it change their lives at all? So, I came up with a few answers.

1. Traffic. If you live in or near a school zone, you know that traffic can get a lot worse when school is in session, particularly in the morning and mid-afternoon and especially if the school doesn't have a large parking lot and parent drop-off and pick-up means plenty of minivans parked on the side of the road. In two weeks, you might want to consider adjusting your morning and afternoon routine if you want to avoid the masses.

2. Shopping. People are going nuts over back to school shopping right now. Avoid clothing stores that cater to kids if you want to avoid the throngs of people trying to get new outfits for little Susie and Johnny.

3. Sales. No, this isn't the same as shopping, because this one is good. Take advantage of back to school sales, especially on office supplies and electronics like calculators and laptops, if you're in the market. It can be a great time to snag some deals.

4. Weekends. During the summer, the line between weekdays and weekends can blur a bit. But once school is back in session, if parents want to take their kids to different activities, Saturday and Sunday are their only options. If you've got a flexible schedule, consider going on adventures of any sort on a weekday, when the crowds are smaller.

5. Commercials. Yes, those back to school commercials can be grating. I particularly don't like the Kleenex "Shield, Sneeze, Swish" ones (that's just kind of gross). Just DVR or TiVo everything and fast forward through them. They'll be gone by September.

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