It is almost back to school time and while you might be concentrating on crossing things of the school supply list and refreshing back to school wardrobes for your kids, there are other back to school essentials that will make life a lot easier when life picks up its pace in September. Besides preparing your kids for back to school, you should also get your house in proper form too. Here are 5 essentials to the different rooms in your home for back to school time:
In the Bedroom
A good night sleep and an easy morning routine are crucial for a successful back to school time. If your children’s rooms are cluttered and messy they don’t create the soothing atmosphere you need for rest and relaxation. Take time before school starts to go through their rooms getting rid of unnecessary clutter and get the kids on board on keeping their rooms clean all year round. Have your children go through their drawers and closets and whittle everything down to what they actually wear. What can help is picking up some organizers to keep everything tidy and easily within reach in the morning. Hang a hook on the back of the door or somewhere in the room where you can hang their clothes for the next morning. Think also about freshening up pillows and comforters and even mattresses if you can to help everyone sleep more comfortably. Also, if your kids keep their schoolbags and schoolwork in their bedrooms then give them a designated space to keep everything neatly.
In the Kitchen
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but on crazy, hectic school mornings sometimes it doesn’t happen. Make sure everyone gets the proper nutrition in the morning by prepping the kitchen beforehand. Designate lower cabinet space for cereals and other quick breakfast goodies so it is easy for the kids to grab it themselves in the morning. Position the bowls and spoons within easy reach as well. You can also get a tray on wheels that you can stock with all the breakfast goodies too. To make after school snacks easier as well do the same thing you did with the breakfast items. Keep all snacks clearly labeled and organized in the fridge or the pantry and try to store everything at a kid-friendly height. If you have an island in your kitchen you can store snacks in baskets in the cabinets or shelves underneath. If your kids do their homework at the kitchen table while you are making dinner then also make sure you have some shelving designated for school and art supplies. Buy trays and organizers that are easy to move around so cleanup is a snap. If you are planning on a redesign of your kitchen soon, prioritize extra storage and functionality so the room multitasks as much as you do.
In the Foyer
Whether you have a grand foyer with lots of space or just a sliver of space the size of a closet, the foyer is an important space in the home when it comes to keeping organized. This is where all the coats, shoes, school bags, sporting and dance equipment and other paraphernalia goes. To make leaving the house easier, this space you should have plenty of hangers and other organizing essentials to keep everything labeled and easily grabbed in the mad rush out the door. Consider creating a built in closet with plenty of hooks and shelving to streamline everything. Hate it when your kids can’t find the matching school shoe in the morning? They will never happen again if you set up a large enough shoe rack so it fits a pair of school shoes for each kid. Then you just need to teach them not to just kick off their shoes all willy nilly when then come back in the afternoon. If you have the space, add a bench for the kids to sit on when they are pulling on their shoes. It will also be a welcoming note as guests enter your home. Always losing keys and cells phones too? Keep a basket on a shelf in the foyer for all the little things you need each morning.
Create Paperwork Central
Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. The one constant about back to school time as the parents is that there is always so much paperwork to fill out and keep track of. Flyers for fundraisers and back to school nights? It can be hard to keep track of it all. That is why you need to create a paperwork central for your home. Not only for school stuff but for bills, correspondences and other important documents. Take some time to really figure out where the best place to set this up will be? Do you want it in the kitchen or in a home office? If you don’t already have a home office set up and don’t have a room to designate to it, simply purchase a small desk and repurpose some space in the kitchen, living room, dining room, bedroom (it can really be anywhere) for both school and home paperwork. If you bring a lot of work home with you as well, then you can use this space for that too.
Carve Out Study Space
Everybody’s study style is different. Some kids are fine lounging on their beds while doing their homework while others prefer to work at an actual desk. If you have small children who need to be supervised then setting them up at the kitchen or dining room table might work best for you. It doesn’t matter where the homework happens as along as it conducive to good study habits. Some important elements are good lighting, enough space to spread out their work and to store supplies and a quiet setting. The key to organization and being prepared for the school year is to have the right tools. It is great to go on a mad decluttering spree, but if you don’t have the right furniture and storage space to maintain all the stuff you need on a daily basis, you know the clutter is bound to return. This doesn’t have to be really expensive though. Think creatively about what you already have in the house and only buy what you absolutely need. Before you know it, the house will be in tip top shape not only for back to school, but for the whole year as well.