Back to School Organization Tips
Its September and the Summer has come and gone, which can only mean one thing for parents: Back-to-School. Hooray!! The kids have spent the better part of 2 months at home 24/7. Those bedrooms, living rooms, and game rooms have plenty of “teen spirit” as well as dirt, grime, and funk. Back to School is a time for getting organized. From new fresh wardrobes, backpacks, and school supplies, keeping your home clean and orderly is challenging. Here at Kathleen’s, we wanted to offer some tips to help make the transition from chaos to order a little easier. Here are some of the top tips for families with kids returning to school:
Set up a Homework Station
A Homework station is essentially a dedicated spot in your home where your child can do their homework. This provides a great place tailored to your child’s learning style to increase focus and provide a central place to keep all school supplies. You can set up a homework station anywhere in your home, kitchen, family room, and if your child needs more help, your home office could work too. Make sure to keep this station free of toys and play time. The more they associate this area with solely school work, the more productive they’ll be.
Lunch Prep: A little work upfront, saves you a ton of headaches
Dedicated the lowest shelf of your refrigerator to lunch items. That’s where you should keep juice boxes, milk, yogurt, and cheese. Do the same for the pantry with shelf stable items. Keeping all the lunch items together makes grab and go easy. Also, leaving them in reach allows you to engage your children in the process. Before bedtime, pre-pack their lunch box with non-perishables and in the morning just grab your refrigerated items and go.
On the weekends handle the shopping and prepping. Cut and chop fruits and veggies and place them in individual containers, ready to be added to their lunch box. Pre-make PB&J or other favorite sandwiches for the week.
Create a lunchbox zone in the kitchen. When they get home from school, they’ll have a place to remove any trash and containers, and place frozen packs back in the freezer for the next day. Later that evening, start the process over again. With just a little planning and organization lunch prep will be a breeze.
Closet Organizing Tips
- Donate. Every season – Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer – take time to go through all the clothes. Determine what stays and what goes. Find a local donation site (Salvation Army, Clothes Drives) and make sure to get a receipt for your taxes.
- Divide. Divide the closet from top to bottom. The top shelf should be used to store donated items, hand me downs. Use containers and label by season.
- Create a system for donations & hand me downs. Label one box for donations and another for hand me downs. Each month or so, ask your children about clothes that don’t fit. Toss them in the box and when you can, donate them.
- Set out clothes for the week. Keep clothes within reach of the children. Install a hanging fabric shelf system and label for each day of the school week. Monday-Friday. Sort clothes before the week, and the challenge of what to wear is a thing of the past
- Addition and Subtraction. To keep things tidy, never add a new article of clothing without taking one out. This will ensure that the closet never gets messy again.
3. Stop the mud at the door.
One of the best places in the home for triage from the school day is the mudroom. For those that have a dedicated room, perfect. But for many, we don’t have a room dedicated just for mud. If you don’t have a mudroom, you can certainly convert a space in your home, near the door to take on this role.
Add a bench near the door along the wall. Place storage bins underneath for each child, or for each sport. Built-in shelves will also work here. Organization is key. Hang coat racks above the bench and label for each child. When the kids come home, instruct them to hang jackets, place shoes, and any other items in their dedicated space.
At Kathleen’s, “We Don’t Just Promise. We Deliver.” Stay tuned for other home organization tips and other helpful tips to make life around the house just a little bit easier.