We may not want to see summer end, but it’s almost time to put the pool toys away and send the kids back to school. One thing that can make the transition easier is getting your home well-organized. Maybe there are chores you’ve been putting off during the hot summer months, or maybe you just need to start fresh. Either way, here are some good tips to follow to get your house in top-functioning order.
Install Entryway Shelving
Instead of letting your kids drop their books, backpacks, and shoes at the front door in a pile, give them a place to store these items neatly. Find some bins or benches that open and install some shelving for school supplies. Add some hooks for coats, scarves, and sweaters.
Create a Study Space
Make getting homework done a snap with a dedicated study space. It doesn’t take much room. Find a small desk and chair online and add it to your child’s room, or to a corner in the kitchen or living room. Add a lamp and an organizer with pencils, paper, clips and glue. The kids will finish their studies faster and with less resistance in their own special space.
Post a Schedule
Think about what has to get done, when and where. Decide who needs to get up when, shower times for everyone, and breakfast time, and make sure the family understands the importance of the schedule. Hang the schedule in the family room or kitchen where everyone will see it. This will reduce morning frustration, and the instances of forgotten projects and missed rides.
Proactively Plan Meals
Feeding your family can be a time-consuming task, which is why it pays to plan ahead. Make your meal plan a week ahead and shop for the ingredients you need so you don’t have to run by the store multiple times. Use a crock pot at least one night a week, and find easy food that can be thrown together quickly. As for lunches, plan those ahead too and try keeping them as similar as possible for everyone. No need to make three different foods every day.
Invest in Reusable Bags
Save some money and avoid waste without sacrificing convenience by buying reusable, see-through bags to pack lunches and store chopped up veggies in the fridge. These offer convenience as budget-friendly and environmentally friendly ways to store food for your family.
Build a Supply Drawer… or Closet
Going back to school requires all types of supplies. Clean out a large drawer in your kitchen or small closet and use it as a supply area. That way, everyone knows exactly where to find new pencils, notepads, crayons, and other school supplies without searching all over the house.
Get Your Vehicle School-Ready
When you dive into your organizational plan, don’t forget that you’ll be spending lots of time in your vehicle once the kids are back in school. Add some net pockets to the back of your seats to keep various objects from sliding around haphazardly. Also take it in for a tuneup. The last thing you want is for it to overheat or for a tire to go flat in the pick-up line.
Divide and Conquer
If you have friends and neighbors with school-age children, team up! Offer to drive their kids to school and after-school sports a few days a week if they will reciprocate with yours. This saves you time and gives your children a chance to socialize.
Organize Your Pantry
Don’t get caught being low on after-school snacks or packs of food for lunches. Clear some space by throwing away anything expired or food your family won’t eat. Line your shelves and add organizers where it’s convenient. Put large quantities, like cereal, rice, and noodles, in see-through containers with lids to help find it fast and keep it fresh. Store your younger kids’ snacks in lower drawers or shelves so they can reach them without assistance.
Prioritize a Good Night’s Sleep
Yes, the school season is a busy time, but your family’s sleep schedules don’t need to suffer because of it. Set strict bedtimes for each child depending on their age and get to bed at a decent hour yourself. Waking up refreshed sets the tone for how the morning will unfold and helps everything run smoother.
Waving ‘bye to summer is always a bit sad, but cool fall days are fun, too. By taking a bit of time to plan for back to school, you and your family can hit the ground running, prepared for anything.