Just as a new job brings levels of change into an adult’s life, a new school year can make life a little more challenging for the kids. There are lots of new things on the horizon to deal with:
- New teachers
- New subjects to conquer
- New schedules and locker combinations to learn
- New fellow students to befriend (or beware)
- Maybe even an entire new school and neighborhood
If you think kids really don’t worry and stress about going back to school, here’s a quote to change your mind: “I am not looking forward to the hours of homework we have each night. It was hard to get organized last year and they say this year we have more work, which will make it really hard to get organized.” –Marlee, 12 (kidshealth.org)
Back to school may bring lots of reasons for stress, but learning to be organized and in control of one’s personal world can eliminate a lot of stress! You can help your kids more easily navigate the school year with some helpful tips for your home from Tailored Living®, the home organization experts!
Abolish hide-and-seek closets
Installing a custom closet storage system in your child’s closet will help them manage everything they need for the new school year. Age-appropriate design will accommodate wardrobe, sports uniforms, shoes, boots, coats, backpacks, purses…with a place for everything within easy reach.
- An organized closet will eliminate random piles and messes throughout the bedroom, leaving the desk clear for homework and projects.
- Getting ready in the morning will be quicker when they can find socks, shoes and jackets, reducing the stress of missing the bus or being late to class.
- Neatly folded or on hangers, clothes will not be crumpled or have that “slept-in” look, giving a sense of pride in a neat appearance.
- A hamper right in the closet will keep dirty clothes corralled until laundry day.
Take time with your child to go through their entire wardrobe, helping them pare down any excess (50 tee shirts, really?), inspect each piece for damage and wear-ability, replace outgrown items like jackets, and add some new stylish clothes. Be sure shoes and boots still fit and are comfortable. Keep only the clothes that they like and will actually wear, downsizing to what will fit into the closet and any dresser drawers to cut down on clutter. Help them create a wardrobe for every eventuality—school, play, parties and fancy dress, so they’re prepared for anything with clothes, shoes and accessories that they enjoy wearing.
Lunch: the most important meal of a kid’s day
It’s no mystery that lunch is a favorite part of any child’s school day. They like it to hang with friends, but you know that it’s an important nutritional break to help them power through the afternoon. A well-stocked pantry is the best way to ensure they’ll be eating healthy lunches every day. A custom pantry, designed for your family’s specific needs, can keep juice boxes, waters, healthy snacks and fruits in full view with “easy-grab” bins and open shelves so they can help themselves.
- Consolidate the essentials so nothing gets missed when packing lunch: lunch bags, napkins, plastic cups, forks and spoons can be together in the pantry.
- Easily track supply and demand so you never run out of the family favorites like peanut butter crackers, trail mix, kale chips, raisins and nutrition bars.
- Establish the habit of packing lunches the night before to save time in the morning.
- Refrigerated items like ice packs, Snackables, lunch meats, veggies, cheese sticks, and individual-size packaged hummus, cottage cheese and yogurt should be equally assessable to make packing a healthy lunch a snap for even the youngest child.
Taming the homework monster
Neither kids nor parents like homework; it does seem to take up an inordinate amount of time in the evenings! But it is a fact of school life and anything you can do to make it easier is a good thing. Planned space for homework where interruptions are at a minimum will cut down the time spent. Whether homework is done right after school or put off until after dinner, having a regular place to work is important with proper lighting, comfortable seating and sufficient work space.
- A desk in the bedroom is ideal for keeping books, papers, pens and work essentials handy so homework can be accomplished quickly.
- A home office could accommodate multiple work stations for several users at the same time, in an atmosphere that’s designed for focus.
- A corner of the dining room table can become a homework station with storage close by for storing paper, scissors, art supplies and resource books.
- The family room can be set up for homework users, keeping the TV off until the homework’s done.
Leave on time, every time
Getting out of the house every morning on time and with everything they’ll need for the day is another challenge. With the demands of school—books, permission slips, uniforms, sports equipment, lunches, phones, backpacks—it’s no wonder things are often left behind. An almost foolproof cure is an organized entryway to help the whole family stay organized with all the stuff that comes and goes throughout the day.
Entryway and mudroom storage solutions provide space for each person to manage their possessions. Depending on space restraints, enclosed cabinets, shelves, cubbies, storage benches, hooks and racks can create functional space that controls and hides clutter. Each person has personal space for their own things so nothing gets lost.
- Jackets, hats, scarves and other outerwear can be hung immediately upon entering the house, no dropping to the floor or tossing onto furniture.
- Shoes and boots that may be wet or dirty can sit in cubbies or on mats instead of tracking a mess across the floor.
- Shelves can hold books and purses, or anything that needs to be ready for the morning exit.
- Backpacks, projects and sports gear will be there at the exit point so nothing is forgotten in the rush of the morning.
An organized school day starts at home. Helping your kids get to school on time every day, knowing they have everything they need, will make the school year less stressful and could result in better grades and more fun!
If an organized home seems like an impossible dream, Tailored Living designers can help you make that dream come true with custom storage and organization solutions. We are the experts at whole home organization, including custom closets, home office design, Murphy Beds, pantry and laundry room organization, garage storage cabinets and garage flooring. Call 866-641-8958 (US) or 866-973-8221 (CAN) today to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online to www.tailoredliving.com to find a designer near you. Our online Design Solutions Guide will get you excited about the possibilities!