It’s that bittersweet time of year—sending the kids back to school.
As devoted moms and dads, you’ll miss them when they’re gone all day to their job of getting educated, but how nice to get the house back! Especially if you work at home or just get to be home during the day. Now you’ll have time for that second cup of coffee, or maybe even go back to bed for a little more sleep before starting your demanding day.
Just as the advent of summer made changes to the household, the return to school is impactful as well. But with some planning and forethought, you can make this the easiest back to school year yet!
Define the problems
First, think back to what were the worst hassles during the last school year.
- Lost permission slips and homework
- Lunch menu mania
- Dirty gym clothes on Monday morning
- Missing shoes
- Bermuda Triangle backpacks (things go in, never to be seen again…)
- Battles over getting homework done. You may even consider visiting somewhere like https://littlethinkerscenter.com/ to increase your child’s confidence before they go back to school!
- Never ready to leave on time
Depending on ages, these issues can vary in magnitude. Getting to school each day has many moving parts and, as with any multi-faceted project, organization is the key to success! So, here are four back to school tips from Tailored Living® that can help.
1: Eliminate wardrobe malfunctions
This includes everything from lost shoes to, “Oops! Forgot to wash the gym clothes.” Wardrobe management begins with an organized closet. A custom closet system designed for your child’s age will make getting dressed each day an easier task.
- Hanging rods, shoe shelves, and pull-out drawers that they can reach will help to maintain control of shoes, boots, clothes and accessories.
- With space to put everything, a child is more inclined to be neat and organized, so clear out the worn, outgrown and seasonal items and fill the closet only with what is needed now.
- An integrated laundry hamper is a reminder to put dirty clothes where they will be found for scheduled laundry days so gym clothes, uniforms and favorite outfits will be ready to wear.
2: An apple a day for nutritious lunches
Children’s eating habits can change day to day. Sometimes they eat very little and other times they can be like a swarm of locusts in the fridge or pantry. You may think you’ve got lunches covered, only to discover that all the lunch meat or bread is gone…as you are attempting to make lunches…late at night or while the bus is honking. Whether you have a full pantry or can only designate specific cabinets or shelves, grouping lunch items together makes it easier to pack lunches.
- Clear plastic containers in the fridge let you see if the supply is getting low and you can restock before you run out.
- In a pantry or on low-level shelves, baskets or bins can hold fruits, juice boxes, chips and snacks so older kids can pack their own lunches.
- Post a notepad or chalkboard close by to jot down what’s needed; it’s a handy reminder on shopping day and kids can make special requests.
- Packing lunch the night before means one less thing to deal with in the rushed morning.
3: Don’t let the dog eat the homework
Keeping track of all the papers and books of school can be challenging. Unloading a backpack can be an awesome spectacle; it’s amazing how much can be crammed into one of those things!
- Having a specific place for backpacks and other school necessities will help eliminate lost papers, permission slips, books, pens, notebooks, etc. Some children need space for laptops as well. My friend was telling me about their stylish laptop backpacks and they tell me its so helpful for keeping all of their equipment organized.
- A comfortable desk, sufficient lighting, a good chair and space for spreading out and working will help your child do a better job, and keep that valuable homework away from the dog!
- A homework station can be in the child’s room, a shared home office, or in a kitchen or dining room, as long as the space is earmarked for keeping all the school supplies together.
- Before bed, make a quick survey of homework, etc., and make sure the backpack is ready for the next morning.
- Clean out the backpack every week or two and remove anything that doesn’t need to be inside. As a shared project, it’s a good opportunity to talk about school and what’s going on with your child.
4: Coming and going with ease
Entryways are probably the busiest spots in a home. At the front door or in through the garage, with the family going in and out, things can get messy unless you take steps to organize that space and make it work for you.
- Hanging space for coats, jackets and hats means nothing is dropped on the floor or tossed on the couch, and they will be at the door, quick to grab on the next trip out.
- Individual cabinets or cubbies for each family member will enable them to deposit things they don’t want to forget as they leave for work or school.
- Place backpacks, books, science projects, balls, bats—whatever is needed for the morning exit—in the entryway the night before.
- As the seasons change, factor in mats for wet boots, an umbrella stand and a storage bench for seating and storage.
It may have occurred to you that these back to school tips can work for anyone, even helping you to get to work on time! So whether it’s for back to school or just generally having a smoother running household, your local Tailored Living designer can help with custom closets, garage storage, home office and entertainment center storage, laundry room, pantry and more.
There’s still time to make those back to school innovations before the first bell rings. 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. In the comfort of your own home, you can see colors and finishes samples, along with lots of creative design ideas, to help you create effective storage solutions around your family’s specific needs.