Let me start this by saying: all my teacher friends, don’t hate me. I know it isn’t quite August and I’m chatting about back-to-school. But now that I live on the other side of the spectrum (former elementary/middle school teacher here) I can say I am R-E-A-D-Y for a routine.
But you know what isn’t ready?
My house. Or my kid bedtime habits, but that is another story for another day.
After bringing our son home from Haiti I went into this survival mode that consisted of keeping them fed, summer-on-the-farm-level clean, and just focused on bonding. But with school approaching, I know that I need to switch gears and get myself mentally in the game. Our file folder system needs to be cleaned out from the previous year, our art/school supply cupboard needs a good purge and our shoes need to be sorted and cleaned. But while I want the house to work for our family during the busyness of back-to-school, I also want it to look beautiful.
So I pulled together a list of my favorite items that will help you do just that: Get your home in shape for the new school year while looking fabulous at the same time.
wall calendars and command centers for family communication
For many families, a wall calendar keeps everyone on the same page and helps even the youngest of children understand when a family member has to be gone. Some homes need a full wall command system, something with a place for a calendar, car keys, bills, chargers and more.
My suggestion? Write down what is constantly lost or miscommunicated in your home and decide if it can find a place in your home command system.
school paper storage with hanging file boxes
Very few organizational solutions have worked as well as my simple hanging file folder box. This box holds one folder per kid, one for calendars, and one for general home papers. Throughout the school year, the kids stick awards and special papers in their folder that they want to keep and at the end of the year I put them into their keepsake suitcases. Couldn’t be easier.
kid task lighting
Make sure you have ample lighting for areas that will be used for reading or completing homework. Your options are endless, with one of my current favorite solutions included in the list below:
A wall sconce that comes with a plug-in. You get the best of both worlds:
- A sconce doesn’t take up any precious table or desk space.
- No hard-wiring required.
kid desk and chair
Constantly find yourself battling between using the dining room table for homework vs. actual eating? A designated workspace cuts back on clutter, as well as stress when it is time for dinner.
Not sure where to sneak in a desk? What about the corner of the kid’s bedroom? Living room? Or in the guest room? I’m confident you can find a space for a kid workstation.
storage for the overflowing
What area in your home seems to be constantly overflowing? I’m talking about the space that becomes a tripping hazard whenever life gets busy and you seem to only show up at home when it is time to sleep. For us – it is the shoes inside of the garage entrance. I’m going to work on tackling this space head-on before school starts. That means two things:
- Purge shoes. We have so many hanging around that don’t even fit. What a waste.
- Re-evaluate how we store our shoes. We have so many options for places to set our shoes, but maybe it is the excess of choices that make them always end up on the floor.
Share with me! What are you doing to help prepare your home for the back-to-school season? Is there anything that you know needs improvements, purging or updating before kids head back to school and we start to establish new routines? I would love for you to share your tips or your questions in the comments below. Until then,