August is here and that means summer is over and the school year is beginning. It’s overwhelming, but getting your schedule planned, meals packed and home organized and functional might help you feel at least a little more prepared for the hectic and fast paced school year. Here’s a few ideas we’ve compiled for where to begin.
1. Clear Out the Mudroom
Running late on the first day of school is the worst. Endlessly long drop off lines and the stress of navigating new hallways, classrooms and schedules all before 8:00 AM are not fun. Make getting out the door easier by clearing out your mudroom or front hallway and getting everything you need easily accessible. Keeping a set of extra items for all weather conditions at arms reach can help with that early morning panic, like a pair of rain boots, a waterproof jacket and an umbrella for each of your kids. Hang jackets and backpacks on hooks by the door with shoes and extra pairs of clean socks in bins tucked underneath a storage bench to help on those extra crazy mornings.
Another pro tip for busy parents is to keep items like tissues, breakfast bars, an extra reusable water bottle and pens or pencils in a backseat organizer so when your kids inevitably forget something they can just quickly grab what they need on the way out of the car.
2. Create a Purposeful Study Space
School books, binders, notebooks, homework assignments, folders and fundraising pamphlets all need a place that is accessible in a hurry and easy to tuck away when not in use. Designating a bookshelf or two for your kid’s school related reading materials keeps kitchen counter tops and tables clear of books and paper clutter. Putting a few bins and baskets for miscellaneous items or extra school supplies also helps cut down on visible clutter while giving your kids the tools they need to stay organized (whether or not they use them is another battle).
A designated desk space where they can read, complete homework, finish projects and stretch their creativity is an essential component for a study space. If you have the extra space consider a longer desk or an L-shaped desk to accommodate your children’s classmates for group project work, group studying or just after school hang-outs. The best light for studying is natural light, so place the desk under or near a window and provide task lighting in case studying carries on into the night. A cork board, chalkboard or dry erase board is another great item to include in the ultimate study zone for planning and brainstorming. All of these items are sure to create a kid’s study space that is a powerhouse station for learning.
3. Create a Command Station
The school year means juggling multiple schedules, after school activities, play dates, birthday parties, lunch menus, recitals, football games. Keep yourself organized by creating a centralized location for all family schedules and calendars. Choose a calendar format that works best for you and your family. Tech savvy folks can create Google calendars on their smart phones, laptops or tablets and then sync them with multiple devices and people. Tactile lovers can opt for a paper calendar with large squares for plenty of writing space or a dry erase calendar that allows you to easily make changes if needed. Color coding helps keep busy lives on task and allows you to know who has what at a quick glance. Command central should be located in a heavily trafficked space or in multiple locations throughout the house. Keep a bulletin board in the mudroom, a paper calendar tacked onto the fridge or a dry erase board in your home office.