5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Back to School
Come September kids will be out the door with backpacks, gym bags and lunch boxes, and returning home with smelly clothes, homework and permission slips. While you’re shopping for school supplies to get them ready, think about these ways you can transition your home to be back-to-school ready.
1. Create a designated study space.
Whether it’s cleaning off the desk in your child’s bedroom or setting up a study station at the kitchen table, a clean and designated workspace is key to helping kids focus. Select a space where you can be easily on hand to help with any homework questions, and make it a designated no cellphone zone to help kids focus on schoolwork. Keep items like pencils, pens, highlighters, sticky notes, calculators and extra paper handy for kids to grab so they don’t disrupt their work by searching for supplies. A utensil caddy with a top handle makes easy and portable storage for these items.
2. Organize their closets.
Make space in your children’s closets for them to plan and store their clothes for each week. Have them try on clothes from last year to see what still fits, and determine what you can keep and what needs to be replaced. Pack away summer items like bathing suits so you’ll have more room for fall and winter clothes.
3. Set up a lunch packing station.
Organize all of your lunchtime essentials like lunch boxes, sandwich bags, napkins, plastic containers and any non-perishable food items in one place for easy grab and go access every morning. Pre-separate items that you usually pack in plastic bags such as chips, nuts, carrots and celery to save time each morning, and post a checklist with each lunch box item, to be double checked before leaving for school. If your child buys their lunch at school, fill Ziploc sandwich bags with the week’s designated daily lunch money ready to be packed each day. Read up on healthy eating solutions for Back to School here.
4. Make leaving easier.
Make room by your garage or front door for storing items like backpacks, sports bags, lunch boxes and coats. You don’t need a full-blown mudroom to find room for storing go-to items like jackets and book bags. Hang coat hooks above a bench with built-in storage for the same organizational effect. Like this spiffy mudroom, featured in the Coastal Virginia Magazine Idea House? Here are 3 easy organizational ideas from the house!
5. Design a system for organizing school newsletters, schedules and other papers that get sent home.
Set up an “inbox” where your children can leave papers and forms in one easy place for you to find so they don’t get lost in the shuffle of mail, homework and other items. Post monthly or weekly fliers and calendars in a convenient place like the fridge or a bulletin board. Using an expanding file or folder, create a file for each child, labeled with his or her name and classroom. Inside each file keep your child’s teacher’s name and contact information, school phone number and other important information. Keep a section handy at the front of your files for “action items” like permission slips and forms that need to be signed and returned to school. As for artwork, good grades and school projects, create a keepsake box for the year to store each child’s work from that grade.