Very few people can afford the luxury of living in a house that does little to control the hectic craziness of our everyday lives. The job of great design is function. The success of getting a family ready and back to school without too much drama relies on a home that is well organized. It is impossible to be organized without well-planned storage solutions.
We all know the demands that will be placed on each member of the family during the next few weeks. Just the thought of it may make you want to climb back into bed and throw the covers over your head. Unfortunately that’s not an option.
A better solution is to get your home school ready. Start by creating a calendar that can be accessed by everyone in your household. It can be a big caulk board, poster on the refrigerator or if your family is tech savvy, go electronic.
Make it a game. Everyone performs better when it’s fun instead of a chore. List all the important dates, first day of school, haircuts, shopping trips and family time. Divide up the duties. If you have older kids involve them in assisting with some of the duties.
Back to school shopping is stressful enough without worrying about where you’re going to store all this extra stuff. So, before you buy the first new pair of jeans or box of markers, clean out the closets. Pack away or give away summer clothes, outgrown or worn outfits.
Honestly evaluate your child’s storage options. A lack of storage space is the #1 reason kids can’t keep their rooms semi-tidy. Get them off to a great start. Invest in a good storage system for their closets, purchase chests or storage lockers, install shelves. What ever it takes to make sure they have room for all their cloths, books and electronics.
Drop zones. I’m not referring to where you drop after a crazy day of being a mom or dad but where your kids can drop their book bags, jackets and shoes. If you don’t have a built-in locker system consider clearing out your foyer close and installing a serviceable closet system that can accommodate everyone’s needs. Another option, wall shelves with sliding baskets.
Clutter control. The secret to keeping clutter under control is to realize there’s going to be lots more stuff to deal with everyday. Find a place to keep it organized and then every Saturday morning, take 15 minutes to clean it out and get the space ready for another crazy week.
Homework. Today’s students have an average of 2-4 hours of homework everyday. Where are they going to do that work? A desk in their room is not always the perfect answer. Some kids prefer to set up their brain trust on the floor while others at the kitchen table. Talk to your kids. Ask them what do they prefer. The important goal is to establish a comfortable, productive location that they can use without disrupting the entire household and still be connected to family.
A multi-task table such as the one designed by Joanna Gaines provides homework and school project spaces for one that one child at a time.
Anyone that thinks we live in a paperless society doesn’t have kids. They produce a paper trail everywhere they walk. Be prepared for the inedible paper chaos. If you have the space consider purchasing a wall unit with storage drawers and shelves for books and portfolios.
Cynthia Rowley designed an attractive storage solution that can be expanded to fill any wall or use it as a room divider. The drawers are accessible from both sides. Assign each family member with their own set of drawers and shelves.
If you already have shelves, purchase decorative file boxes, color coordinated with your room’s décor and keep them accessible for quick sorting and stashing weekly treasures. You can never have too many Cheerio masterpieces so make room for them.
Speaking of masterpieces, designate wall space for displaying artwork, awards and photos. Consider painting a large square on a wall using magnetic paint primer by Rust-Oleum, available at Home Depot. You can top coat it with any latex paint, dry erase or chalkboard paint to create an instant art gallery. A much better solution than push pins in the wall.
Last on your list, clean out your pantry. Make room for school lunch supplies and afternoon snacks. Plan your dinner menu for the first week of school and have everything you need on hand so meal prep is less stressful for everyone.
Getting organized may sound overwhelming but if you start with one spot and then more on to the next and the next it can be done. Being organized makes the difference between enjoying the next few months or being stressed out.
These are the best times of your family’s life. The years go by so quickly, make them as stress free as possible for the entire family.