6 Ways to Prepare your Home for the New School Year
A new school year can bring with it many firsts and a new routine. New teachers to learn about, harder subject matters, and new activities to start. This can be a lot for adults, but it’s especially tricky for your kids! By preparing your home for the new school year, you’ll give everyone a chance to adjust to all of the new activities without having to worry about re-organizing or cleaning anything up! We all know that summer can be a messy time, and we all get a little lazy as we’re soaking in the sun and doing fun activities. So, by getting your house in order, everyone will feel much more able to tackle all of the changes. Here are a few ideas to help you better prepare for this new school year!
1. Get Organized
Start the school year right by doing a big cleaning. As mentioned, summer has probably been an endless parade of camps, art projects and fun. This brings with it a large collection of clutter and items that might need to be sorted through. So, go through your kids’ rooms and closets for any items that need to be thrown away or donated.
You can also take the opportunity to go through your kids’ clothes and decide what they might need and not need for the new school year. This will help you better know what to purchase for back to school. If you have hand-me-downs you need to save, they can be placed in large plastic bins for the future. Don’t clutter your garage, though. If you don’t have one already, you can get a backyard storage shed for storing all of the essentials that don’t have a place inside your home!
Another thing you don’t want to forget to go through are all of the papers and pictures your kids brought home from the last school year! Dedicate a plastic tote, one for each of your kiddos, to keeping a few special items from each school year. Some parents even utilize file folders to organize the papers and pictures by year. So, sort through the papers, label each tote and stick them out in the storage shed!
Once you have everything sorted through, you’ll feel much better. There’s no better feeling than starting the school year off clean and organized. This way, you and your family can focus more on the transition from summer to school.
2. Set up a Workspace for Your Kids
If you don’t already have one, setting up a workspace for your kids can be a great idea! Desks for them to use for schoolwork can be super helpful when it comes to getting them to buckle down and actually do their homework. The desks can be in each of your kids’ rooms, or in the same part of the house. Make sure the desks are stocked up with paper, pencils, staplers, tape, coloring supplies and anything else they might need. It’s great to have a clean distraction-free space with school supplies, good Wi-Fi and parents close by to help as needed! It might even make for fewer arguments about homework!
3. Plan Fun Fall Activities
It can be hard transitioning back to all work and very little play. So, plan a few things to look forward to after school starts. Why you probably shouldn’t go on a huge vacation, planning small trips or weekend staycations can be a fun idea! Plan a trip to go pick apples, go to the zoo, explore a corn maze, etc. Pick activities your kids will enjoy or things they’ve been asking to do.
4. Set up a Space for Their School Items
Setting up a station, like a storage bench, by your door for backpacks, lunch bags and water bottles can be a great idea. Set up hooks for the backpacks and choose a place where your kids should put their lunch boxes and water bottles so you can clean and repack them as needed. If you pick places at the beginning of the year, there will be fewer issues in the morning as people are running out the door. If there are established places for their things, your kids will be much less likely to miss the bus because they’ve lost their backpacks or lunch boxes again!
5. Set Up a Family Calendar
With the start of a new school year comes sports practices, music lessons, parent-teacher conferences and more. There are so many things to keep track of, and you don’t want to miss anything. While a virtual family calendar is efficient and easy, if you have younger kids who don’t have access to the virtual calendar, or your family needs visual reminders, establish a physical family calendar. Dry-erase calendars can be much better than paper calendars because of the ease of use as well as being better for the environment. In addition, while dry-erase markers work well, wet-erase markers can be even better! They don’t smudge or wipe off when someone accidentally touches the calendar because you have to use water to remove the markings.
Pick a color for each family member and fill out a new calendar at the end of each month so that everyone can see what’s going on. There will be fewer surprises and fewer forgotten appointments by everyone!
6. Set up Better Mudroom Storage
Again, knowing where things are is more about giving your kids established places to keep everything. This will keep their items close at hand, easy to find and save your sanity. Make sure your mudroom is well organized, and if it isn’t, now’s the time to set up a better space.
Add in sturdy storage cabinets, hooks for coats and bins for smaller items such as hats, gloves and scarves. You’ll be grateful for this established space when the weather gets colder and kids start tracking in leaves or snow. The mudroom will give everything a good place to dry and keep clothing items that are needed in cooler weather in a better-established place.
While the transition back to school will always be a bit hard, make it less difficult by organizing your home before school starts!
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