It’s the time of year when “back to school” issues take center stage and this can expose areas in a home or family that need some organizational help.
Not quite sure what that means?
- Do your kids have a specific place to do their homework?
- Do your kids misplace permission slips, lunch bags, backpacks and homework?
- Is packing lunch an all-over-the-kitchen hunt for the essentials?
- How many times have you tripped over a loaded backpack in the entryway?
Total home organization goes beyond custom closet design and garage cabinets. Total home organization means all space is maximized for efficient use to accommodate the demands and needs of your family’s everyday life. That covers a lot of important territory.
For today, we’ll focus on organizational ideas that will ease some of the daily back-to-school challenges that can make family life chaotic and frustrating. A little organization can go a long way to making back-to-school life run more smoothly.
No One Likes Homework
Back to school means back to homework, practically every night. Making this task easier for your kids will reduce their stress and yours, and probably improve their grades. Whether homework is done as soon as they get home from school or after dinner, having a specific place is important to optimize getting the homework done as painlessly as possible. Here are some pointers to help with establishing a successful homework station:
- A quiet or low-traffic area eliminates distractions and helps concentration
- A clutter-free, ample work space heightens focus
- A comfortable chair or stool with a proper height work area reduces physical stress
- Sufficient lighting prevents eyestrain and minimizes computer screen glare
- Readily available supplies (paper, pens, ruler, scissors, glue) eliminate the distraction of getting up to find what is needed
A homework station can be in the child’s room, shared space in a home office, or a nook in the kitchen, dining or family room just as long as it’s available when it’s time for homework and designed to be effective. A Tailored Living organization specialist can work with you to find the optimum place in your home to create a homework station and implement design solutions that maximize the space.
For example, along with a place to do homework, having storage available for backpacks, books and supplies will make it easier to get ready for school in the morning. No more frantic searches for completed homework, books or permission slips that have been scattered about the house. Cabinets, shelves and drawers dedicated to housing school essentials will prevent things from getting lost and keep everything within easy reach.
What’s For Lunch?
Lunch is a big part of the school day. It’s a welcome mental break and an energy recharge. You want your kids to have a nutritional lunch and that takes a little planning. Not everyone is disciplined enough to prepare lunch the night before to save time in the morning. Even so, the question of “What’s for lunch?” can come up if what you need is not available. It’s discouraging to try to make a tuna sandwich when you’re short on time and out of tuna! Careful kitchen and pantry design can facilitate making school lunches so that even young children can pack their own.
- Place clear shoebox-size containers in the refrigerator for kid’s lunchbox supplies. They can easily find what they need and you’ll be able to see when it’s time to restock.
- Use low shelves with pull-out bins for individually packaged snacks, chips, pretzels, juice boxes and fruits so they’re easy to reach.
- Group all the lunch box supplies together. This includes zip lock sandwich bags, plastic forks or spoons, napkins, straws, etc., so it’s “one stop shopping” to make lunch.
- Take weekend inventory of lunch essentials to be sure you have what you need for Monday.
A kitchen pantry can be a blessing or a curse. Without organization, it can become a big, messy closet. If you need to get control of your pantry so that it’s user-friendly for your family, Tailored Living can help. Creatively using vertical storage so there’s no wasted wall space with a combination of custom shelves, drawers, pull-out bins and baskets can accommodate more than you would imagine!
- Food stuffs
- Small appliances and special seasonal dishes
- Spice and wine racks
- Non-refrigerated fruits and vegetables
- Baking accessories and more
You can even have a special area for quick mixes such as cookies and cupcakes for those late night announcements: “Oh, Mom! I’m supposed to bring snacks for 35 kids tomorrow.”
If back to school demands are causing stress for your family, call (866) 712-3404 today to schedule a free, in-home consultation for a custom pantry design or even whole-home organization ideas to find that ideal homework station. Go online to www.tailoredliving.com to find an organization specialist near you and start getting organized.
For more back to school tips check out, Back to School Organization Tips to Help You and Your Child Get an “A.”