The end of August is just around the corner, which means another school year is quickly approaching. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a first timer, these helpful hints should go a long way toward getting your home (and family) in shape for the busy school season:
Create a family command center: This is generally posted in an area where the family gathers most frequently, like a kitchen. This station should include important phone #’s, addresses, a calendar of weekly happenings and blank paper for note taking. There should also be folders for each child’s schoolwork and announcements from the school. Having one very organized scheduling center will help keep everyone on point.
Get your refrigerator grab-and-go ready: First of all, if you haven’t seen the back of your refrigerator in months, it may be time for a good cleaning. Check your sell-by dates and discard old condiments, leftovers (and whatever else may be lurking in there) and give your fridge a good cleaning. Replace that old, tired box of baking soda. Get ready for quick eating (at least till everyone gets settled back into a routine). Stock your fridge with easy eat-and-go snacks, fruit and quick breakfast and lunch ideas. Don’t forget the grownups. If you like your coffee at home in the morning, set it up before you go to bed – that way there is one less thing for you to do in the morning. Set up a dinner menu (and grocery list) for the week and keep it on the board at the command center. When the kids are asking, “what’s for dinner”, you can tell them to check the board. You have everything under control!
Mudroom ready: Back to school means lots of paperwork, books, backpacks, artwork and unexpected surprises. This area can become a disaster quickly if you don’t have a good system in place. Establish routines with your kids early on and come winter time, when they have extra layers and the snow is piling up outside, you will have a place for everything, and everything in its place!
Clean and organize the closets: Go through the closets and pass along or donate to your favorite charity what doesn’t fit. Sort the school clothes and the play clothes so your child will know which clothing to choose from in the morning. Pick out a special outfit together for the first-day-of-school, and hope the weather cooperates!
Going back to school can be stressful for all. Having your routines established early on can help ease the stress and help kids focus on what’s important, like enjoying the school year!