The 2021/2022 school year is here, and let be honest, after the last year and a half that has been thrown at us, we aren’t quite sure what this year may hold, but that doesn’t mean our home can’t be ready for this year! So what does it mean to have our homes ready for school? Honestly, we weren’t even all that sure, until we stumbled on some amazing ideas for a fresh start for the new year that we knew many other parents may find helpful! Here are some great tips to getting your home ready for this upcoming year and setting the stage for a great school year!
- Make the closest work for your kids: Ok this is for the parents of maybe some of those younger kids who are ready to start picking out things and dressing themselves. Let’s be honest, we want to give them responsibility, but when they come downstairs with plaid socks, polka dot shorts, mismatching shoes and a shirt that looks like the glitter fairy made a quick visit, every bit of us cringes. While we love giving them a little bit of freedom to pick out the clothes, its also a great idea to work on matching and what better way to do that than organize the closet to help them. Create sections with matching items your child can can pick from, giving them the freedom to choose their outfit each day, and giving you the freedom of not having to worry about it! Getting the closet organized in a manner to help them pick out their clothes, can also begin to instill a sense of responsibility of putting them up the way the found them and knowing where things go. What parent doesn’t want to walk into a room where everything is hung up and its one less chore for them?
- Make the pantry an easy lunch station: This is one thing that has worked really well for a member of Ekk Realty Group. She created a functional lunch station in the bottom two shelves of her pantry, and the bottom drawer in her refrigerator. She had bins set up within the pantry, one contained oranges and apples, another one had granola clusters, while the remaining bins had their juice boxes, crackers and a sweet treat. Her girls will choose one from each bin and then head to the refrigerator to grab their yogurt and an uncrushable or homemade lunch-able. Her girls have gotten into the routine that when she is ready for the day, the lunches have been packed by them and set by the door. Since it worked so well, and she was able to have a pantry do all the work for her through a simple reorganization of the pantry, they decided to try the same thing for their breakfasts next year. Keep everything in a central place, including their Tupperware and it will make the morning routine of getting everything together and our of the house easier for everyone!
- Out the door checklist: When you are running late, someone is always forgetting something. How many times have we had to run back to the school with a water bottle, gym back or even the homework from last night? Having a dry erase board by the door you leave out of every morning with a quick checklist can help make sure we have everything, and lets be honest, after taking on masks last year, something was always left at home! We have seen the great idea of a dry erase calendar, where the month or week is laid out so everyone knows what is coming up, and off to the side is the checklist of all the things each child has to remember before they walk out that door. When you are able to give it a quick once over, it helps us remind our kids at first, and then before we know it, they are going the that checklist on their own!
- Homework station: Growing up homework was done everywhere in our house, it never made for a great space to make sure you were concentrating, and doing it at the dinner or breakfast table, made us hate those tables because its where we became really frustrated some days. Designating a space for kids to do their homework is so crucial, and its even better if it’s an area where you are able to work side by side with them. Having your child working through their homework while maybe you are catching up on work, shows them the habits they will need as they grow and learn. You are able to teach them time management and the importance of being organized to be a success in school. Letting them have their own workspace with a desk and drawers where things they need to do their work organized allows them to take charge of their homework and help them stay on task by knowing where everything they need is. Take the time to sit with them at their station and help them through problems or to just catch up on what they are learning and hear about their day.
Remember that having everything laid out in an easy way is creating a little more independence for your kids and making the mornings less chaotic for your. While some of us know its hard to let them grow so quickly, this is a great opportunity to have them learn important tasks that will help them through life. Having your home decluttered and ready for the upcoming school year to be a success is such a great way to start the school year. It makes everything feel in order and easy to find as we begin to get back into the routine of early morning drop offs, evening homework and all the extra curricular activities in between. There is not better feeling that stepping into that year knowing you have set your house, your kids and your family up for a great 2021/2022 school year!