The chaos of back-to-school is real folks. Goodbye lazy days in the sun. Hello lunch packing, nagging about homework, sport schedules, and rushed mornings getting the kids out the door.
Is there a way to make this change a little easier? Well, we can try. While we can’t help you or your kids emotionally with this transition, we can guide you to get your home in order and hopefully this can take some of the pressure off!
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As the kids walk in the door, they dump their backpacks, shoes, and coats in the entryway and it becomes a tripping hazard for the rest of the day. (Please tell me that’s not just my family) The best way to combat this is to have a place for everything, and everything in its place. Make sure you have some hooks (Canada) (USA) by the door or garage entrance for backpacks and coats, as well as a shoe rack (Canada) (USA) for shoes. Create a dedicated spot in the kitchen for lunch kits. If your kid is in sports, you will need to figure out a drop zone for all their equipment. Make it a habit to put everything in its dropzone before the evening craziness ensues.
Quick Pack ‘n Go Lunch
Whether you are the uber organized bento box lunch making type, or the throw-it-all-together 10 minutes before the bus type (no shame in that game), there are ways to make your life easier at lunch packing time. Try putting all the similar lunch items together into containers (Canada) (USA) in the pantry and fridge for grab and go. Then it’s a quick selection of one item per container and off you go. Another great way to stay organized is to keep an ongoing grocery list (Canada) (USA) to add to when you run out of things.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if every house had a dedicated homework area right off the kitchen for each child in your family? Unfortunately for most of us that’s not an option. Where do your kids do their homework? At the kitchen counter, dining table, home office, or their bedrooms? This might depend on how old and independent they are, as well as their specific needs. Some kids need a quiet place with few distractions, while others are able to focus amongst the hustle and bustle of the kitchen. Wherever they do it, is there a way you can organize the space to optimize their productivity? Think pen/pencil storage, paper storage, etc (Canada) (USA). Maybe they need a computer or laptop setup to get on google classroom. Evaluate the needs of your child and the spaces you have available, and then do your best to create the space required. If their homework space is in an open shared area like the kitchen, ensure that all their tools are readily available for them, and easy for them to put away after. (See our office faves here → Canada + USA)
Let’s talk about command centers. This can mean different things to different people, but basically it’s an area of your house where you can keep track of all of the things. In my house, I have the cleaning army calendar (of course!), a weekly whiteboard (Canada) (USA) to keep track of the week’s appointments and schedules, and a 3 slot wall file divider (Canada) (USA) (one slot for each kid). I use the file divider to quickly dump the kids’ schoolwork and forms until I have time to file them away into their keepsake box (or recycle when they aren’t looking… shhhh). Keep reading for more on keepsake boxes.
For you, a command center might include a meal planning whiteboard (Canada) (USA), a chalkboard or pegboard or bulletin board (Canada) (USA), a place for your keys (Canada) (USA), somewhere for receipts or coupons (Canada) (USA), a place to store backpacks, etc. Make a list of the things that get left laying around the house or by the door or on the kitchen counter, and try to come up with a plan to contain and organize them. If you don’t have wall space available, there are some great options for desk/counter organization (Canada) (USA).
If your kids are anything like mine, they come home with a mountain of papers from school. Finding a good way to store the items you want to keep is essential. My go to method is to just recycle it all immediately but that doesn’t always work. An accordion file folder (Canada) (USA) is a great place to store all the papers you want to keep. Each kid gets their own folder, and there are 13 tabs, one for each grade. If you are the type of person who keeps more items than will fit into an accordion file folder, Amazon has some pretty great options for keepsake storage boxes (Canada) (USA). Alternatively, there are some pretty great customizable ones available on Etsy if you’d like to support a small shop.
While we know that we could never eliminate all the stress of back to school season, our hope is that these tips and tricks can help take some of the pressure off. Remember to go easy on yourself (and the kids) and give everyone some time to adjust to the new routine.
Need a refresher on our methods to keep your whole house in order? Look no further than our Basic Training. The GoCleanCo Basic Training course is a 75-minute interactive resource that shows you how to clean every room in your house from top to bottom. Click here to enroll today!
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- Becky @GoCleanCo