When you think of summertime, you probably think of beach vacations, summer camps, slow mornings and late nights – all of the fun things that fill your calendar for a few months.
What you might forget about in between all of the fun-filled days are the inconsistent routines and schedules that develop and how certain things start to fall to the wayside during this season… like your home tidying and organization.
It’s only natural that when you have kids running in and out for days on end that you look up come August and everything is out of place and not ideal for back to school season.
The playroom is absolutely destroyed… and has been since the end of May.
The kids’ closets and drawers have been shuffled through on the daily and you have no clue where the “good” clothes actually are.
Your living room has turned into a dumping ground for shoes and beach bags.
Your pantry is piled up with questionable snacks.
And your kitchen… let’s just say it needs some help.
Back to school season is the perfect time to get your house back in shape, so that you can enjoy the new year with your kiddos and everyone can feel excited, rather than frustrated when they can’t seem to find their bookbag on Monday.
Here are the 5 areas that I, as a professional organizer, suggest tending to in your home before life gets hectic again:
Okay mamas, it’s time to purge! Carve out some time, preferably when the kids can’t interrupt you, and go through EVERYTHING in each child’s closet and dresser.
As you do this, create a keep, donate and toss pile (items will go in this pile only if they truly are trash). This will keep you organized through the entire process.
Next, start sorting through all of the clothing items. As you go through each piece, check for correct sizing, stains, wear and tear, etc. to determine what will stay and what will go.
Keep: the pieces that fit and the things that your child loves
Donate: what they have grown out of or no longer enjoy wearing
Toss: stained items that you no longer need as play clothes and items that have holes or other wear and tear
Once you have your “keep” pile, I suggest going through each piece again and categorizing them – shirts with shirts, shorts with shorts, play clothes and so on. This will help you determine what goes on hangers for the closet and what needs to be folded for the drawers.
If you have the extra time and capacity, I also suggest creating and grouping a few pre-made outfits, so that you save time for you and your child during the mornings.
Ah, the never ending pile of papers returns. From class calendars, field trip forms, lunch menus and homework, it never fails that kids always bring home folders filled to the brim with loose paper each day.
Since it’s unavoidable, the best thing you can do is create a designated space for your child to complete their homework each day and a spot for you to file the papers that can’t be trashed. This is how you can avoid the important things ending up lost in the playroom and keep your kitchen from becoming an absolute dumping ground.
First things first, decide the area that you want your kids to complete their homework each day.
Is it the kitchen counter? Corner in the playroom? A whole separate room in the house?
Wherever it may be for you, prepare that area so that it’s ready to welcome your child during homework time. Make sure all the supplies they need are stocked and within reach of this area to save time during the process and keep this dreaded hour running smoothly for all of you.
Some ideas to include in this space:
In addition to these general supplies, I also suggest creating a homework basket for each child with their name on it to hold documents and items that are specific to them. When it comes time for homework, they can grab their basket and then return it to its spot when it’s not in use.
In this same area, you can keep a specific folder for yourself to house the important school documents that you need to reference from time to time.
In addition to having a designated spot for homework, it’s also important that you designate a spot for bookbags, lunchboxes, jackets, kids shoes and all the other things that come with back to school on a daily basis.
While I know you want your entryway to be beautifully designed and aesthetically pleasing, when you have kids it’s equally important for your entryway to be functional!
Some easy ways to have the best of both worlds is to use cute baskets to create cubbies for each child’s random belongings, hang pretty hooks to use for jackets and backpacks and utilize a bench that can be used for putting on shoes each day.
This will ensure that all of your child’s school related items have a home and will keep your house from becoming cluttered.
New routines and schedules means that your daily, weekly and monthly cleaning and chore list might also change.
To make sure that you’re staying on top of what needs to be cleaned and tidied throughout your home, I created an ultimate cleaning checklist so you don’t forget about those spaces that often go overlooked.
CLICK HERE to download the free checklist so you can incorporate this into your back to school schedule!
Oftentimes during the summer, you and your kiddos are spending A LOT of extra time in the kitchen. No matter how much they eat or how often they eat, when boredom strikes, they’re suddenly hungry. With this, it’s only normal that your pantry becomes cluttered with questionable snacks that you wouldn’t normally buy and everything is totally out of order.
To avoid the fuss during after school snack rush and to be fully prepared when it comes time for dinner, take the time to clean out your pantry completely and restock the items that you know are go-to’s during the school season.
Just like I suggest for the closets, go through the pantry thoroughly and start purging. Check for expiration dates, spoiled foods, stale chips and unhealthy items that you aren’t necessarily a fan of and from there determine what you want to keep, toss or even donate.
For optimal organization, I suggest using plastic pantry containers and storage bins so that everything has a place and you know exactly where to find what you need. Don’t forget to label each container and bin as well.
To make things extra easy for you, you can create an after school specific snack bin to hold the approved items that your kids are allowed to snack on when they get home. This will keep them from rummaging through the entire pantry and avoid meltdowns when you say they can’t have that dessert bar that’s only for special occasions.
I really believe that you can keep the peace and harmony in your home even during busy seasons. Take the extra time to do these things now and you’ll thank yourself later!
If you’re already overloaded and need an extra hand to get your home prepped for back to school, contact our team to see how we can serve you best. We offer in person and virtual assistance and are eager to help!