Back to school is the perfect time to get all of your school-aged children’s belongings organized & purged. Here are the top five areas that we recommend getting organized as the school year kicks off.
Area Number One:
A lunch packing station in your kitchen. If your children are old enough to help pack their lunch, creating this station low enough for them to be able to reach everything is the first step. You’ll want to house this close to where your food storage (baggies & containers) are located since those are typically used for packing lunches as well. Make sure and purge any worn-out or stained lunch boxes that need to be replaced as well as any mismatched or broken food storage containers. Then gather everything you’ll need to make this space complete: lunch boxes, water bottles, thermoses, food storage containers specific to your children’s lunches, plastic ware or silverware only used for their lunches and a notepad and pen/marker for writing them a note if you like. Often a large pull-out bin drawer is best suited for this station. The goal is to eliminate stress caused by having to pack lunches the morning of or the night before school. Make it streamlined and easy with drawer dividers or bins that fit the space you are utilizing. Don’t forget to measure before you buy!
Area Number Two:
Your mudroom. This space in your home is usually off of the garage and the first and last space within your home that you see when going in or out to the garage. It’s a high-traffic area and can easily become cluttered with shoes, coats, hats, gloves and the like. Start by sorting and purging the space, getting rid of items that are worn, torn or too small. Get the backpacks cleaned out or move in the new backpacks. Create a bin for hats, gloves and scarves either for each person or by category depending on your family. Make sure that only the shoes used every week are stored in the mudroom, try keeping the rest of the shoes in each respective person’s closet if possible. Give each person a station for coats, book bags and extracurricular activities bags whether that’s a hook, a section in the closet or a section on a built-in. Make sure that everything that remains is truly what your family needs, loves or uses. Labels are a great way to keep your mudroom organized throughout the school year so don’t forget to do that at the end!
Area Number Three:
Your children’s keepsakes. Back to school is the perfect time to create space for the keepsakes that will inevitably be coming home from school with them. We recommend creating a tote/bin for each child stored in the basement storage room on a shelving unit where their keepsakes can live. Within the bin, you can organize the keepsakes (artwork, schoolwork, awards, etc) by grade if you like. If you already have this established for your child now is a great time to purge it. Sometimes we keep things that seemed special at the time but once revisited we realize they don’t hold a special meaning. You can also make the tote/bin your boundary, explaining to each child that once his or her bin/s are full it’s time to eliminate some stuff. Help them identify which items they love the least and make some room for new ones to come in. Another option is to create a file for each child in your home office or home office station in your kitchen and then add to it throughout the year. At the end of the year, you can then move the full file to the tote/bin located in the basement. Do what works best for you and is the most realistic based on time and motivation.
Area Number Four:
Your children’s closet and dresser, more specifically their clothing and shoes. Now that the school year is about to begin or is beginning new clothes and shoes are bound to come in to kick it off. It is the perfect time to sort, purge and reorganize each child’s closet and dresser. Start by sorting and purging, getting rid of the items that are again, worn, torn or too small. Sort the remaining items you’re keeping like with like. For example, all leggings together, all tank tops together, all dresses together, etc. Once you have the closet and dresser emptied begin to evaluate where each category will best fit. For example, dresses are better hung than folded and leggings can easily be file folded in a drawer if hanging space is limited. Go the extra mile and invest in matching slim hangers. We love the children’s velvet or acrylic hangers the best for little ones and older teens the adult size velvet or acrylic hangers. Take the tags off of new clothes so that it makes it easier to get ready in the morning and the tags don’t become trash littering the floor of the closet or bedroom. Utilize shoe racks to maximize the space on the floor of the closet so that shoes that aren’t in the mudroom as weekly wear shoes have a good home. Organize each category of clothing by color using ROY-G-BIV as your guide. This makes the closet look great but also helps your child find what they need when they need it.
Area Number Five:
A homework station. Whether it’s in a central part of the house or each child’s bedroom creating a designated space where they can do their homework and store school supplies will help them achieve success in school and create a calm environment for them to do homework in. You could organize a desk with drawers using drawer dividers grouping everything like with like. Make sure there is a charging station for electronics and a lamp for them to see by. A bookshelf next to the desk is also a great option, giving them additional storage but also a place for their books to live.
Creating a lunch packing station, organizing your mudroom, getting keepsakes collected from throughout the house, sorting and purging clothing and shoes and designating a homework station will create the environment your child needs to feel good about the new school year. It will also have a ripple effect on the rest of your house too; once you get these areas organized you’ll want to keep going! Not sure how to do all of this, or feeling overwhelmed with getting started? We can help you with all of this and more, just get in touch with us to schedule your discovery call and we’ll talk through your needs and figure out the best place to start.
Here’s to a successful and organized school year!
Helping feed your urge to purge clutter from your life!
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