It's August! And, if you're living in Central Florida, you've probably been in school for at least a week now, maybe two. For some of you, the routine is old hat--you know exactly what to do to have a home that's prepped for the hustle and bustle a new school year brings. For other, this is a high-stress time! Your child just moved from elementary to middle school and the amount of books and homework they're tracking has tripled! It's hard enough for you to help them keep things straight, let alone make your home a well-organized area for housing all the school "stuff". So today, I'm giving some tips for how to get your home's organization back to "school level" so that there's a place for everything and your child isn't the one who shows up to school without their Algebra book on the second week!
The first thing to decide when organizing for back-to-school is what do I need to have organized? I think the top storage priorities for most mom's with kids are:
- Backpacks and Lunchboxes
- Papers (signed notes and homework sheets)
If you have a mudroom or laundry room with the perfect area for your storage needs, utilize it! The best thing for bags of any sort (lunch boxes or backpacks) is a hook system. That way, they're visible when walking past that area so that they are less-likely to be forgotten. Even if you don't have a mudroom, the best idea is to have a designated area (preferably near the door) where school stuff goes. This area should include the following:
A place for bags. As I mentioned earlier, hooks are the best option for this but large baskets could work as well.
A place for shoes. Some schools require students to wear certain types of shoes, or maybe, as a parent, your child has special "school shoes" that are only worn to school. It's reasons like these that make a "place for shoes" important--you don't want their shoes getting lost under the bed or in the closet and have to spend every morning frantically searching for footwear! Some great ideas for shoe storage include shelving, drawers, or even just an area under a bench!
A place for papers. Students are always bringing home papers. Papers for parents to sign. Papers that have instructions about school projects. Papers with homework assignments or field trip information. Have an "inbox" near the front door for your child so that all papers that need to have a parent signature are in one place and you're not getting a phone call from the receptionist desk at 9am saying that you need to run up to the school with that signed such-and-such that's due today.
Of course, the best way to implement these storage methods is by creating a one-stop area where the backpack hooks, shoe storage, and paper inbox are all together. This will streamline to getting-out-of-the-door process in the morning so that you're not worrying about one more piece of paper--a tardy slip! Here are few ideas for how to make that look.
Consolidated! Clean! and Accessible!