Prep Your Home For Back To School

Dated: 08/14/2018

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                It’s here. The summer is coming to an end and most of our local area kids are back in classes this week. After you’re done drying your tears or sipping mimosas, or if you’ve got a few more days, there are a few things you can do to make school days a little smoother in your home. Many of these can be setup with things you already have around the house, or with the addition of inexpensive items available at the dollar store. We’ve created a board on Pinterest with several examples of each to help inspire you. Visit our Back to School board here:

                Command Centers are visual organizers for everyone in your home that help keep everyone organized. Pick an empty wall space in the desired area of your home. Areas near your front door, garage entrance, or kitchen tend to work well, and the space doesn’t have to be huge. Start with a large calendar that’s easy to read from a short distance. Use a different colored marker for each person, and then another for household categories like bills, pets, etc. Note practice schedules, doctor appointments, games, recitals, due dates, etc. for each person and pet. Then add bins or clipboards for homework, incoming mail, receipts, or any other essential paperwork that would need to be handled regularly. These can be mounted on the wall or set on a piece of furniture below. Add cups or baskets for things like pens, pencils, and scissors. You can add dry erase boards, chalk boards, or small notepads for grocery lists, meal plans, chore checklists, and anything else that you want to be used every day. Add hooks for keys and backpacks, if you wish, and then decorate as desired.

                Homework Stations can be combined with command centers or set up in a separate space. Basically, designate an area and provide the tools needed. We can’t promise it will make anyone more willing to do their homework, though. A homework station can be a desk with a permanent setup, or a caddy that’s placed on a table or desk only for homework time. Either way, you’ll need to include age appropriate school supplies, like paper, pens, pencils, and colored pencils. Younger students will likely need things like safety scissors, glue sticks, and crayons as well. Older students will likely need things like calculators, and access to a computer and printer. If you’re setting up a permanent spot, add task lighting and a comfortable chair. You might want to add calendars, bulletin boards, and bins for papers, if space allows. Keep décor minimal in this area if your children are easily distracted. For a portable station, choose a caddy with sections or add jars to keep things organized. Another idea we loved was a binder with pockets and pouches to hold supplies. Designate an area with good lighting and minimal distractions and set clear guidelines on when homework will be done, and where to store the supply caddy.

                Lunch and Snack Stations help keep all the extra stuff in your pantry organized and easily accessible so that lunch prep goes a little faster every day, or to enable kids to pack their own lunches with parent-approved foods. You’ll need to designate 2 areas- one in the refrigerator, and another in a cabinet, pantry, or added storage drawers. In the refrigerator, place a small plastic basket or bin to hold the lunch and snack items that need to stay cool. If you’d like, separate food by food group (like vegetables, meat, dairy, etc.) or by kid. You can place a small one in the freezer as well to corral ice packs. Use small bins, baskets, or drawers to do the same for pantry items that do not need refrigeration. You can have pre-filled bags of foods like crackers, trail mix, fruit snacks, etc. and single serving items. Use a larger basket or drawer to hold lunch boxes, storage containers, and water bottles. Set another small basket or bin near the lunch boxes to hold napkins and silverware. When it’s time to prepare lunches at night or in the morning, everything will be together and ready to grab, making lunch prep a breeze. These same areas can be used for kids to choose from a pre-approved selection of snacks after school and help you to take inventory quickly before shopping trips.

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Leeanne Pritchard

Leeanne has a background in managing Non-Profit Organizations and Purchasing & Contract Management. She has 36 years experience in customer service and prides herself in the ability to connect with ot....

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