It’s that time of year again…the kids are going back to school. Some parents dread this day after spending all that quality time with the kiddos all summer, while others are counting down the days, hours, and minutes to a little quiet time.
Either way, you only have a few days left, and that means you’ve got a lot of work to do.
I’m not talking about clothes shopping and supply gathering and frantically searching fun lunch box fillers on Pinterest. Although you do need to do all that stuff, you also need to get your home in order. By checking off these 3 boxes, your home will be in the best shape possible for sending the children off to a new grade, and keeping you sane during the next month or two.
1. Get your entryway in check.
This is where the kids dump all their stuff when they walk in the door everyday, and somehow by the next morning, half of it is missing sending you in a frantic All Out Search for Kid One’s homework folder and Kid Two’s field trip permission slip. Oh and the car keys, where the heck did those things go?
By organizing your entryway to work for you, hectic mornings will be a thing of the past. Think bulletin boards for important papers and lists, hooks for coats and backpacks, baskets for shoes and science projects, a small table for lunch box lineups and quick grab-and-go-items (like your oh-so-essential extra large travel mug of coffee) and a bowl for keys.
No entryway setup is alike because no family is alike. Think about what struggles you personally face in the mornings and organize your entry to fix those problems.
2. Organize and declutter your pantry.
Nothing is more stressful than coming home after a late evening soccer practice and trying to figure out what in the world to feed your family for dinner. It’s 7:00, you’re tired, the kids are dramatically saying they’re starving, and when you look in your disaster of a pantry, you give up and throw some frozen dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and fries in the oven and hope your husband isn’t too disappointed.
And what’s even worse is when you have to throw away all those great snacks you bought because they were crammed in the back and went out of date.
School year weekdays are tough when it comes to packing lunches, feeding really early breakfasts, and quick, easy dinner prep. A messy pantry can really slow you down and leave you on the brink of a kitchen meltdown. Save yourself the panic attack by cleaning up your pantry now. Throw out anything old, donate things you doubt you’ll eat, and add some storage containers to make finding what you need even easier.
3. Do a little extra organization in the kids’ bedrooms.
During the summer, they were home all day and had all the time in the world to play and put things away when they were finished. But now that over half of their day is spent at school, playtime has been drastically cut down. In just a few hours, they have to eat dinner, do homework, attend practices and games, help with house chores, and try to throw in a little fun with Legos if there’s time.
So with all that to do in such a short amount of time, keeping their rooms clean is nearly impossible. They are stuck with a three hour long job on Saturday when they could be out riding bikes and spending time with you. I don’t know about you, but if I were a kid, that’s not how I’d want to kick off my weekend.
Taking time now to implement decluttering and organization strategies in kids’ rooms will make their evenings so much better. Put action figures and small toys in canvas baskets for easy and fast cleanup and portability. Switch out bulky container storage with difficult lids for light, open-topped bins. Make sure they have their own hamper so clothes don’t end up all over the floor. And donate any toys and clothes they no longer need or like to reduce the amount of clutter.
These easy three steps are sure to get your home ready for the Back To School week and save your sanity (at least a little bit).
And if all else fails, there’s always a full bar cart in your dining room to help out…you do have one of those, right? I think all moms do. If you don’t, you need one asap. Here’s mine for ideas.
So now it’s your turn to share your Mommy (or Daddy) knowledge. What do you do get your home ready for the new school season? Leave your comments below; I can’t wait to hear your suggestions!
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Originally posted July 30, 2017, Updated July 27 2018.