Now that summer is over and the kids are back in school, a lot more time is dedicated to school pick-ups, practice, rehearsal, and homework. An easy way to alleviate some of the stress once your kids come home is to have a highly organized and well-laid out command center to help you keep it all running smoothly.
Here are some ideas to help turn your home into mission control:
MAKE YOUR ENTRY WAY FUNCTIONAL WITH STORAGE AND SEATING
Clutter starts at the front door. Your children will shed their school bags and shoes the second they walk in the house so make sure to have a well-organized place for them to go. When it is time to leave the house in the morning, having a bench for your kids to sit on while they put on their shoes or put their homework in their backpack will save everyone a lot of headache. By adding not only seating but hooks and shelving for jackets, backpacks, and hats will mean that these items have a home that isn’t your floor! For shoes, try adding baskets or shoe racks under your bench to avoid trip hazards for people coming and going.
MAKE A BREAKFAST AND SNACK STATION
When you get your kids congregate in the kitchen, it’s important to keep the breakfast and after-school snacking chaos from taking over your kitchen. An easy solution is designating a lower drawer or cabinet to pre-portioned snacks and breakfast items. By adding clear organizers filled with snacks in your pantry or a cabinet supplied with bowls, utensil, cereal and fruit for a quick breakfast, you can eliminate traffic jams of multiple kids searching for something to eat in your kitchen while you are making coffee or dinner. When they know exactly where the food is, they can spend more time eating it.
DESIGNATE A HOMEWORK SPOT
The kitchen is often the first spot that kids will go to when doing their work so they can easily access their parents for assistance. If you have the space, mark out a small corner with a seat and computer so they can easily get their work done. If your kitchen is a little tight, find a dedicated area in your home that give your child plenty of surface space and privacy if they need it. Always keep your homework space well stocked with pencils, paper, and office supplies that your child may need so they have everything they need close at hand.
ORGANIZE YOUR LAUNDRY AREA
Once school is back underway, you may find your volume of laundry increase by quite a bit. School clothes, uniforms, towels, and bedding will start to pile up so make sure to have a good infrastructure in place for sorting what belongs to who and what items belong where. By having baskets that are labeled by lights, darks, and delicates, you can cut down on sorting time. Consider adding a tension rod above your machines for items that need to air dry and a tabletop surface on top of the machine for folding.
CREATE A COMMAND HUB
With doctor appointments, practices, school projects, permission slips, and sleepovers all on the schedule, it is easy for something to slip through the crack if you aren’t organized. An easy way to keep everything in order is to make a command hub. Install a single family calendar where the entire family’s events will be posted. Add file sorters labeled for either each child or by category. These can be used to hold all incoming mail, bills, items to be signed, or homework that needs to be reviewed. By making everything centrally visible and easy to access, your entire household will be on top of upcoming events.