Posted on 22 Aug, 2019
For most of America, August marks the return to school days and busier schedules. Before the first day’s alarm clock buzzes, get your house ready to keep things organized and orderly. These five ideas are sure to be class, or rather, family favorites.
Design a drop zone.
Give the entire family a place to park their gear when they get home after a busy day at school (or work) with a drop zone. The Lake Ridge and Talus neighborhoods at Weston both offer homes with drop zones off the garage, making it easy to keep track of everyone’s bags, coats, shoes and more. You can also set one up by the front door. Consider adding hooks for each family member’s backpack and jacket, and a bench for taking off those dirty sneakers or rain boots. Bins, baskets or shelves above and/or below are great spots for books, keys, lunch boxes or other items that might otherwise be scattered around the house. Choose canvas or wicker baskets to keep the contents out of sight, and to make your space look nice and tidy. You can even label or color-code sections for each person. The drop zone makes getting out the door in the mornings faster, too. No more frantic, last-minute searches!
Make kid-friendly kitchen spaces.
The open layouts of the kitchens at Weston are ideal for making kid-friendly spaces. When the kids hit the kitchen famished for after-school snacks, have their favorite foods easily accessible in one or two designated lower cabinets, drawers or shelves in the pantry. The same goes for the refrigerator, with one shelf or drawer for all the kiddos’ drinks and cold snacks. To speed up the morning routine, place breakfast and lunch items there, as well.
If you have lots of small items – like mini raisin boxes, snack bars and individual pretzel bags – use clear plastic bins to keep them organized. And don’t forget to place cereal bowls, utensils and cups nearby and within arm’s reach of little ones.
Create a command center.
Choose a wall that’s unused – but easily accessible – and put it to work as the family command center. It might be inside your pantry or laundry room, in the kitchen or near the drop zone. Hang a chalkboard, corkboard or dry-erase calendar for keeping track of weekly commitments. Attach markers, pens and a pad of sticky notes for writing reminders or messages to each other. A wall-mounted, multi-tiered magazine rack is great for mail, school announcements and those important permission slips.
Combine your command center with the free Cozi app to help keep track of everything from band practice schedules to grocery lists. Or, use G Suite’s Google Calendar to create color-coded calendars for each family member in a matter of minutes.
Give the laundry some love.
For a busy family, keeping up with the laundry can be an ongoing chore. But a few organizational tricks can make it more manageable. As with the drop zone, designated hampers and baskets are helpful. Set up laundry baskets for lights, darks, colors and even must-have-tomorrow laundry. Or, if the kids are tasked with doing their own laundry, give each one a basket for bringing dirty clothes to wash and returning clean, folded ones back to their rooms.
Need to give the youngsters a nudge to do that laundry? Try the S’moresUp app, which gives points for completing chores. The app even allows you to give extra points as rewards for good behavior, such as showing a positive attitude or waiting your turn to speak.
Assign study spaces.
Back to school means back to homework most days. Having quiet, comfortable and well-organized spaces for each of the kids to work encourages good study habits. And, in your Weston home, you have lots of options. An unused corner of your kitchen might be the perfect homework spot. Or, set up a quiet nook in the flex space or guest room. Regardless of the location, it should be well lit with ample workspace, and shelves and drawers for textbooks, paper and supplies.
With their open floor plans, ample storage and welcoming workspaces, homes at Weston make it easy to get organized for the school year. Join the Interest List for news, updates and information about living at Weston.