from resident cleaning expert at Merry Maids, Debra Johnson
The challenge for most people when kids return to school and sports is to not let anything drop around the home or in your busy life. “Anything” can be putting kids to bed on time, getting them up on time, making sure homework is done and papers are ready for school/work, laundry and laying out clean clothes, and so on. A lot can get lost and the home becomes chaotic making life miserable.
Organization controls the home environment, gives a cleaner look and feel, and helps avoid those frantic moments we face when we are hustling between work, school and sports.
That’s why Merry Maids has a few tips for getting and staying organized.
- Label file folders so parents and kids keep track of permission slips, ongoing projects, and paperwork needed for school or work.
- Plan out the week’s meals. You can paint or mount a chalkboard in the kitchen, or use a calendar to plan out weekly meals so you don’t rush for dinner or resort to fast food. Tip: prepare meals on Sunday and freeze.
- Sort through clothing which the kids have outgrown or they don’t like (grandma bought this for me and I will never wear it!). Clothing that is too small may be passed along to other family members, friends, or given to charity. Plus you will find some clothes that belong to a different season. The different season items may be placed in a bin and stored in the attic or basement for later.
- Designate a study place for your child. This area needs to be comfortable and inviting. Ask your child for input in this decision. Younger students may need supervision and select a spot close to where parents are in proximity. Older students need their own space. Find an area that can have organization, but also allows room for school materials to be spread out for easy reference.
- For storage in the bathroom of items used daily, hang a plastic shoe bag over the door. This will reduce clutter of items on the sink counter and shelves.
- The entry area in many homes from the garage into the home is one of the highest traffic areas and can become a cluttered mess of books, bags, papers, and shoes. With a hectic schedule, the family may be lax in straightening this area. First, pick up clutter and organize. Many items that are deposited in the entry area belong in other areas of the house. Use a basket or storage bin to collect these items and return the item to their proper place. Tip: have a longer rug in front of the entry way door to lessen dirt tracks in the home.
Decide if additional organization is needed to assist with school or sports gear. A row of hanger hooks is a great way to store book bags and keep them from cluttering the floor. You can add more fun by placing a picture of each child with a hanger beneath. Beneath the hangers, have a shelf for the children to remove and place their shoes as they come in the door. It is also recommended to have additional hooks to hang jackets and coats once the temperature changes. This allows for school items and outdoor wear to be organized once entering and exiting the door.
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