Get Your Home Ready for Back-to-School

Every parent’s favorite and every child’s least favorite time of year is just around the corner! Back-to-school season is a lot of work for all parties involved. For kids, it means saying goodbye to their carefree days and finishing their Summer reading list at the last minute. For the parents, it means shopping, planning, organizing, budgeting, and making a last minute trip to the library to get the books your child just told you they need to read before the first day back. Seems like the parents pulled the short straw in this deal, huh? In the hopes of lightening the load, we’ve put together a list of tips for getting your home ready for the start of the school year. Let’s get to work!

If there is anything we’ve all learned since 2019, it's that children are resilient. They went through one of the strangest school years in history, and they took it in stride. This year, depending on your school system, your child may have class in person, virtually, or a combination of the two. No matter what, you will need to have a space at home for school work, whether it be for a full day of class or homework. Help keep your kids focused, by creating a space separated from other activities. Creating boundaries between work and fun is critical. If you are lucky enough to have enough room for an entire desk setup with all the necessary supplies, perfect! But dedicating one end of the dining room table to school work, while the other is for meal time can make all the difference. Find what makes the most sense for your home and your children.

If your little one is going to be heading back out into the world, the harsh reality is that a lot of additional responsibilities will be returning as well. You may not have to disinfect your groceries anymore, but there will be plenty of dirty gym clothes that need cleaning, lunch boxes that need to be emptied and refilled, and sports equipment that needs a safe home. Having a prep area/drop zone will be a life saver for all involved. Help streamline your children’s mornings by organizing everything they’ll need to grab when they run to catch the bus. The easiest way to do that is by setting them up for success the night before. Upon entering, instead of dropping everything and running off, make sure there is a spot for all their belongings. This will not only save everyone time and effort, but also helps build responsibility at a young age. Win-win!

Teaching children how to handle some of the responsibilities we adults have to do every day is a great way to sneakily move some of your to-do list items to theirs. By sharing experiences like cooking at a young age, you will be passing on immeasurably important life skills. Of course, you can’t expect a five year old to cook a delicious casserole, nor should you allow that! But simple meal prep like making a sandwich, putting some veggies in a bag, and filling up a water bottle are safe and easy responsibilities they can take on. This can make your life easier when it comes to cooking other more elaborate meals! 

It’s important to remember that the transition of back-to-school can be tough on the kids. Going from spending countless hours playing outside to sitting in a classroom is hard on the psyche. Make that transition easier by keeping your outdoor space at home accessible and fun for as long as the weather will allow. Take the sprinkler out on the weekends or spend an hour after school playing catch in the yard. Once the colder air starts to settle in, bring the fun inside with movie nights or a 1000 piece puzzle! Having some time to spend with the family, indulging in hobbies, and letting off steam is important all year round!

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