PART ONE OF A 2-PART SERIES
It’s that time of year again that parents look forward to with longing and kids hate to think about: back-to-school. No doubt at least some of your preparations have already begun. Shopping for school supplies and clothes is a big part of this season of mixed feelings. Fun new clothes and supplies might make the transition a little easier for those kids not necessarily wanting their summer to end. For parents, though, making space for new stuff and trying to get organized again after a couple of months of slacking can be a little painful for everyone. We thought it would be a good opportunity to share a few tips for organizing your home for back-to-school.
For today’s entry, we’re starting with streamlining the entryway area. Everyone with kids has experienced the chaos that can happen at the front entryway. Everything that the kids bring inside often gets dropped right there at the door. It doesn’t take long for clutter to accumulate and nerves to get frazzled because things soon get misplaced, lost and trampled upon. These tips will help you avoid that chaos and deal with the entryway clutter that results from going to school:
* Create a home for paper correspondence. Many schools have gone mostly digital, so the amount of paper correspondence being sent home from school these days has decreased somewhat over the last few years. However, notes from school by way of paper have yet to become completely obsolete, so professional home organizers suggest that you make a spot, a sort of “mailbox,” if you will, to catch those deliveries. The hardest part of this endeavor is going to be getting your kids in the habit of actually dropping notes off there. However, if they can manage this, there will be less frustration over notes languishing forgotten in backpacks and all the missed field trips because of them. Try to make it a place that is central and easily seen so that your kids remember, such as near the front door, or on a centrally-located desk, table or countertop. If there are notes that need a parent’s signature, let your kids know that you will sign and then return it to the same spot for them to pick up and take back to school.
* Assign a spot for backpacks. In most homes, school backpacks land in one of two places: near the front door or in the child’s bedroom. Either is a perfectly suitable place, as long as they have a specific spot. We recommend a hook in the wall somewhere close to the front door or in the bedroom, depending on your preferred location. Get kids to hang their backpacks on designated hooks so that they don’t become tripping hazards at the front door or, worse, get lost altogether.
* Make sure you have a place for jackets to hang. Then, get your kids into the habit of actually hanging up their coats when they come home. This issue isn’t necessarily limited to the school year. It can be an all-year round problem that just gets bigger as the seasons get colder. If you already have a coat closet at the door then you might already have this nailed. If not, think about purchasing a coat tree, or installing hooks or even individual cubbies for kids’ jackets. If your kids are small, make sure you place hooks where your kids can actually reach them.
By the way, we think that one of the best accessories you can have in your entryway is “cubbies.” Not the ones you might remember from preschool days, but contemporary, decorative versions that complement your home’s decor. These kinds of compartments are ideal for storing items that commonly get left at the front door, like shoes, boots, hats, sports gear and other small to medium-size items. Larger cubbies (a little bit like school lockers, but way better looking) can be assigned one per family member so that every individual has a place for their own front door “stuff,” including jackets and backpacks. Tailored Living has a whole array of options when it comes to custom cubbies and entryways in general, including a variety of different finishes and lots of hardware choices and accessories to make your entryway streamlined and efficient for the school year and beyond.