Once that last-minute school supply shopping frenzy rolls in, life gets HECTIC.
Does it really make sense to wait until THEN to get your home ready for the school year?
Back-to-school updates to your home are extra important this year…with most students officially back to in-person classes full-time, not to mention some of us now working in permanent home offices…everything about the design of the home has been turned on its head.
If everything about last year was “different,” it all had lasting impacts on your home design, organization and flow room-to-room.
The point here is that NOW is the time to start thinking about updates to your home that will send the kids off to their best school year yet. These ideas will get you thinking about design, décor and organization in important ways…and this is about MORE than just decorating for fall! It’s about getting a real return on enjoyment for every member of your family.
I like to break down back-to-school home updates into three categories:
- Drop zones
…Ready? Let’s dig into each!!
The drop zone of your home is a “game changer” for how you can organize your family for the school year. It’s where you leave everything ready for school the night before…it’s where the kids dump things when they come home…it’s where phones get plugged in to charge (FAR away from where homework is done)…and it’s where you manage the influx of shoes, coats, and more!
The drop zone is your “catch-all” before anyone gets too far with the “stuff” that piles up elsewhere.
Drop zones are usually right at the door, sometimes doubling as a “mudroom.” You just need to create a functional entry space to store things. This also helps you hide things from key vantage points in common areas where you host guests!
Start by designating your drop zone with a bench or seat where the kids can sit down to pull off their dirty shoes! Outdoor gear should ALL come off before they make it past the threshold into your main home…
Be sure your drop zone has PLENTY of hooks, too!! You’ll hang backpacks and jackets off the floor, and organize them with ease that way…
The hardest part will actually be getting EVERYONE in the family trained so they remember to use the space! The payoff is huge, however, so start training them now to be ready in time for the school year.
In order to have everything in its place, everything NEEDS a place!!
It’s time to read up on closet clutter and design your operational command center for the school year.
Setting up one “hub” for school year essentials keeps your family running smoothly.
For your command center (best if set up in your drop zone), consider:
- A family calendar
- A bulletin board
- Chalk or a dry erase board
- A place to put paperwork, assignments and more
And speaking of organization, it’s time to get your laundry room sorted, too…school clothes pile up FAST in the typical week, so you will need laundry baskets labeled for darks, colors and lights…not to mention that “special basket” designated for the REALLY gross stuff that needs deep-acting and immediate attention!
…Please, don’t make me give examples! You KNOW the kind of gross stuff I’m talking about!
You can create a designated “kids’ corner” for snacks and breakfast, too. Just think…how nice would it be to have them OUT of your way when they’re snacking and you’re running around cooking, or getting things ready…
At the same time, you also know where to find them again!!
To organize this kind of “kids’ corner,” you can set up the nook in your kitchen or even simply designate a special drawer (of an out-of-the-way cabinet) for a new mini-fridge or stack of parent-approved snacks…
Trust me, they WILL congregate there naturally!
Depending on the size of your home and where the kids usually migrate to, consider setting up a “kitchen homework hub.” The kitchen is already the heart of your home…and it is also a GREAT area for the kids to work while you clean up or cook.
You also make sure homework is getting done that way—and can be around to help if they have questions!
On the other hand, a quieter, more personal homework space is better for some families. This minimizes distractions. As an added bonus, creating a personal homework space for each child also allows you to involve that child in creating the space!! If it’s THEIR study nook, they can get creative with the décor…
It just takes that special balance of a child’s imagination and your adult practicality to design the space that will inspire them to sit down to work on their assignments with ownership AND joy.
…Then, of course…there’s YOUR workspace!!
Back to school is NOT just for the kids.
The return to in-person teaching also means that parents are energized this year, too, to make the most of their new home offices.
By the time you get to back-to-school shopping, that’s where the kids’ excitement sets in. Those super-cute supplies aren’t what will set them up for success, however!
A home with design choices CONDUCIVE for studying, appropriate snacks, needed autonomy and a simple regimen for a clean home will make the school year run MUCH more smoothly.
The best way to get these benefits is to start planning the needed updates to your home now. Check out our newest Signature Home Style magazine for some bonus design inspiration…
Seriously…what are you waiting for?!