“Back to school” can mean back to streamlined routines or back to total chaos—your pick!
Here are three zones to implement in your home that will help you create order:
The Drop Zone
As soon as the kids walk through that door, they drop whatever they are carrying—backpack, sports equipment, jackets, instruments. Designate a spot where these items will be parked, or you will likely end up with a pile on the kitchen floor. You don’t need a full mudroom for this, although that is always nice. Carve out a nook in a front foyer or back hallway, with some hooks, a small shelf or a small table. Before you do this, take inventory of what will live in this area, to ensure that you are creating the space with your actual needs in mind.
The Homework Zone
Many kids need a clear, organized area to do their homework. With a comfortable spot, they will be more likely to sit there and work. Engage your child in the creation of this spot. Start with logistics like a flat, clear surface, nearby storage for supplies, lighting and a comfortable chair. But, then ask your child what they would like, or what they need, to personalize the area and make it functional and inviting. Even if this spot is already in their room, you or your child may not have made a point to set up this area in an effective way. This extra intention will ensure a more productive work space.
The Lunch Zone
Whether you make the lunches, or it is your child’s responsibility, both can benefit from an established area that houses the key ingredients. Designate a spot in both the fridge and the pantry where you can easily reach for the necessary lunch components. This is a great way to transition your child into more autonomy. If you discuss it in advance, and they know how to easily find the ingredients, it can make lunch making a much more streamlined process.