4 Back To School Tips to Keep Parents Sane and Kids Happy

As a parent, you know what back to school means. It’s more than a change in your schedule -- it’s a change in your whole reality. Rushing out the door. Blasting through the homework. Making second trips back to the house for forgotten lunch boxes, book order money or scarves.
But back to school doesn’t have to mean back to insanity. A little organization can go a long way toward managing all that back to school stress – and maybe helping you and your youngsters get a little joy out this time of year, too.
So follow these tips, provided by California Closets, the leader in custom home storage solutions and an authority in design, for arranging your household to be more school-friendly, and you’ll be feeling like you’re having an A+ kind of year, right from the beginning.
  1. Eliminate clutter – ruthlessly! There’s no playing Mr. Nice Guy or Gal here. This is the time to go through your children’s closets and eliminate what they no longer need or want. Last year’s sneakers, sweaters, pants and shorts are either outdated or outsized by now. They’d look better in a donation basket than they do taking up space in your home.
  2. Make lists. Even if you’re not a Type-A personality, a list will help you. Chances are you’ve already done your back-to-school shopping, but there are always a few surprises in store once that first bell rings. Forgot a composition book or a pack of highlighters? Those things are easy to keep forgetting, so add them to your shopping list as soon as the need arises.
  3. Maximize organization. Remember that closet you successfully de-cluttered? Organize it while you pile in all the new school items you purchased. It’s never too late to take this step! Group clothing by type, and put frequently-worn items where they’re easy to reach. Make it simple for your little sleepyheads to find their wardrobe when they stumble out of bed in the mornings.
  4. Create after-school rules. So, you make it through the school day, and the first thing that happens at home is...chaos. Backpacks on the floor. Lunch boxes in the hall. And shoes, well, pretty much everywhere (none of them with a mate, most likely). Give your kiddos simple rules when they come home, and an accessible place to put their items. If they know to put their backpacks in the closet, place their shoes on the shoe rack, and put their lunch boxes on the kitchen counter, you’ll at least be at an organized starting point to launch them into homework and reading (or some well-earned free time if they’re all caught up).
Back-to-school is the time to make sure your home is working harder for you. It’ll help your kids focus on the things that matter – and in the process, you’ll be able to, too. For more on making your home school-ready, contact FirstService Residential, North America’s community association management leader. 
Tuesday September 02, 2014