Four Ways to Make Back-to-School Easier On Everyone

The lazy days of summer are coming to an end more quickly than we’d like – West Virginia schools are most likely back by September 6. As a parent, you know what back to school means. It’s not just a change in schedule for the kids, it’s a change in your whole world too: rushing out the door each morning, racing back home for forgotten permission slips, backpacks and lunches, running carpools for after school activities. Some organization and planning can go a long way toward minimizing back to school insanity – and even make this time of year a bit more fun.
We’ve put together a few suggestions from California Closets, the leader in custom home storage solutions and an authority in design, for arranging your household to be more school-friendly. They’ll ensure that your first day back will get a high grade!

1. Cut the clutter.
A new school year is the perfect 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 likely don’t fit anymore; donate anything that’s too small but still in good condition and make someone else’s school preparation easier too! Besides doing a good deed, you’re making space for fall and winter clothing that does fit! Pro Tip: It might be easier to do this when they aren’t home.
2. Organize to the max!
Organize your newly-emptied closets while storing away all the new school items you purchased. Group clothing by color and type, and put their favorite (or most needed) clothes where they’re easiest to reach. Make it simple for sleepyheads of all ages to find their wardrobe when they stumble out of bed in the mornings. 
3. Shop with a Good List
Everyone will benefit from a well-organized list before a big shopping excursion. Effective list-making can have items grouped by retailer or category, ensuring that related and accessory items are purchased at one shot. Of course, there are always a few surprises in store once that first bell rings. Forgot a notebook or a pack of markers? Keep a running list somewhere accessible so everyone in the family can add to it as items come up.  
4. Set House Rules Ahead of Time
Everyone made it through the school day, and the first thing that happened at home is...chaos: backpacks on the floor, lunch boxes in the hall, and shoes, well, pretty much everywhere. Give your kiddos simple rules when they come home, and an accessible place to things away (plus maybe a healthy snack to hold them over until dinner?). If they know to place their shoes on a rack, store their backpacks in the closet and put their lunch boxes on the kitchen counter, you’ll at least have an organized starting point to launch them into homework and studying.
Speaking of sleepyheads, it’s a good idea to start preparing them for the school year sleeping schedule, gradually, as summer wanes. Bring back consistent bedtimes to make things easier in a week or two. Get them going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night and try to put electronic devices to bed an hour before the kids are. Cutting out caffeine, eliminating naps and wearing them out after dinner can all help with this task.
Make your homework for you, instead of against you during this busy time of year. 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 and organizing your home, contact FirstService Residential, North America’s community association management leader.