We all love long nights–early mornings and the warmth and gentleness of the weather. And on the other hand, if you have children, we simultaneously crave the structure of the school year. But one thing is definite – most of us do not crave the added clutter of the school year—Does this sound familiar?
- The dining room with opened backpacks exploding with paper.
- Pens and pencils rolling off the table and littering the floor.
- Papers to be signed and accumulating USB drives, art projects, science projects and book reports.
Living in an organized home as a single human can be difficult. Add on the stress of a family, children, jobs, activities, daily life, and an organized anything seems impossible. Home organization is thought to be a skill that some have and some lack. And maybe this is true – that some of us are more prone to having organized homes. But the art of home organization is just that – an art form. Rather than thinking of it as a skill, think of it as a habit to be formed, an art to be learned.
Here are some of our tips for getting the most out of not only your space, but your time as well:
HOME ORGANIZATION TIP 1: Use Your Garage
Your garage is probably being used as a catch-all for old things unnecessary for daily use. Many people don’t even have space in their garage to store their cars. Built-in cabinets and shelving help maintain garage clutter and add space for unnecessary items in your home; things such as old school documents, power cables, tools, seasonal decor…etc. You can also save valuable space by hanging bikes, sports gear and gardening tools on hooks.
We spoke with organizational expert and design consultant, Sandi Weinand from Harkraft, Inc. and she states,
“Our most common request for garages is to give everything a home but, put it all behind doors so no matter what’s going on within you feel organized!”
HOME ORGANIZATION TIP 2: Prepare in Advance
Prepping things such as backpacks, outfits, and meals the night before will help save time and avoid disarray the following morning. Similarly, get in the habit of meal prepping.
“Meal Prepping is simply preparing some, or all of your meals ahead of time. It’s like having those TV dinners that you would purchase from the store, except that you prepare them yourself, with better, healthier and unprocessed ingredients.”
says the Meal Prep Haven blog. Meal prepping saves you time and effort, and also steers your family away from the temptation of eating out every day. Similarly, stuffing backpacks with homework and setting them out the night before will save you time and energy.
HOME ORGANIZATION TIP 3: De-Clutter
According to the LA Times, “The average U.S. household has 300,000 things, from paper clips to ironing boards.” That’s a lot of things. Ask yourself, what do we not need? This answer will be different for every person and family. They continue, “”When you go home in the evening after work, you go in your house and you feel comfort because you have your stuff,” But stuff is not always the source of calm, it can actually become a source of stress.
In terms of school time clutter, what is actually necessary? What can you cross off your “to buy” list and go without, or repurpose something you already own in its place?
HOME ORGANIZATION TIP 4: Storage, Storage, Storage!
For those items that you need to keep, how and where you store them is imperative! We see this all the time – A family upgrades to a larger house and still they struggle to have enough storage.
Finding solutions outside of your closets and cabinets can be necessary. Floating shelves with decorative baskets that can hold small toys can transform a child’s room. Using exposed bookshelves to display vases, pots, and other decorative items can clear up cabinet storage for things you don’t want seen, such as small kitchen appliances. Storing pillows and extra blankets at the foot of your bed in a chest will also give you more space in your linen closet.
Specifically, for the school year, designate a catch-all spot for school items. We suggest this space is outside a high traffic area; a garage or mud room is ideal. Hang sturdy hooks for backpacks, umbrellas and purses–have bins nearby for shoes, hats, and gloves. Let this space be what it is and continue to get in the habit of clearing that clutter from other home spaces.