By Sudduf Wyne @salamsudduf
It’s that time of the year again.
The weather is changing, the backpacks are being prepared, and everywhere are counting down to that special day in September.
It’s time for back to school!
Grab your coffee or tea and take a read into how to prepare your home and kitchen for a stress-free back to school.
But first, grab this cute back to school sign to commemorate your child’s first day of school. It’s the perfect way to create memories of their first day each year, and all you have to do is click and print.
Whether you have 1 child or more, organizing activities and schedules on a shared calendar is a MUST. My husband and I used to function just fine with an online Google calendar, but now with kids in the picture, we have to use a printed calendar on the fridge. Sports, school trips, pizza lunches, picture day, birthdays, and more. The only way to stay in the know is with a calendar.
I have seen so many versions of a central home calendar, but my absolute favourite is something BASIC and REUSABLE. I invested in a laminator earlier this year and have been using my own laminated calendar for the last few months. I designed the calendar and printed it in black and white. I then laminated it and taped it to the fridge using some cute washi tape. The laminator I used is this one, and the sheets I use are these. I use dry erase markers in different colors to keep track of everything that’s going on. It’s been a huge lifesaver!
And guess what? You can download the calendar here!
Along with permission slips, book fair forms, newsletters and your new calendar, a bulletin board is the perfect place to display your child’s artwork. I suggest putting the bulletin board in the kitchen since it’s a central space in the home and everyone sees it several times daily (including right before heading off to school). It’s also a nice place to leave a note for your spouse, emergency contact numbers, or the dinner menu for the evening.
You don’t have to sacrifice style to make room for this piece. , Indigo and Ikea have several options that are trendy and won’t break the bank. I’ve used an Ikea grid instead of a bulletin board in this photo to show you how you can organize all of the papers the kids come home with in a cute way.
Arts And Crafts Drawer
I got this particular idea from my sister, who always has something fun on hand for her kids to do while getting ready for school, eating breakfast, or having an after school snack. It’s a handy dandy arts and crafts drawer right in her kitchen.
The key part to this arts and crafts drawer is that it’s in the kitchen. No need for the kids to go upstairs or downstairs or anywhere else to get what they need to finish their homework, be creative, not be bored, etc.
One of the biggest stressors of back to school is packing a healthy lunch for your kids. I’ll talk about back to school meal ideas in a future blog post. This point is about the actual items you will put the lunch in. I’m talking about the lunch bag and containers.
The last thing you want to do is pack your child’s sandwich in the same Tupperware container you used for last week’s curry dish. Talk about smelly!
The best way to combat any potential mix-ups of your child’s school lunch containers is to ensure they are easily distinguishable from your day to day containers. Consider applying a label (maybe using your new laminator!).
The Roots Insulated Lunch bags come with an ice pack and a few containers, and they are durable enough to last an entire year of wear and tear.
I’m also a big fan of the bento box lunch bags that are available at Indigo. If you’re looking for just the container and already have a lunch bag, Indigo also sells just the bento box Tupperware, which is one piece with compartments.
Now that you have a lunch bag and containers, empty a cupboard in your kitchen, or have a central spot where your kids can leave their (empty) lunch bag at the end of each day. This will ease the burden of having to find the lunch bag in their room or closet, and give them the added responsibility of helping with day to day tasks. Don’t have the space to empty a cupboard? Attach some cute hooks onto your kitchen wall (maybe near the bulletin board), and use those to hang lunch bags.
Clean Up Bedroom
Isn’t this every mom’s least favorite phrase! By clean up bedroom I mean have your kids go through their room and make 3 piles. SELL, DONATE, KEEP. This goes for clothing and toys. With Facebook Marketplace and consignment stores like Once Upon a Child and Plato’s Closet, your kids can make a pretty penny by selling their old but still in good condition items. It’s definitely something to motivate them to get cleaning!
This activity should be done before going “back to school” shopping, as it ensures kids make space for anything new they want, and they may discover some items they already own and don’t need to buy. I’m a strong believer in instilling a minimalist lifestyle in our children, and this is a great way to start.
And parents, this step isn’t just for the kids. Practice what you preach and clean out your closet and room too. Use the money you make selling your items to buy yourself a cup of coffee every morning, for surviving another day with children.
I hope these tips are helpful in preparing you and your family for back to school!