Our daughter started school, here in India, last month and am sure in the US, too, most of you will be gearing up for back-to-school time. The morning dash to the school or the bus, the homework, craft projects and after-school activities. Ahh, wonderful!
In all the craziness that comes with school season, your home tends to take a backseat. Dusting gets relegated to the background, organizing and decluttering projects may be pushed down on the must-do list and redecorating the home office, well, let’s just forget about that for now. Does it have to be like this? Well, yes and no.
Yes, you may have to postpone or reschedule a few time-intensive projects as your family gets into the school rhythm. No, you don’t have to let your home become the neighbourhood dust monster as you try to deal with school lunches, clothes, work and more.
You can have a stress-free, happy, and organized family and home as you get into back-to-school mode this year.
Establish a Routine
Yes, I know I am repeating myself. But I cannot stress the importance of a morning and evening routine enough. If you haven’t had a chance to set a routine for your family’s mornings and evenings, do so now. Nothing fancy. Just a schedule of simple activities to make getting ready and going to bed easier and happier for both you and the kids. Your morning routine could look like:
- Wake up, shower, dress
- Pray or meditate or exercise
- Pack school lunches or put already packed lunches into bags
- Get breakfast ready
- Wake up the kids
Tackle One Big Project and One Small Project Each Week
This is what worked for us. Each week, when my husband and I sit down to write down our week’s schedule, we pencil in time for a big project, like furniture shopping and a smaller project, like organizing our toddler’s bookshelf. Having just these things on our plate helps me to focus on only these two and not get distracted by everything else that I think needs to be done. Oh, and it totally helps, if you tackle the small project first and work on the big one through the week. Big motivation-booster!
Clean as You Go
Again, something that has really worked for our home is cleaning up as we go. So, if making dinner, don’t just clean the countertop, rinse the dishes, keep away the clean dishes and fill the bottles of water all while dinner is simmering away. Also, my definition of cleaning as I go is to remove toys from the dining room as I pass through it to go and play with my daughter or pick up the laundry from the rack as I leave the balcony to go inside. Simple things like these help me keep a reasonably clean home during the week
Reserve Intensive Cleaning for School Hours or Weekends
Want to deep clean the bathroom? Maybe clear out the mudroom? Reserve these projects for either a free weekend or when the kids will be in school. I’ve tried both and personally, find the school hours time slot to be better. Why? I like to hang a little loose during the weekends and spending time slaving over cleaning the grout is not really my idea of hanging loose. ***laughing***Since, our daughter’s school hours are also our work time, what works for me is spending 30 minutes each day on a deep-clean project and then, getting down to work. If you don’t have to work during school hours, you can easily spend 1 hour on deep cleaning and the rest for other chores and wrap up well before the kids come home.
How do you prepare your home for back-to-school season?
Photo Credit: Abigail Batchelder