With school starting, it’s time to do a little reorganizing to make early mornings and after-school activities run smoothly. When starting school after moving to a new home, consider some of the additional challenges your children face and plan accordingly. Implement changes to the household gradually so that your kids adjust before that big first day!
Over the summer, kids typically wake later in the morning and fall asleep later in the evening. To ease the adjustment, begin walking back the bedtime hours until you reach the optimum time at least a few days before the start of school. To help in the transition, install blackout curtains in bedrooms and avoid blue light from television, computer, tablet and phone screens.
Breakfast and Lunch
Stock your refrigerator with quick, nutritious options for breakfast and to-go lunches. Choose health-conscious options that your kids like and have them help you pack their lunch the night before school.
If your children wear uniforms, having several options so that you don’t have to launder them at night during the week is helpful. Have children pick out their clothes the night before. Create a special space in their closets just for school clothes so you can tell at a glance if you need to replenish their wardrobe before the weekend.
Creating a shoe station at the door saves time on hunting for that lost shoe and keeps wet, dirty or muddy prints from tracking through the house. Consider a separate shoe cubby for each child and hang hooks above each cubby for jackets and backpacks. If your child plays sports, create a separate cubby for uniforms, equipment and sports shoes.
Set up an afterschool snack station in a basket or decorative bin on your counter and a specific shelf in your refrigerator for juice, sports drinks and veggies or fruit.
Create a homework station. For younger children, a specific space off the kitchen or living area keeps supplies and assignments contained and organized. Set up organizer boxes for each child to place assignments and set a calendar and bulletin board above the station to keep track of due dates, after-school activities and special events.
Older kids benefit from having a desk or study area in their rooms or a quieter office space, but a calendar on the outside of the door lets you keep track of their schedule while offering them some privacy.
Preparing For the Big Day
Starting a new school in a new neighborhood requires advance preparation. If your child walks to school, take the time to go over several routes to and from school. Learn where crossing guards assist on busy streets and where sidewalks offer safety as they walk to and from school. Locate bike lanes and the safest biking routes from your home. Locate bus stops and learn the correct bus numbers.
If you’re looking for a home in a specific school district or need information about your neighborhood schools, check with your local real estate professional for up-to-date statistics and data.