Almost halfway through the school year, and you may be ready for a complete overhaul of your current system for the kids after they get home from school. Whether it’s the dumping of all of the bags, shoes, lunch boxes, and coats at the door, the after-school snack process, or the homework, here are some great ideas to tame the chaos and make the afternoons run smoothly from Junction City KS Storage Units.
Practice a coming home routine
Even the most expensive organizational system isn’t useful if your family isn’t going to put their things where they go. However, experts tell us that it can take much longer for us to develop new habits, or ways of doing things, than we may first think. For young children, that amount of time may be even longer!
Develop a simple but productive routine that you can start practicing with your kids. Mentally plan on it taking about a month for that habit to become routine for your kids (although some kids may pick it up quicker!). And for that month, plan on going through the routine with your kids before expecting them to be able to do it on their own.
Our “coming home” routine includes putting their shoes away, hanging up their backpacks and coats on hooks, washing their hands, putting their lunch boxes and water bottles on the kitchen counter, and placing their homework folder in the same spot every day.
Bring in everything from the car
Sometimes, we are in such a hurry to get inside and get started on the afternoon that we end up leaving things behind, which have to either be retrieved later on in the day or are forgotten about. If this keeps happening, it can be overwhelming to sort through all those items later, so bringing everything in from the car and immediately putting it away is the best bet for keeping those things from getting out of control.
Have a designated homework spot for all folders and books
For older kids and teens, this may be at a desk in their room, and for younger children, this is probably in an area where you will see it and be able to look over the work. Putting it all in the same place every day (right when you get home!) is the best way to make sure it becomes a part of the daily routine and that the dog doesn’t get blamed when it goes missing!
Have a list of ready-to-go snack ideas
Sometimes the hardest part of the after-school snack is finding out what everyone is hungry for. While some days it can be fun to do the same food (Friday Cookies and Milk, anyone?) on days you don’t want to have some already prepared, making a list of easy-to-assemble snacks that the kids can get themselves can help get their stomachs full and their minds ready to tackle homework. Some ideas are things like apples and peanut butter, cheese sticks and nuts, or bagels and cream cheese.
Invest in some organizational help
This doesn’t have to be expensive, but making sure that everything has a place is the first step in finding a system that keeps the after-school clutter at bay and is actually doable long-term. It may mean some simple hooks on the wall at the kids’ eye level that they can hang jackets and bags on, a storage bench for shoes, or a basket for gloves and hats.
None of these fairly simple tips are miracle-workers, but combined with the steady power of habits, your coming home routine can be transformed from chaotic to calm. Every family is different, so finding a system that works for you is the key!
At Self Assured Storage, we understand how stuff can become overwhelming and get in the way of even the best organizational goals. While the kids are at school, start cleaning out those rooms–and for the things you’re not ready to get rid of, give us a call to get your stuff safely stored into one of our units, leaving your house clutter-free and ready for homework time!