Picture this scenario. You pick the kids up at school after a busy day at work. On the way home, they are tired and hungry. You open the front door and the kids begin unloading everything on the floor, chairs, and couch. Shoes, jackets and bags are all over the place. Sound familiar? It’s complete back to school chaos!
If you don’t have a mudroom, creating a designated space for the kids to drop off their belongings right as they walk through the door is essential for organization and easier than many people think.
Below I’ve included tips on how to designate a space and keep your entire house chaos-free throughout the year.
Create Your Space
Dedicate a space near the door you use the most (front or back) to create your organization systems. Make a bold statement by painting the wall with an accent color or add a beautiful wallpaper as the background. For the floors, think about wet, snowy, muddy or sandy shoes (depending on where you live) that will be coming through the door! Ideally the space will have an easy to clean floor, such as vinyl tile. If the place for the "mudroom" doesn't have an ideal floor for high traffic, you can easily improve that by adding an outdoor rug, what will have a double duty: help to set the space and protect your floor. Add console table to help set up a paper management system. Add some trays on top to corral all the items: keys, mail, etc. Lastly, add a bench, so the kids can easily sit down to put and take off shoes, adding a basket or tray nearby for the wet shoes is also a great idea.
Once you have a dedicated space for your “mudroom”, you’re ready to create drop-off zones. Assign a basket and a couple hooks for each child. Library books, gloves, hats and sports gear can go in each basket, while the coat and backpack go on the hooks. Even children as young as preschool understand the concept of having their own cubby. This is a way to ensure that nothing gets lost. Everybody is responsible for their own items and will know where to find them the next morning.
Family Command Center
Create a family “Command Center” by hanging a white dry erase calendar with markers. Color code your calendar using one color marker for each family member’s schedule. Make sure important pieces of paper, such as the weekly school lunch menu and activity schedules, are visible on the command center for everyone to see.
Manage Your Paperwork
Finally, add a designated place to file all the important mail and paperwork that comes to your household. A paper management system next to the door or under the command center, is also a practical addition to any home organization system. Hang a magazine organizer on the wall or create a filing box for the kids to unload their paper (homework assignments, notes, report cards, etc.)
By adding these simple steps to your entryway you will be set up for a successful back-to-school season!