Tips for Back-to-School Home Organization

school-inspired-organization-mediumAs summer makes its exit, giving way to pencil boxes, book reports and baseball practices, it’s time to get organized. Prep for the new season with academic-inspired home storage solutions that make the grade. From personalized cubbies to coded bins that keep every subject separate, we’re finding inspiration in the classroom to keep textbooks, backpacks and everything in between organized and on hand.

Cubbies and Hooks 
The start of the new school year means earlier wake-up calls and bustling mornings for everyone. In an effort to keep daybreak routines running smoothly, keep each of your family members’ important items divided, decluttered and off the floor in a simple set of cubbies positioned near your most-used door.

Whether it’s the mudroom or the front hall, by placing a compartmentalized storage piece in your home, you create a special, go-to spot for your kids’ sports gear, school supplies, lunchbox, even their favourite ball cap. They’ll always know where to find their most important items as you make a mad dash out the door—and best of all, where to put them when they arrive back home.

Make Your Own Cubbies
Before you break the bank on a new piece of furniture, explore the items in your own home with an eye for a furniture redo. If you have an old bookcase, you can easily transform the piece into a functional home storage statement.

  • Measure the depth and height of each shelf, then visit your local home hardware to get wood panels cut to size. Slide the panels into place to create partitions along each shelf.Tip: In lieu of lumber, you can also try turning baskets or boxes on their side for instant compartments.
  • For additional storage, add fresh, functional touches to your cubbies piece. Purchase inexpensive hooks and hang them along the sides or back of each cubby space.
  • To complete the look, consider painting the entire furniture piece in a bright, bold hue that adds a pop of unexpected color to your home décor. You can get creative and try painting cubbies in different colors and patterns, too.

Color-Coded Bins 
This season, you can eliminate junk drawers with a colourful storage alternative. Make a fresh start now and implement a new color-coded bin system to store your family’s most used and needed items. Declutter your drawers and divide items by category, like pens and pencils, paper, art supplies and tools. Next, let your family choose what category corresponds with what color. Sort your items accordingly and store the bins on a bookshelf, along a wall or within a cabinet—and before you know it, you’ve made home organization a fun, family-oriented activity.

Art on Display 
With A+ papers and artistic creations coming home on a weekly basis, make a conscious effort to hang your kids’ most worthy work with pride. But this school year, forego the fridge and get creative with new and unusual display techniques.

  •  Clotheslines: With a few simple materials, you can instantly create a beautiful art display along your wall. Attach a long piece of string, twine or fishing line to your wall by fastening each end with a large screw. Mix and match some of your child’s favourite artwork into a colourful, eclectic collection, then hang each piece on the string with clothespins.
  • Art easels: Uncover your kids’ easel from the closet—it’s not just for painting and drawing anymore. Try using this artist’s tool to showcase papers, artwork, even special cards and photographs. Use an easel that comes with clips already attached or stand a piece of foam board or a cork board on your easel and use clips or tacks to affix art and papers. Its simple shape and purpose work as a perfect accent piece in almost any room.
  • Display Rails: Hanging frames is one way to wake up a wall, but for something unexpected, try mounting inexpensive display rails. The sleek metal or plastic rails attach to the wall, and then grip papers from the top, holding them securely in place. When you’re ready to display something new, you can easily remove artwork without damaging or tearing the paper. Creating your very own art gallery takes mere minutes! Look for them at home goods and office supply stores.

In & Out Boxes 
Nobody knows the importance of home organization quite like a school secretary. We’ve taken note of one of their most trusted organization systems, in and out boxes, and put it right to work to help you keep bills, mail, school work, permission slips and more streamlined.

  • Purchase boxes, slightly larger than 8 1/2” x 11”, at your local craft store.
  • Allot two boxes to each member of your family, using decorative labels to mark “IN” on the front of one and “OUT” on the other.
  • Place the boxes along a table or bookshelf and use them to keep mail, schoolwork and paperwork undoubtedly organized.

Kitchen Chalkboard 
Post messages the old classroom way by creating a quick and easy chalkboard right in your own kitchen. Begin by purchasing chalkboard paint from your local craft or hardware store, and then select the item you’d like to paint. Try transforming the inside of a pantry door or even an entire accent wall. Any way you choose, your kids will never miss another school assignment, sports event or doctor’s appointment—you can chalk it up to smart home organization.

Source : Home Made Simple Web Site, August 4th, 2009.

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