Back to School — Prep

It is that time of year again, for those who aren’t year-round homeschoolers that is! One of the biggest hurdles of starting a new school year is just that: STARTING! The Teaching Home newsletters are a wealth of information delivered straight to your email box. And the information they share is amazing. Simply amazing! So much so that we felt it needed to be shared here! Without further ado, here is the first installment of “Back-to-School-Prep” from The Teaching Home newsletters.

Ready Your Home for School
Can you imagine how much easier your life and home schooling would be if all the extra clutter were eliminated from your home and it were clean and organized?

Although organization imposes limits on your behavior, time, and belongings, it is an essential tool for achieving freedom, peace, and plenty.

Household organization will bring many benefits to your family!

Finding a Place for Everything
Before you start the major dejunking process described below, take some time to plan a place for everything you want to keep.  This is the foundation of a neat home: “A place for everything and everything in its place!”

Budget your space, much like you would budget your money or your time.  Consider the amount of space you have to work with and what you want to do with it.

This is a new way of thinking about your space and belongings – not simply where can I put everything, but what do I need and where do I need it.

7 Steps To Finding a Place for Everything
1.  Start by making a list of the functions your house is used for (e.g., sleeping, cooking, washing, eating, playing, visiting, making things, entertaining, studying).

2.  Decide the best use of each room as you match it to one or more of the functions.  This is also a fresh approach to organizing your home.  For instance, two or more children could share a room with bunk beds and free up a room to be used for a your school work and library.

3.  Next, write the name of each room at the top of a page and list the uses of that room and what items should be in that room for those needs.

4.  Now assign a space in each room for the items needed there.

5.  You will need some general storage space as well somewhere in your house for miscellaneous items that don’t fit anywhere else or are being saved for later.  This could be either unused space in the rooms, or a separate area in the attic, basement, shed, etc.

6.  After you know exactly where each item belongs, print copies of your list.  Post them throughout the house (inside cupboard or closet doors), and distribute them to family members.  You can also place labels on shelves and in drawers and closets, etc. until habits are firmly established for putting things where they belong.

7.  Now you are ready to remove clutter and unneeded items from your home.

One way of getting started might be to check your list for needed items and “go shopping” among your stuff, find them, and put them away.  The balance can be discarded as suggested below.

Declutter Your Home with the Four Box Method
Less is really more when it comes to finding a place for everything, and putting – and keeping – everything in it’s place for your homeschool!

Getting rid of unused items in your home and storing little-used ones out of the way will make things a whole lot easier for you all year long!

You might also want to consider paring down the number of toys and clothes that you have (or have in use at any given time). See ideas about how to Simplify Your Kid’s Wardrobes.

The “Four-Box Dejunking Method” below is recommended by many experts to help you identify and dispose of clutter.

1.  Get four boxes and label them:
•  Throw Away
•  Give Away or Sell
•  Storage
•  Put Away

2.  Clear your home, room by room, and item by item.

3.  Make a decision about each item you pick up and place it in the correct box.

4.  Schedule time before you stop working each day to appropriately dispose of box contents.

Next: Resources To Help You Get Your House in Order; How To Keep Clutter Out.

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