Getting the Family and House Ready For “Back-To-School” Season

August is all about getting the family and home prepared for the upcoming school season and the new routine for the next several months. Check out these tips and ideas to start your preparation!

During morning and evening routines, the kitchen will be a focus point during the school year. Have a designated cabinet that is dedicated to pre-bagged snacks and Tupperware. This will make the hustle of the morning easier to manage when packing lunches if you did not pack them the night before.

Also, create a schedule of what dinner plans will be throughout the week. This will not only help you at the grocery store but also will help you plan easy dinners if you have a late soccer game on Thursday evening.

Bedroom and Closet
As kids are growing, it may seem like their clothes are shrinking. Before the summer ends, have your family go through their closet to donate clothes they do not like or clothes that no longer fit. Once you organize the potential for hand-me-downs, it is a lot easier to go school shopping when you know Billy needs new jeans and Sadie grew out of all her shoes.

Another trick to make the mornings more efficient is to create cubbies or shelves for each of your kids with the days of the week labeled on them. On Sundays, help them pick out their clothes for the week according to estimated weather and after-school plans.

Homework Space
Creating an area in the house that is quiet and full of all the school supplies that kids need for homework and projects will help with the focus of your children. Studies have shown that doing homework in bed can affect the feeling of sleeplessness in children if they are correlating stressful homework to their sleep space. Try to avoid this and make the dining room table or play room have a desk for school work to be focus upon.


Make Your Tiny Kitchen Look Enormous

1. Eliminate Counter Clutter
With the busy lives we live, it is hard to keep everything organized in kitchen cabinets at all time. However, one thing that will create more visual space in your kitchen is a clear counter. Remove all food products, mail, and cluttered decor from your counter surface and reserve it for useful items like sugar and spices. It will appear to be a larger space when the clutter is removed.

2. Lighting
If you have the benefit of big windows near your kitchen, the natural light will help to make this living space appear bigger. If you do not have an abundance of natural light, providing adequate lighting for your kitchen is beneficial for cooking but also for create space in the room.

3. Add Hidden Storage
There are typically unused spaces in kitchen cabinet that can utilized for organizing kitchenware. Creating extra cabinet space can help to eliminate clutter on countertops.

4. Reflective Surfaces
A new trend for smaller kitchens is to add mirror fronts to kitchen cabinets or buy all stainless steel appliances. These reflective surfaces can add depth and create the illusion that the space appears larger.

5. Light Colors
Along with natural light, painting walls and cabinets light colors will brighten up the room and essentially make it look bigger. Painting walls lighter colors can also allow creativity with decoration themes being bold colors that will really stand out on the walls and countertops.


Spring Cleaning for Your Kitchen

Cluttered cabinets, a dusty refrigerator top, and an oven that smokes every time you bake are not the components of an ideal kitchen. The kitchen is often one of the most-used living areas in a family’s home and kitchen cabinets can quickly become coated in a layer of grease, dirt and grime from constant use and cooking. We think that these three things are crucial to the spring cleaning process, so don’t overlook them this year!

1. Dust and Wash the Walls
Anytime you cook, open the window, or spray cooking oil on a pan, particles adhere to your walls and create a thin, mostly invisible but greasy layer of dirt and dust. To counter this silent but dirty phenomenon, it’s time to wash your walls using your favorite products, or simply clean with a hot, sudsy sponge and cool water rinse to remove grease in the kitchen. Rooms with flat paints require less vigorous cleaning methods. To avoid wearing down the paint: use a damp clean cloth or a moistened-with-water only soft sponge to clean flat-painted walls.

2. Spruce Up Your Curtains and Blinds
Over the course of the year, dust, dirt, grease, and grime can build up on your curtains, drapes, and blinds. To remedy thus, take them down to spray them down! Curtains and drapes should be vacuumed with a special attachment, put into the washing machine with cold water so they don’t shrink, or taken to the dry cleaners. To clean your blinds, take them outside and soak them in hot water with automatic dishwashing detergent with some Pinesol to rub away grease.

3. Clean Out Drawers and Kitchen Cabinets
Over the year, your drawers and cabinets go from an organized space to crazy and chaotic. It’s time to take out anything that isn’t being used on a regular basis, organize your flatware, and consider installing drawer and cabinet dividers to keep your kitchen more organized. Once everything is taken out, scrub down the insides of your drawers and cabinets with a mixture of grease cutting detergent and warm water, and the outsides with vinegar and water to remove the sticky film. Finish by rinsing both areas with plain water to remove soap residue.