Life Organizing

5 Tips for the Back to School Routine

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One thing I love about a new school year is, it’s new. We begin the year with all As, we get fresh notebooks, new teachers, and get to start again. It’s also a great time to adopt a few new habits surrounding the school routine to help stay on top of the schedule, the clutter, the schoolwork, and to encourage your kids to have their best year yet. We’ve compiled a few tips to get your year off on the right foot!


5 Tips to Streamline the Back to School Routine!


Image:  Magnolia

Image: Magnolia

1 . An Established Landing Space

This will look different in every home, entirely dependent on your home’s layout. This is an area that should be relatively close to the entry and exit point used each morning. Landing spaces can be useful to collect bookbags and store to-do baskets. Think of this as the command center of the morning on the way out the door. Check out this blog by Joanna Gaines for tips on how locker baskets can be used in your landing space!

 

2 . Routine Checklists for the Littles

Printable checklists ( laminated or put behind a glass for use with a dry erase ) can be so helpful to guide littles along their new morning routines, this gives them a sense of ownership of their morning and you can still be directly involved to keep them on track.


*We’ve created these two printable options as a framework to your morning routine!

 

3. Streamlined Schedules for the Big Kids

For kiddos that aren’t exactly kiddos anymore, a virtual approach could keep the entire family on board the same ship! Google calendar app can be a great option for synchronizing sports schedules, events, and the heavier after school schedule that the teen sports/club years can come with.

Another option is a centralized large chalkboard or dry erase calendar in the home. This is a great addition to the landing space or command center and can be a great reminder when headed in or out the door each day. There are definitely pros and cons to each calendaring options, find what works best for your people.

 

4 . Art & Schoolwork Management

A great habit to adopt for school work brought home is “touch it once!” If the assignment is a worksheet or test from class that has no emotional connection to your child, and your child is ready to let go, after acknowledgment of their efforts and skill they now have by doing the practice, it goes to the recycle bin immediately.
As for artwork, a great rule of thumb for what to keep is to see if you can see the unique work of your own child in each piece. Once that decision is made, a clear Rubbermaid tote with your child’s name and school year(s) can be used if originals want to be kept.
Another option we love is ARTKIVE. ARTKIVE lets you send in all the originals to be professionally photographed and bound into a hardback book or a framed piece!

 

5 . Designated Homework Areas

This can be such a stress reliever in many ways encouraging productivity, organization, and quality of work. Establishing a homework zone can communicate the same thing to a child as “going to the office” can for an adult. You set the tone for their work flow and focus by designating study areas. This can be as simple as a lazy susan with cups of supplies easily moved to the middle of a table, or as established as a study nook in the home. Wherever the investment, the reward will be worth it!  

Being Present in the Middle of May

Spring is in full swing now and all the events of the season are coming at us from every direction! Graduations, travel plans, spring performances, festivals, sports tournaments, and end-of-school year parties and events are filling our calendars and brain-space as we try to survive one of the most beautiful months in East Tennessee.

We’ve gathered a few tips to help you be present, enjoy these last couple of weeks and finish the month with success.

Take a break from social media

For the rest of the month, hit pause on scrolling through your social media feeds. There are lots of fun things to post about on your own page - be it your kids, a fun travel spot, a memorable gathering - so go for it! But create a personal rule about not looking at other’s lives for the rest of the month to help you focus more clearly on your own.

Be willing to say “no”

Do someone a favor, and say “no” to an event, volunteer opportunity, or extra appointment and allow someone else the chance to say “yes.” Many of us are natural-born helpers (Enneagram 2’s, you know who you are ; ) ), but we’ve got to allow others the opportunity to help out in the classroom, take some food to a friend, or offer to help with the neighborhood newsletter.

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Schedule (at least) a 30-minute window every day to unplug

Take some time each day to do something without your phone in reach or earshot. I know many of us rely on our phones for our business and to be available for our families, but we also need a break. Just putting it away for short windows to allow yourself to be fully present in some quiet space, especially in such a hectic month, can be very refreshing.

Try to get into bed 30 minutes earlier as often as possible

Sleep is imperative when our brains are in overload, and even if you can’t every night, choose an early bedtime as many times this month as you can. Find a magazine, book of poetry, or an easy read to allow your mind to unwind and lull yourself to a peaceful sleep.

Drink water

Don’t leave home without a full & refillable water bottle. With busy schedules and lots or running from one place to the next, it’s easy to let this simple habit go by the wayside. Plus the weather is moving towards summer, so as our bodies adjust to warmer temps, a little extra hydration is needed.

Lastly, enjoy the moments when you’re in them. This month will be gone before you know it, so hang in there, laugh when you can, hug those you love, and celebrate the milestones of all your people as they graduate, finish a sports season, or start a new adventure this spring.

Wherever you are - be all there.
— Jim Elliot
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What is "Stitch Fix"?

What is Stitch Fix?

The simplest answer is: an online subscription and personal shopping service in the United States. They put in the work of styling an outfit for you behind the scenes. Then it ends up on your door step. Pretty clever and convenient, right? We wanted to try it out because we are dedicated to bringing simplicity and intention to even your wardrobe. 

How does it work?

3 easy steps: 1- Fill Out a Style Profile, 2- Request a Fix Delivery, 3- Keep What You Want.

The process was in depth without feeling endless. They gather the information once, to be able to meet your needs over and over again. Their hope is to save their customers time and money. They have developed a system that streamlines the shopping process and provides you with a few fresh clothing pieces that you might not have found on your own. 

The Cost:

You pay $20 stylist fee, but this payment goes toward any items of clothing that you decide to keep & purchase. It's a minimal investment to get a feel for their process and see if it is a good fit for you. 

Image via  Stitch Fix .

Image via Stitch Fix.

Our Review:

Stitch Fix has really fine tuned their process to be as painless and simple as possible. It was convenient and fun! Enjoying items that were specifically picked for you, can be such a treat. Shopping can feel overwhelming and burdensome as far as time, money and energy go. Another perk is that they put together an entirely new outfit for you, even if you don't choose to keep each piece - they've provided a fresh look from top to bottom. We can all so easily get in a style rut with the clothing we have. Their packaging was pretty and simple, everything was delivered in great condition and their instructions are very easy to follow. Overall, even if you don't keep any of the items in your Fix, it is a fun experience. We really enjoyed getting to see new brands, and items we don't typically see in most department stores. The downside: if you are a bargain shopper and love to search for the best deal - this might not feel as satisfying to you. If you also love to browse endless aisles and racks of different options - this could feel limiting to you. 

What are your experiences with online clothing/style subscriptions?