We all know what #backtoschool means; an influx of stuff into our homes like new clothes, backpacks, sporting equipment, books, homework and papers galore. The question is – how does your home handle back-to-school time? Do you have a place for everything? A spot where Junior can do homework within eyeshot of mom or dad? A place for your teenager to read? Have you devised a way to organize all of the hustle and bustle? A place to file the paperwork?
What rooms of your home get the most traffic during the school year? Do you need to carve out areas or upgrade any of these spaces to accommodate school-year activities? Is there enough good task lighting? Think about the comings and goings in these rooms:
- Kitchen – Since the kitchen is the heart of the home, much activity beyond just meal prep, cooking and eating seems to take place there with our current lifestyles. Maybe you want to create an island and/or extend an existing island for afterschool snacks and homework sessions.
- Mudroom – Somehow we all have a lot of gear to stow: sneakers, shoes, sports equipment, purses, tote bags, briefcases, backpacks, jackets – and then when the weather cools – boots, coats, hats, scarves and gloves. More and more people are looking for ways to maximize their space and organizational capacity. A bench to sit and change your shoes is nice, too!
- Laundry Room – Whether or not your laundry increases during the school year, it’s nice to have an area that accommodates your needs, whatever they may be.
- Closets/Storage space – It appears we can’t have enough storage space in our homes, especially if we have teenage daughters! And because we live in New England with fluctuating temperatures and weather patterns (sometimes all within the same day), we need to have room for a range of wardrobe changes.
- Home Study/Office – Back the homework dilemma again. Is there a dedicated space for doing work at home? Even for the adults? A spot for the family computer? Another popular trend is turning extra space into a home computing center or study area. Maybe you have a room but it’s not designed as such or perhaps building a desk and shelves would provide the academic ambiance needed to induce learning.
- Basement/Garage – Need to add storage for all that sporting equipment, tucked away from the vehicles? Re-purposing part of the basement for a study hall is another way to optimize the space you have.
- Family Room – Is there a corner of the family room where you can add a table?
- Kids’ Bedrooms – Again, is there adequate lighting and storage for each growing family member? If not, consider adding either recessed lighting or windows. The possibilities are endless.
We all want our kids to succeed, whether they are in first grade or seniors in high school. And creating well-functioning and comfortable homes are part of that equation.