Background Image

Journal

August 15th

Back to School Storage Solutions

It’s that time of year again! For some parents – who are weary of kids home for summer – it just might be “the most wonderful time of the year” (like the song says!). But for others, it’s where the chaos begins. With backpacks, school supplies, lunch boxes and everything else that accumulates during schooldays, your home can take a beating. Here are a few ideas to help you get organized so you’re ready to tackle those early mornings and late nights.

Obviously a great storage space is key to everything when trying to keep a house in order. Depending on how your home is laid out, this space might be a foyer, a “mudroom” entryway, or a garage.

If your clan tends to drop their stuff in the foyer, consider a closed unit like the console below. The advantage with this is you can assign a drawer and/or cabinet to each person to stow his or her stuff. So no matter how messy those items might be, they are behind a door, leaving only the clean lines of this beautiful wood console from Restoration Hardware to be seen.

Perhaps you have a back or wide entrance where you can be a bit more casual. In that case, an open storage hutch like this white one below from Pottery Barn offers terrific flexibility. You have a bench where you can sit and put on or take off shoes, plus hooks for jackets and backpacks. Cubbies can be stuffed with smaller items.

Or if your home has a more rustic or country feel, a unit like this one from Plow and Hearth might work well for you:

And I like the retro “locker” feel of this cabinet, also from Restoration Hardware:

But if you’re like me, you leave and enter the house most often through your garage because that’s where your car is. So I prefer for my family to store their shoes and outerwear in the garage instead of carrying it all into the house, where it might end up in a pile. Since few people see that area, it’s easy to just use an inexpensive set of IKEA shelves for this purpose.

Not everything has to be in one place, however. Perhaps you want your kids to leave their shoes in the garage but hang their jackets in the hallway coat closet. Or maybe they bring their backpacks to the breakfast nook, where they have all of their homework supplies tucked away in a specially created station filled with pencils, paper, erasers and other needs. If everything is stocked and sorted, they can get right to their homework rather than spending time searching for a lost pair of scissors or a missing ruler.

No matter where you to choose to place your organization area, be sure it has spots designated for each family member. Not only will each person then put his or her things in the assigned place, you avoid the frantic search for Josh’s football cleats or Kayla’s backpack. Kids learn responsibility for their own possessions, and they don’t have to ask where to find what they need. Which means you get more time to relax!

Need some help getting your house kid-friendly for the new school year? Or maybe you have another decorating project in mind? Please click here to contact us.