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back to school

Back to School: Awesome De-Clutter Tips For the Home

home organization and declutter tips

It’s the start of a new school year in my home and I’m determined to make sure we have a smooth, clutter-free and positive school year.

As an avid believer in  and the positive impact of having a decluttered and organized home, I believe having an organization system and clutter and junk free home are essential for ensuring positive energy flow and clear thought.

I highly recommend that parents use the beginning of a school year as another excuse to get organized, not just for the school routine, but the family home in general.  So even if you did Spring or New Year cleaning, use the late summer/early fall to re-organize your life and priorities as well.

Even if your kids have already gone back, you can still get started. Here are some declutter and home organization tips that I’ve put together that I hope can help get you through the year.

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Clean and Declutter the Kids Play, Work Rooms and Nursery.  Limit the number of toys and books in the kids room. Get rid of old broken toys. Give away old books and toys to the Salvation Army, Good Will or another family member with children younger than yours. Keep only a few of the favorite story books and the toys your child or children play with regularly. Don’t let them know you’re getting rid of the stuff they don’t even play with. They likely won’t even know it and you don’t need the headache of having them plea for you to keep it.

Infuse Calming Scents in the Home.  I’m a also a big believer in aromatheraphy and that scents guide the mood. Buy Glade or some other brand’s plugins to keep the air fresh and clean smelling. You can burn candles when you’re home or if you’re an incense type of person, those work too.  Consider using those with essential oils or scents such as chamomile, rose, vanilla and lavender. They are calming scents.

Thoroughly Clean the Room. Wash and Wipe down the walls, baseboards, windows and floors — with natural cleaners. Repair wall

holes, cracks, squeaky windows, peeling paint. A clean home is great for fostering clear thoughts and just clarity, in general.

Set up Calendar and Chore Lists. Even if you’re a stay-at-home mom, you shouldn’t be doing all of the cleaning and upkeep. Set up a chore sheet for the refrigerator for after school chores. Also, start a new family calendar for keeping up with back to school nights, upcoming field trips, sports activities and other events so everyone knows what’s going on. If you’re the family manager as mom, you shouldn’t be the only one aware of what days are soccer practice.  Sitters, your spouse and house guests should too. Also, a chore list is great for keeping up the principles of feng shui which are all about clean spaces.

Keep Toys Dedicated to ONE area of the home (or maybe two) Avoid the chaotic mind that comes when you have toys and other things sprinkled in every nook and cranny of the home. Toys should be kept only to the play room, the kids room or one area of the apartment that is quartered off and situated with a toy chest, storage bin or some place where you can quickly toss all the toys hanging out all over the house. The tough part may be to stick to this one simple rule.
When the kids are not playing with a toy, there is really no need for it to be taking up space on the kitchen table or creating a tripping hazard for you or a guest. Either you, your partner or trained kids if they are old enough should make a concerted effort to gather all errant toys and keep them in the designated area.
It seems pretty intuitive, huh?
Over time, it will become a habit or second nature and you will find toys are not strewn about as much anymore. I do this with other areas of my home and life.  All papers, books, newspapers, invoices, magazines are usually put away in our home office.  All clothes go in a hamper, closet or bedroom.  Dishes, cups and silverware discovered anywhere in the house are picked up and taken in the kitchen.
Think of this mantra:  “There is a place for Everything and Everything in its place.”

Organize the Paper Trails. Each year, families accumulate reports, information from school, permission slips and the such. It will get mixed in with bills, receipts, warranties and other paper that come into your life.

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This Home Organization plan will make it easy for you:  Get a binder or two and dividers or one of those mega accordion file folders with tabs and divide them in the following categories:

School Category

  • Car maintenance schedule/Receipts
  • School schedules and holiday list
  • Lunch menus
  • School information page
  • School reading lists
  • Summer Camp and programs information
  • Medical information sheet for each family member
  • Emergency directory
  • House-sitter information sheet
  • PTA newsletters and rosters

Health Categories

  • Prescription drug record
  • Health insurance information

Home Vacation

  • Travel packing checklist
  • Before-we-leave checklist
  • Vacation idea list

Home Renovation

  • Home renovation contractor lists
  • Contracts and Bids
  • Warranty information
  • Utilities/services directory
  • Home decorating ideas

Home Business

  • Business records
  • Tax Documents for Business
  • Consultants and Independent Contractor records
  • Liability Insurance
  • Business & Office Equipment registry

Financial

  • Tax Documents for Personal
  • Big Ticket Items receipts
  • Life insurance information
  • Budget/spending record
  • Bills to pay

Hope these Declutter and Home Organization Tips are helpful to you as you get yourself and your family organized for the season! Good luck!

Over 100 Smart Ways to Organize your Family & Household



Buzzfeed has assembled a series of awesome posts made of curated finds to help parents organize their children’s lives and their households. Together, there are are dozens of tips and suggestions! We count over 100 total! Woweee!

You can find them HERE and HERE and HERE. These are my faves including these wooden tags to help organize daily outfits for the week (above):

 

Better Storage for Game Pieces! Ingenius!

I so need this in my mud room. Currently, all the shoes are gathered in a huge unorganized pile!

This would definitely replace my bad habit of hanging things on random door knobs.

I get so sentimental about throwing out old thoughtful cards so this storage box is a neat way to keep them all!

  

A neat homework station! I love this! Going to try to recreate a space like this too!

I am a Feng Shui nut so I am so down with these 8 tips on cutting down the clutter and paper!

Yes! Binders! Binders full of Organization!

This is perfect for all those electronic games and other digital devices. It’s like an electronic version of the board game storage box.

How neat! A portable device storage box made out of a wooden bread box! Very innovative!

This is a very nice way to organize the food so the kids can easily access their after-school snack on their own!

Finally, no more tripping on toys you find all over the house and especially the stairs. Love this.

Hope you are inspired! Now get to work!

Do You Fall In The Excess Back To School Supply List Trap?

back to school pile

Raise your hand if you have at least one basket or box or drawer or bin somewhere in your home that houses the piles of excess school supplies your child’s school made you buy that the kid never used?

I have such a massive basket in the corner of the office in my house so brimming with items that we can literally do shopping from this basket! Wow!

And…. surprise! I’m not the only one who feels this way! There have been several articles written on the ridiculousness!

Are School Supplies Getting out of Hand, All Parenting.com

Open Letter to Sadist Teachers, PeopleIWantToPunchInTheThroat.com

Too Many School Supplies, On My Mind

What Do You Think of Your Child’s School Supply List, NorthesCambia.com

Cray!

 

12 Books to Help Kids Get Ready for School

12 books

As children head back to school, smaller kids heading to Kindergarten for the first time may be feeling anxiety. To get them ready for the moment, consider reading one or more of these books. They are heartwarming tales about little ones who are nervous about going to school for the first time but who overcome their fears.

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One of my faves is Princess Cupcake Jones Won’t Go to School by Ylleya Fields and illustrated by Michael LaDuca.

It is a very nice storybook tale about a young princess who comes up with a laundry list of tricks to avoid going to school the first day.

None work, but by the end she realizes quickly that school wouldn’t be bad after all. The illustrations are modern and colorful and bring Fields story to life. Personally, it reminds me of my 7-year old daughter who had to start a new school mid year recently and was also nervous about doing so.

Like Cupcake Jones in this book, my daughter too made friends on the first day and quickly adapted.

Here are eleven other books to consider nabbing for your kids or gifting to a child you know in your life who is heading to school for the first time this year:

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first day

Not This Bear: A First Day of School Story

 by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

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Rosie Goes to Preschool

 by Karen Katz

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maisy

Maisy Goes to Preschool: A Maisy First Experiences Book

 by Lucy Cousins

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I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard, by Jennifer K. Mann

I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard

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maple

Maple & Willow Apart, by Lori Nichols

Maple & Willow Apart

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Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten, by Marc Brown

Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten

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First Grade Dropout, by Audrey Vernick

First Grade Dropout

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eva and sadie

Eva and Sadie and the Best Classroom EVER! by Jeff Cohen

Eva and Sadie and the Best Classroom EVER!

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The Berenstain Bears Get Ready for School, by Mike Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears Get Ready for School

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Birdie’s First Day of School, by Sujean Rim

Birdie’s First Day of School

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Totally Tardy Marty, by Erica S. Perl

Totally Tardy Marty

 

Back to School Hair Style Inspiration Ideas from IGer Jill Ehat

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If you are planning Back to School First Day of School hairstyle ideas, we invite you to check out mom of 3 Jill Ehat‘s Instagram account. 
Daily, to her 45,000 110,000 followers (updated since we first discovered her last year), Ehat shares some of the creative styles she puts on the heads of her 7-year old twin daughters, Hallie & Brighton.
When Ehat isn’t styling the girls’ hair, she is managing their performance careers along with that of their 9-year old brother.
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hair

 

 

 

 

Back to School for Parents: What will You do On the First Day Back?

Back-to-School

 

I am counting down back to school. I have enjoyed entertaining the kids, taking them to events and camps and the beach, but they have been also working my last nerve so I look forward to:

1. Quiet moments working

2. Getting to attend lunch time meetings with friends and business colleagues

3. Not having guilt about not engaging them more but letting them watch TV, YouTube series and play video games for hours on end.

4. Basking in silence.

 

What else? Add yours!

10 Reasons Why Your Child May Not Be Ready for Kindergarten 

 

 

Starting kindergarten is one of the biggest milestones in a young child’s life, both for the child and his parents. For kids who have never attended daycare and were not enrolled in preschool, kindergarten can mark the first time he ventures into the world and takes the first steps along a long road towards independence. While most kids start kindergarten at around five years old, there are those who simply aren’t ready to start school when the time rolls around. These are 10 of the most common reasons for delayed kindergarten readiness.

1. He Has a Late Birthday – Depending on when your child’s birthday is and where it falls in relation to the cut-off date for kindergarten enrollment in your school district, your child could potentially be one of the youngest members of his class and, as such, not quite ready for the rigors of school. Social readiness is also an important factor in determining kindergarten readiness.

2. She Didn’t Go to Preschool – Kindergarten has changed quite dramatically over the years, and is no longer dedicated to singing songs or taking naps. These days letter and color recognition, basic counting and even early mathematics and pre-reading skills are required to be considered ready for kindergarten. If your child didn’t attend preschool, she may not be quite ready for the demanding atmosphere of kindergarten.

3. He’s Developmentally Different – Some developmental differences begin to present themselves around the time a child would begin kindergarten, which is one of the reasons why some parents are surprised to find that their little one isn’t quite ready. If you suspect that your child is developmentally different, discussing your concerns with his doctor can help you determine what your next step should be.

4. She Was Born Prematurely – Premature babies can lag a bit behind their peers developmentally, even as late as kindergarten. According to a study by the University of Nottingham published in the New England Journal of Medicine, up to 52% of prematurely born children experienced developmental delays at age two, with many prematurity-related problems not showing up until the age of five.

5. He Struggles With Behavioral Problems – Kids who have difficulty controlling their behavior may struggle to adhere to the rules of a kindergarten classroom, especially if he has little experience with a classroom setting. Your child’s behavioral differences can affect his kindergarten readiness and may require a bit of special attention.

6. She Has a Physical Disability – Public schools are required by Federal law to make allowances for children with special needs, but a physically disabled child may simply not be ready for the relatively demanding schedule of kindergarten when other children her age are starting school.

7. He Has Speech Problems – One of the areas in which many kindergarten screening tests look for kindergarten readiness is in regards to verbal skills and speech ability. A child who struggles to speak, isn’t verbal at all or has a severe speech impediment may require a bit of extra time before he starts school with his peers.

8. She Isn’t Fully Potty Trained – Legally, public school districts are not allowed to turn away a student based on their lack of potty training. Still, the humiliation that can accompany regular accidents in front of her classmates may keep your child from thriving. If she’s not potty trained and kindergarten enrollment is approaching, you may need to consult with a pediatrician for advice.

9. He Can’t Focus On a Given Task – Some kids simply can’t focus on a task they’ve been given. Whether it’s due to attention deficit disorder or developmental differences, a child who isn’t able to focus at all may require special attention in order to thrive in kindergarten.

10. She Suffers From Severe Separation Anxiety – Most kids who suffer from separation anxiety during the first few days of kindergarten learn to overcome it. An incapability to shake separation anxiety or severe emotional distress can point to more complicated emotional differences, however, which may need to be evaluated by a medical professional before she attends school.

 These reasons are not absolute and each child and family is different. These guides may help you determine whether to send your little one in this year or not. 

Back to School: 20 Swagilicious Outfits for BOYS

back to school boys

It’s back to school shopping time! If your kids don’t got to a school that requires uniforms, back to school shopping also means clothes shopping.Sometimes when parents-to-be find out and share with others that they are expecting a little boy, relatives and others’ first retort is to mention the lack of cute clothing option for boys.

Well, if you are creative and have a little imagination, imagine that you too could have your baby boy looking like Mason Disick  or Kingston Rossdale or Skylar Berman um if you wanted to.

Check out these little rascals with plenty of swag that are the current stars of our Bellyitch Couture Kids Pinterest board right now. You can get some inspiration from their style while putting together outfits for your little tike’s first day of school: