Back to School ~ Ask Wendy!

Summer is zipping by! Time to get your household ready for September and back to school.

Why not involve your children a little more in the process this year? 

It’s good to encourage independence and including your kids will help them to be more prepared and accountable.

Here are a few ideas to help you successfully navigate back to school, together.

School Supplies & New Stuff

The allure of new stuff is hard to resist. Go through their school items together and decide what is still useful. Make a list of items they already have. Just get the basics, instead of just buying all new items. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Most teachers will send home a list of what they will need for the school year. Avoid purchasing unnecessary or duplicate school supplies. They may not require a math set this year. 

Do a closet clean out and remove items your child has outgrown ~ Donate ~ make room for new items.  It’s hard to resist back to school fashion, but before you shop ~ Ask them what they would like to wear for the first day of school? They may have ideas of their own and it may already be in their closet. Perhaps all that’s required are a few finishing pieces, like new shoes or accessories to update the look. 

Packing lunches

School mornings can be hectic. Packing school lunches is a daunting task. Enlist the kids help.

If they help pack their lunch, they may be more likely to eat it. 

Consider working towards this job being their responsibility. Setting goals are good, but be realistic. 

Perhaps every Wednesday, they could make their own lunch or each night they could pack any non-refrigerated items themselves? 

Explain the school’s allergy policies. It’s important to understand how to read ingredients on food labels.

Use reusable containers. Have the kids match up storage containers lids and discard items that have lost their mates. Invest in a reusable water bottle, most schools have hydration stations for easy refills.

Ask your kids what they like in their lunches and create a grocery list together. 

Designate a place in your kitchen cupboard for lunch boxes and a spot in the freezer for ice packs.

It should be their job to clean out their lunch box and put everything back in its place after school. 

Yes, even a kindergartener can master this task.

Transportation 

How will your child be getting to school? 

Discuss transportation with your kids so they know what to expect and what time they will need to be ready to leave, to be on time. Aim to be 10 minutes early, since bus times are approximate.

If your child is biking to school, it’s a good idea to revisit helmets, locks, bike safety and signals.

Routines

The key to a stress-free 1st day, an early bedtime. 

Decide on a reasonable bed time goal for you both. 

Work on improving your sleep routines well ahead of the first day to be at your best come September. 

Enjoy this Special Day

Don’t wait until the last minute. Prep as much as you can ahead of time, so you can enjoy the excitement of the first day of school. Don’t stress too much about it. Breathe. Take a step back. Let your kids help. You may be pleasantly surprised by how capable they are. 

Don’t forget to take an annual back to school photo… It’s a great keepsake and so nice to look back on how much they’ve grown each year.

 

Making Memories

Ask us at NEAT SPACES about our easy and guilt free way to organize school and sport/hobby photos (I know they are all over the house where you would least expect to find them LOL)

We have set this up for many families, you don’t have to be a Martha Stewart to have your children’s memory books all together and organized. Trust me! There’s nothing better than seeing your children enjoying their class and individual photos with friends when they come over and laughing together. I have a budget and time friendly solution. Ask Wendy!

 

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Testimonial

It’s always nice to hear from satisfied clients.

Read what Jeff from Milton had to say about NEAT SPACES Professional Organizing Service.

WOW! What can I say, I am absolutely thrilled with the final outcome of the basement, it has brought tears to my eyes as the basement has been a huge sore spot with me for many years!  I always hated going down there to get something….Please thank all those involved with this project, it’s so greatly appreciated! Thank you once again for “clearing up my life”.

Cottage and RV Organization!

Sweet Summer. Time to enjoy the vacation time you’ve worked so hard for.

It’s great to get away from the city, daily routines and chores. Long summer days and warm weather inspire gatherings with family and friends. If you are lucky enough to have some holiday time at the cottage or RV, here’s a few tips and tricks to keep your space organized and ready for guests.

Take Stock

When you opened up your cottage or RV for the season, you likely tossed and replenished older items.

If not, take the time now to check the expiry dates on any allergy pills or other medications, bug spray and sunscreen and restock.

The Pantry. Give it a good clean out and rotate. Group together similar food items and discard any expired items. Then make a list of everything you need.

The List! 

Keep your list in the same place always ~ where it’s easy to add items or grab on your way out the door. I’m running into town, …what do we need?! The list is crucial, it will save you time and sanity.

(Also, Ice is ALWAYS on the list! Everything is better “ice cold” in the summer).

Consider designating a laundry basket or tote at home for items that need to make it back to the cottage or RV. Tuck it in the bottom of the linen or coat closet and add to it as items are gathered.

The beach towel you brought home by accident, the new mad libs, a fresh pack of pencil crayons, celery salt or a new wine opener. As you acquire any new useful items or repurpose gently used,  place them in the basket to grab and go on your next trip up. 

Must Haves

Stock up on the key “must have” toiletry items. 

Instead of transporting your necessities back and forth, keep a supply in both places – you’ll spend less time packing, require less room in your vehicle, and are less likely to leave something behind. 

Keep extras on hand, both for guests and to ensure you don’t run out when you are miles away from the nearest store. We’ve all had that moment of realization, where we discover we forgot to pack something important ~ toothbrushes, shampoo or hygiene products. 

Leave a note to invite guests to help themselves to anything they may need.

Cottage Rules & Safety 

Be prepared. Post a list of phone numbers for emergency and neighbouring cottages, the RV Park Office phone number or directions to the nearest hospital. 

Include useful information like codes, user instructions, instructions for locking up when you leave, what gets turned off and what is left on, and so on. The number for a reliable local plumber or RV service tech may come in handy.

Replenish the First Aid kit with vital items you may need in a pinch. 

Be sure to have everything from Band-aids to Benadryl on hand, just in case.

Access Safety Items – PFD’s, smoke detectors, batteries, flashlights and make sure they are in good working order. Be sure fire extinguishers are fully charged.

Essentials Caddy 

Consider a caddy for items to travel easily ~ especially if the dock is far from the cabin or RV. Create a caddy with a handle, that can hold important items. You don’t want to have to double back for…sunscreen, bug spray, beach reads & drinks!

Labels

Labeling is key to an organized experience. Cottages and RV’s generally have many users, sometimes without the owners being present, so labeling the inside of cupboards, light switches, pump switches, slide outs etc. keeps things in order and avoids mistakes of turning off equipment that should be left off.

Identify keys too and make sure key chains float.

Waste Disposal

Post instructions for waste disposal. 

Include important info like “the Dump” hours, directions or what days are garbage pick up. 

Rules may differ from municipalities or RV parks regarding recycling/ green bin, so offer up local strategies.

Leave plenty of garbage bags and cleaning products plus tips on where to store garbage to keep away from critters.

Local Information & a Guest Book

Create guest book for friends and family to sign, date and log the fun they had!

Keep important local information in the front of the book. 

Make the first entry yours. Include favourite local destinations, like places you love to visit on a rainy day or where/when to find the best farmer’s market.  Directions to that little out of the way bakery with homemade sausage rolls and cinnamon buns!

It’s also great for tracking information that may be important to you – weather, water levels or communicating jobs that may need attention and tasks completed. 

Ask guests to leave an entry prior to departure about what things they enjoyed, wildlife seen or local gems they found to explore. They may find a new little gem you never knew existed. This book will help guests feel like locals. Encourage the kids to make entries too. 

It’s a great way to preserve memories. After all, making memories is what it’s all about. 

Happy Summer ~ Enjoy your getaway wherever it may take you!

 

We strive to bring value in all that we do.

See what our customer’s are saying about Neat Spaces.

“Wendy and her crew are indispensable. Not only did they manage to sift through the mess that had become our office, she was able to organize us in a workable and realistic way that is easily maintained. I can’t recommend NEAT SPACES enough”.

~Allison Goertzen

Let this be the Summer you get organized.

We can help you get more out of your space, send an inquiry email to [email protected]