The start of a new school year marks the beginning of a new phase in life. Whether your child is entering school for the first time or moving up to a new grade, it is a brand new beginning. With this new beginning, it is time to get rid of the things you and your children no longer need. Here are a few tips you can use to clear away the clutter and get your child in gear for the back to school school season.
Clear Out the Desk
Your child needs a quiet, uncluttered place to do homework. Getting the desk ready for school starts with clearing out everything and giving it a good scrub. Be sure to vacuum behind and under it. Only return the items that your child will need in the new school year. Sort through everything and purge unneeded items. Make sure the desk chair still fits your child.
Sort Through Lunch Boxes and Containers
A good healthy lunch helps your child have the energy to get through the afternoon. Get ready to make those lunches by first purging the containers you no longer need. Your child may have outgrown last year’s theme and needs a new lunch bag. Donate last year’s bag or box to a local charity. Go through any other containers you use for lunches, make sure they are clean, and purge the ones you no longer need.
Go Through Last Year’s Schoolwork and Artwork
You may have a box filled with last year’s schoolwork and artwork. Now is the time to go through the box and sort out its contents. With your child’s help, figure out what you want to keep. Consider sending some of the extras to grandparents or doting aunts. The rest can go into the recycling bin.
Go Through your Child’s Toys
Your child is growing up, some toys may be too juvenile, broken or hold no interest. Back-to-school is a good time to go through all of your child’s toys and sort out what to keep. Toys can be kept for younger siblings. However, broken ones should go into the trash and unneeded ones into the donation box.
Sort Through the Books
Books are a great thing for children to have on hand. However, they can clutter up precious shelf space and make adding new ones difficult. Sort through your child’s bookshelf. Are some of them for younger kids? Have some never been read? Are there some your child didn’t enjoy? Decide which ones to keep, give to others, or donate to the library.
Sort Through Clothing
As you well know, kids go through growth spurts. You may find that a lot of last year’s school clothes no longer fit. Back-to-school is often the time to stock up on fall and winter clothing, so it’s the best time to purge what is no longer needed. Get rid of the clothing that is ripped or torn. Donate or sell items that are too small.
Declutter Backpacks and Sports Bags
Your child is going to need a way to transport books and sports equipment back and forth this school year. Backpacks and sports bags need a thorough decluttering before the school year begins. Clear everything out of the bags and clean them. If you are getting new ones, donate the old ones. Add back only the items needed for the new school year.
Purge Unused Sports Equipment
Your child may have been into baseball last year but has no interest in the sport this year. Now is a good time to sort through all the sports equipment in your home. What is no longer needed? Does your child need a new pair of cleats? Is your child ready to get a larger sized uniform? Schools often love to receive unused equipment that can be used by less-fortunate players who can’t afford new equipment.
Sort Through your Towels
Summer plays havoc with your towels. Sunscreen and dirt may have destroyed a few while others got torn from tug-of-war. A quick sort through your towels will ensure you are ready for the school year. Towels that you can no longer use for bathing can be recycled into cleaning cloths. If you have extra towels in decent condition, donate them to your local animal rescue group.
Straighten up the Garage
Does your garage look like a cluttered storage room instead of a place to park your cars? You may find a pile of pool noodles next to all the kid’s bikes. Or maybe the camping equipment got dumped in the corner. Before the cooler winds of autumn arrive, get your garage back in order. Put things away and purge unneeded items in the process.
Declutter Food Storage
With kids in the house, your food storage area may look like a hurricane hit it. The snack shelf may be decimated. You may have stocked up on certain foods over the summer and have no room for your back-to-school recipes. Go through your cabinets and pantries. Get rid of empty boxes. Clean the shelves. Put things back in an orderly fashion.
Don’t Forget your Car’s Interior
Does the inside of your car look like a hurricane hit it? Fun activities leave a trail of snack boxes, soda bottles, and debris everywhere. Before you start hauling the kids to school, clean the car out. Get rid of the trash, vacuum it and scrub it down.
Sort Through Summer Vacation Pictures
Before you start snapping start of school pictures, make sure you have room in your digital archives. Sort through your summer vacation photos and decide which ones you want to keep. The blurry shots or the ones with poor lighting can go into the trash folder. Archive the photos you want to keep on your online digital photo album.
Unsubscribe From Newsletters That No Longer Interest You
With the start of a new school year, you are going to start getting email alerts from the school and teachers. You don’t want to lose an important message amidst the clutter in your inbox. Take the time to go through your inbox and see what you can purge. If you are subscribed to numerous newsletters, keep the ones you like and unsubscribe from the rest.
Get the Mudroom Ready for School
Most families have that one spot where everything lands at the end of the school day. It is where coats get dumped alongside school bags. Whether you have a dedicated mudroom or just a hallway bench, now is the time to get it ready for school. Get rid of the summer stuff that’s no longer needed. Make sure there is room for everyone’s bags, shoes, and coats.