5 Back-to-School Organizing Tips

If you live with children that attend school, they are either already back in school or about to return.

Here are 5 back-to-school organizing tips to help ease the transition for you and the kids!

5 back-to-school organizing tips

5 Back-to-School Organizing Tips

  1. Begin getting everyone back on a sleep schedule. Have everyone go to bed and get up the same time each day to reset their internal clocks so they won’t be tired those first few weeks. Here are some additional tips to get your family organized in 3 easy steps.
  2. Begin planning their lunches if they will be bringing them to school. Purchase needed supplies such as a thermos, sandwich containers, lunchboxes, utensils, napkins, etc. Sit with them and plan the lunches they would like to take. Create a weekly grocery list based on these items so you will always have them on hand.
  3. Decide on a space in your home for backpacks, coats, shoes and papers from school. If everyone knows where to place their items when they come in, they’ll be less likely to just drop them on the floor.
  4. Think of how you want to store and keep track of papers from school. One option would be to purchase an inexpensive file box and create folders to hold weekly newsletters from the teachers, graded papers, artwork, informational papers from the school and progress reports/report cards. Ideally, you could store a year’s worth of papers for 2 children in one file box. At the end of each marking period, purge the items from the folders and discard what you don’t need. Here’s a detailed post I wrote about organizing your child’s school papers. There’s also an app called Artkive that allows you to take pictures of your child’s artwork and then create a photo book. We use this app all the time and love it!
  5. Set up a homework station in an area where the child will not be distracted. If they are young and need your help with homework, keep them close by, but keep distractions to a minimum. Have a container nearby that holds all of their needed supplies (pencils, crayons, markers, erasers, pencil sharpener, calculator, etc.) so they don’t need to get up every time they need something.

If you have any additional back-to-school organizing tips to add, I’d love to read them in the comments section below! 🙂

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The Easiest Way to Save Money on Summer Outings

Summertime is supposed to be the laziest time of the year. If that’s so, why are so many of us busier during the summer than any other time of the year? This post will show you the easiest way to save money on summer outings.

save money on summer Outings the easy way

Save Money on Summer Outings the Easy Way

Our family hit the ground running on the first day of their summer break and we haven’t slowed down yet!

One problem with all this busyness is that you have the potential to spend a lot more money in the summer with all of the activities and trips planned. So I set out to find ways to save money on summer outings the easy way.

While planning a visit to an amusement park this summer, I came across a few ways to save on this very expensive excursion. Thank goodness, because before the discounts, it would have cost us over $300 for a one-day outing!

Hopefully, these tips will help you save money while planning your summer outings.

  1. Use some type of coupon. Coupons can be found in stores, soda cans, newspapers, memberships with warehouse clubs, AAA and by going to the website. Usually there are discounted prices to be had if you go online and purchase advance tickets. If you are in the military, be sure to inquire about discounts. A lot of attractions offer free admission if you are active in the military. There are great discounts for those retired from the military also.
  2. Bring food with you. Most places will not allow you to bring food in, but you can fill a cooler and leave it in your car to enjoy when you get hungry. It will definitely be cheaper and possibly healthier this way.
  3. If you decide to eat at the park, try to eat before 11 am or after 1. Most people eat between those times and the food lines will be super long and eat up your fun time. (Not really a money saver-but definitely a time saver 🙂 )
  4. Try to get the group rate. Get a few families to go along with you to receive a discounted rate. You’ll also save on gas and parking fees if you carpool. Also, if you or a member of your family is active or retired military look out for discounts for those as well.
  5. Allocate a set amount for each child to spend on souvenirs. Purchase the items right before you leave, so you don’t have to worry about carrying them around with you all day.

Those are some of my tips for saving money on summer outings. If you have any tips to add, feel free to include them in the comments section below.

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5 Ways to Keep a Clean Home When You Hate to Clean

How is it possible to keep a clean home when you hate to clean? It’s actually pretty easy!  If you follow these 5 simple tips, you’ll see how easy it is to have a clean home even if you hate to clean!

clean home when you hate to clean

5 Ways to Keep a Clean Home When You Hate to Clean

If you are like me and really don’t enjoy cleaning your home, my first piece of advice is: Don’t aim for perfection. Trust me, when someone comes to your home, they will not notice every little detail. If you work on keeping certain areas neat and tidy, your entire house will appear clean! Find time to tidy up or clean the entryway, kitchen counters, kitchen sink and bathrooms every day. Those are the areas guests will notice if they are not clean. They can be straightened up throughout the day, not all at once. You can get to the other areas of your home when you can.

Related: My Really Quick Weekly Cleaning Routine

My second piece of advice is to invest in storage options that allow you to store items away quickly without too much fuss. Storage ottomans, entertainment centers with drawers, bins with baskets-all of these options can help keep your home looking clean with minimal effort. At the end of the day or when the doorbell rings, you can just throw the toys or items into the bins and keep it moving.

Related: Don’t Make These 5 Organizing Mistakes

Next, I would suggest storing cleaning supplies where you actually use them. This way you don’t have to run around the house collecting cleaning supplies. I don’t know about you, but whenever I walk into another room, I completely forget what I was going there to get. Having the supplies on hand means the job will get done right when you are thinking about it.

Related: Simplify Your Life-10 Cleaning Shortcuts

My fourth piece of advice is to adopt a less is more mentality. If you have less stuff, you’ll have less to clean. I know, easier said than done!  😉

And when all else fails and you’re not able to carry out the previous 4 steps, my last piece of advice is to hire someone to clean for you. It is an expense, but it may be worth it if it reduces your stress level by eliminating “one more thing that has to be done” from your life.

Don’t feel guilty about hiring help. Having your home cleaned by someone else will free you up to do the other things you’ve always wanted to do. No sense spending time doing something you hate, when you can be doing something you love!  🙂

What about you? Do you hate cleaning? Would you consider hiring help to get it done?

If you’re looking for a cleaning schedule that will help you keep your house clean with minimal effort, click here to receive a free printable of my weekly cleaning schedule.