By: Stephanie Hawkins
For parents of 3 to 4-year-olds who have been home thus far, the start of preschool is a significant milestone. This is the first time your child is leaving the nest and entering the world.
Getting into the new routine of going to school, can be overwhelming for both parents and kids. Here are five simple ways to prepare your house and your family for the start of preschool. Or, if your little have already started and you’re feeling unprepared, not to worry! We’ve got you covered.
Hang a daily schedule
Kids don’t like surprises. Kids feel more secure, and thus behave better, when they know what to expect and what’s expected of them.
Create or buy a schedule that includes the tasks and activities your child will participate in each day. Use images and display the schedule at your kid’s height so he or she can easily read it.
EasyDayies make a range of schedule which you can buy online.
Organize your entry way
Make the process of getting ready to leave the house a little smoother by making sure your child can easily find and access his or her shoes, jacket and backpack.
Here are 5 ways to create a child-friendly entry way:
- place a basket by the front door for your child’s shoes
- designate a spot for each child’s mitts and hats
- hang hooks, low enough for your child to access, for jackets and backpacks
- label each basket or hook with the child’s name if necessary
- declutter by storing or purging any unused, outgrown, or out of season jackets, shoes, hats etc.
Label clothes you care about
Labeling children’s clothes and shoes is a hassle. But replacing lost items is even more annoying, and it’s costly! You can order personalized, iron-on labels online from Stuck On You.
If you don’t want to go to the trouble of labeling your kid’s stuff, consider just writing his or her last name on the items that would be expensive to replace like winter coats and boots. Use a Sharpie or other indelible pen.
Designate a paperwork processing spot
Like all important paperwork that comes into your home, preschool notices, newsletter, permissions slips etc, should be placed in an inbox or similar so you can process them in a timely manner. If you don’t have an inbox for important papers, now is the time to create one.
Create a spot to display art work
Now that your child is at school each day, he or she will be producing an impressive amount of art.
Here are 4 tips for managing your budding-Picasso’s work:
- Create a wall gallery by hanging the artwork with painter’s tape.
- For a more permanent gallery, mount 2 hooks, arm’s width, horizontally apart, on a wall (I like Command adhesive hooks. Tie the ends of 1 string to each hook, creating a clothing line effect. Use clothes pins or clips to hang art work from string. Using Ikea’s Dignitet Curtian Wire makes this job easy.
- Rotate the art so only 5-8 pieces on the wall at once. Too much will only add visual clutter.
- Frame the best pieces to give away as gifts, or use large pieces as wrapping paper.
If you’re having trouble figuring out what to keep vs. what to recycle, consider keeping those pieces that best represent your child’s ability at that point in time. If you plan on keeping everything, calculate the number of pieces of art your child will bring home over the course of his or her lifetime. Ya, it’s a lot.
Stephanie Hawkins is the founder and principal operator of Haven Home Organizing. As a business-owner and dedicated domestic engineer, she has a passion for helping busy parents simplify their home lives. With two children, she understands the unique challenges faced by mothers in the workforce. Stephanie has an affinity for order, she has a Master’s of Library and Information Studies from McGill University. You can also follow her on Twitter @HavenOrganizing.