Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Back To School, Time to Get Your Sh$%T Together Moms!!

I am a person who craves routine! I also like to play hard and have fun... the perfect storm for brewing a crazed lunatic, I know! I can very quickly forget about school and all the routine that it requires  and enjoy the freedom of summer. But, come back to school time and all my anxiety as a former student come back to haunt me and I wake up in the middle of the night being chased by a math book holding a knife! To keep my anxiety in check and more importantly to not make my kids neurotic head cases, I need the routine part to be nailed down. Last year before school started I planned a space for homework papers, shoes and book bags in our sun room. This has literally saved my life! I knew that my system of magnet clipping loose papers to return to school on the fridge was not going to be a good system for two kids in grade school so I needed order. Here is what we came up with. You can read about how it was built in more detail on my post from last year

The calendar that you see on the left hand side is a dry erase calendar for school days. I created it using a Hobby Lobby Frame and paint color chips from the paint store. It is an easy check for what is due at school for the week and what practices or school events the kids have going on. It helps them keep organized and plan out their week. 

I also tend to be more lax in the summertime when it comes to chore charts and reward systems for keeping their responsibilities on track. I do think they work and now that my kids are older and the chores can really benefit the whole order of the house, I'm all for trying out new ideas! I found this one and liked the idea of giving kids the option to choose their poison when it comes to jobs. 

I think you could go a step further and add a monetary amount for completing each job with the bigger jobs holding more value. Then at the end of the week you could "pay out" their earnings based on which sticks were in their mason jars for the tasks they completed. Kinda makes it interesting and introduces allowance in a fun way. 

I saw these magnet boards on Etsy at "More Than A Memory" where the magnets had monetary value and then they get moved to each kid's metal board. This would work too!!

For me, as a pen and paper girl, I am always on the quest for the perfect planner. I think I found one that is just customized enough to fit all my "mombligations" without having to succumb to technology for my to do list. Enter Plum Paper Designs on Etsy! They allow you to customize the planner in various ways but I will show you how I did mine as an example. 

You can choose from so many cute designs on the cover and customize with your name or a photo. 

Easy turn tabs for the months of the year and she creates the calendar from the month you order, not the start of the year, so you can get organized anytime!

I love that she allows you to organize your day by customizing categories which helps to keep personal and family obligations straight on your calendar. For example, on my calendar I chose a "workouts" section to keep myself on track for what I need to do. I know that several examples included meal plan for the day which would also be a good way to stay on track. 

She also has wedding planners (this really could have blown my trapper keeper out of the water back in the day organizing my wedding!!), announcements, journals, gift tags and all sorts of other things to keep organized and be cute at the same time. 

At the end of this summer I made over a desk for my son's room. There comes a time in a boy's life when he needs a desk of is very own. I think this is the year! 3rd grade has come with threats of homework torture. So, this year was the time to shut my poor baby away in a quiet space to learn the hard fast lessons of homework and concentration!  This is the before, an old sewing desk found along side the street in suburbia...

And here she is after a little face lift. Details on how it was completed on this post. 

I came across this unique space saving desk solution on Pinterest and thought it was pretty cool. If your house is like mine, they don't make the bedrooms very big these days!! This would be a perfect solution. 

And of course if you have an extra closet to spare you can always make your desk in the closet like these great examples. These pretty much represent all the scenarios. The first example has closet doors removed, the second one keeps the doors and uses them as extra storage opportunity and the last example is a sliding closet door. 

I thought that the space below was a genius use of a otherwise wasted stairway landing for a quiet space to do homework! Don't you agree?! 

What about reading nooks for the kiddos?!? I love these spaces created in all different places in their rooms to encourage snuggling up with a book! These are all doable and would be fun makeovers for back to school time. If you have a window in your kid's room, consider a window seat! Love this one with the mounted light, pillows and bookcase below. Perfect!

Here we are using the empty closet idea again, this time for a reading nook and loft! So cute!!

 This one is a closet reading nook as well. I love using the side space in the closet as shelving for books. So cozy and cute!

And if you have neither a window or an extra closet to use then I love the idea of doing tented fabric for a cozy spot to read books! This could be done for either a boy or girl with the right fabric. Or you could use a more standard looking tepee for a little boy. 

Hope you all got some good ideas to kick off fall and back to school time! I know I need the push to get back on track and sometimes creating spaces for your kids to do activities independently can benefit the kids as well as parents. I think that's what they call win-win, yes?! 

Here's to not pulling my hair out this year:)!! Off to math homework... Ugh...

Cheers!! {Laura}


  1. Just read your past post on your mudroom redo. Loved it! I'm dying to know where you found the salvaged wood wallpaper. It's exactly what I've been hunting for to use in a small space in my house (if I can convince my hubby!). Can you share? Thanks!

    1. Yes it's scrapwood wallpaper by Piet hein eek. Search it on Pinterest. There are a lot of competitors now. You may be able to find alternatives more cost effective as it ships from overseas. Check out west elms new wood wal decals for another option too.

  2. You are so funny! Yes school is time to pull your social life back into responsible terms {at least for me... school nights and bedtimes suck!!} and get organized! With J only in 1st grade this is my true time to set up a system that will last for the rest of their school career! I love your sun room! I might be stealing a few ideas!

    1. Hi Tiffany! Thanks and yes, after Harris got out if 1st grade and I had another one starting k, I needed a system. Too much stuff comes home with due dates, dues and functions! I could go crazy!!! I do:)


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