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    School’s Back in Session: Organize the Home Now!

    It’s back to school time for many of us and the perfect time to reorganize the home. Whether you are sending your kids off to their first day of grade school or the first day of college, this is an ideal time to get your home organized for the fall season. If your kids are still little, then you know—or if you don’t, you soon will—the onslaught of activities, sleepovers, and piles of homework is about to become the norm. Get ready to go into over-drive – oh at least until June when you will finally be able to exhale again. And, if you’re last child has just left for college, you may be suffering a little bit from empty nest syndrome. But don’t drown your sorrows in an ice cream stupor for too long. Before you know it, Thanksgiving break will be upon us and Sally or Steve will be rushing home accompanied by a month’s worth of laundry, a gaggle of friends or perhaps a whole soccer team. So take advantage of this mini-respite to get the home in order or redesign it during this new season in life. Here are some fantastic tips to organize for the school year, especially if you are in a new home and not quite organized yet.

    Plan It: Home Central

    Have a central calendar in the house that the whole family knows about. It does not have to be super sophisticated. A calendar on the refrigerator will suffice. In the age of smart-phones and iPads some families skip this step. But honestly, when your 10 year old is rushing out the door with a mouthful of cereal in order to catch the bus, it’s good to have a visual calendar that s/he can just glance at. Organized Home says:

    Post the family event calendar in a public place near the telephone. Use magnets to attach the calendar to the refrigerator, or tack it to a bulletin board.

    Mud Marks the Spot

    A recent article in Family Circle suggests that planning for the clutter or muddy feet is the best defense to bring order before the mess. According to the article, “Every home needs a dumping ground…Whether it’s a mudroom, entryway or hall closet!” So instead of constantly following your kids with a mop, designate a central shoe basket at the door or implement a rule that all sports equipment gets dumped in a one bin in the garage. This way, they have a routine and your home still looks presentable.

    A New Look for an Empty Nest

    If you’re currently experiencing an empty nest, perhaps even considering selling the home, it may be time to upgrade the kid-spaces. Maybe take some time to make your son’s baseball-themed bedroom into a chic office or your daughter’s princess room into a garden room. An article in This Old House suggests that an upgrade in design might be the perfect first step to a ‘new’ home when your kids have left for college. Although it may not be the time to do go overboard, since you could still have four more years of the kids coming home for vacations, but it’s a first step to an upgrade and a sense of new. The article suggests, small upgrades, clean lines, or a simple elegant finish may be all that’s needed for a room refresh. In one example of a beautiful upgrade, the change involved:

    …a pale palette and a smattering of contemporary items, like a chrome lamp and glass-top table, balancing them with soft draperies and cushy pillows.

    Whether you are in the midst of college time or the early days of preschool, always make certain that you have your house in order. Just because it’s September, it doesn’t have to mean chaos. Make your home your castle, not clutter-central. With the help of a regular routine, some good organization strategies, and a few design tips, you’ll be at the top of the class!

    An award-winning Realtor®, Lydia Gable has consistently been in the top two percent of Realtors® nationwide. If you are ready to buy or sell a home in and around Westlake Village, contact Lydia Gable today.

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