You’ve gone back-to-school shopping with your children to help them get their desks, lockers, and backpacks ready for the new school year, but what preparations have you made at home? We’re not just talking about the kids’ rooms or the study area in the play room—we’re referring to the kitchen, the very heart of your home. This is where the hustle and bustle of weekday mornings, afternoon homework sessions, and dinner times all take place. Follow these tips to organize the kitchen and get the space ready for another school year.
Clean Off Your Refrigerator
If you have small children, your refrigerator is likely covered in drawings, family photos, party invitations, and other papers held in place with magnets. While these are a beautiful addition to your kitchen, they can also add to the clutter.
Why not start fresh by clearing these items off the refrigerator? After all, you need to make room for all of the new things you’ll want to display now that school has started again, including report cards, art projects, notes from the teacher, and the latest school pictures.
Dedicate a Pantry and Refrigerator Shelf to After-School Snacks
Choose a shelf that’s low enough for your children to reach without asking for help. Stock the pantry shelf with healthy after-school snacks such as granola bars, fruit leather, fruit cups, nuts, and crackers. Set aside a similar spot in the fridge for perishable snacks, including yogurt, fresh fruit and vegetables, applesauce, and cheese sticks.
Each weekend, slice up carrots, bell peppers, and other snacks that require preparation. Your kids are more likely to reach for these healthy options if the prep work is already done for them.
Clear Off the Kitchen Table
If you neglected to have family dinners regularly over the summer, get back into the habit now that school gives everyone’s schedules a little more structure. Family dinners are the perfect chance to catch up on your kids’ day and stay close as a family, but these meals require the kitchen table to be clean and uncluttered.
If you have a hard time organizing a small kitchen with limited storage space, simply transfer items from the table to the counter temporarily. You may have an easier time keeping these areas uncluttered if you instruct your children not to unload their backpacks all over the kitchen.
Hang a Dry Erase Board or Chalkboard
The start of a new school year means, not only must you focus on how to organize the kitchen, but also how to keep everyone’s schedules straight. A dry erase board or chalkboard on the kitchen wall can be the perfect solution.
Draw a grid to create a calendar where you can write in everyone’s after-school and evening schedules. You can also use them as message boards, leaving notes or reminders for family members you may not see until dinnertime.
Make Sure All Kitchen Appliances are in Working Order
On hectic weeknights, you depend on your oven, stove, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher to function as intended. As you take steps to organize the kitchen in time for the new school year, make sure your appliances are in working order as well.
All it takes is a little maintenance, such as cleaning the oven and stove top, wiping the fridge and freezer door seals, and checking the dishwasher spray arm for clogs. With minimal effort, you can help prevent inconvenient kitchen appliance breakdowns on busy school nights.