Homes with Heart – Heather Coombs-Perez

It’s always amazing to me how quickly the summer seems to fly by. For readers with kids, the arrival of Labor Day brings a return to the familiar routine of school, work, extracurricular activities and family time.
As always, a fair bit of organizing (and scrambling!) goes into this last week before school starts. Books and pencils need to be bought, lunch snacks anticipated, alarm clocks need to return to their pre-summer settings and laundry needs to be done, ensuring the perfect back-to-school clothes are available for their first-day debut.
In order to transition smoothly from the lazy days of summer to the hectic pace of the school year, it’s important to get your house in order. Here are some tips to get you started.
• Clear out a small drawer or cupboard in the kitchen for the kids. Make them responsible for placing their lunchboxes, Tupperware, and/or plastic or paper bags in this area. Stock it with reusable water bottles, drink boxes, healthy snacks and the occasional treat, and encourage them to prepare most of their lunch themselves.
• Clear a workstation for your kids to use for homework. Not everyone has a desk in his or her room, and if that’s the case in your house, set aside a well-lit, quiet area where the kids can go to do homework. Create a “homework basket” that can easily be pulled out when needed and stock it with pencils, pens, crayons, markers and other small supplies.
• Go through the closets and clear out any old or broken toys, or donate gently used clothes to a charity. Not only does this make room for the inevitable purchase of new school clothes, but it also shows children the value of recycling and charity. Clearing out the clutter before school starts gives you a fresh perspective and may even turn up some gems you didn’t remember you had!
• Clean up your gardens. Once the school year is in full swing and the extracurricular activities start to kick in, your gardens will take a back seat. Take this opportunity to clear dead brush, prune overgrown plants and trees, and place bark or mulch in your beds, to see you through the fall and winter. It’s amazing how little work plants require during the non-growing season if you take a couple of hours to get them in order at the end of the summer.
• Organize the garage. For some reason, garages always seem to get messier over the summer. Whether it’s because bikes, sports equipment and beach accoutrements are used more, or we just become lazy and use it as a dumping ground, putting your garage in order before school starts helps your kids keep organized, especially if they ride their bikes to school. It will also help you to know where to find things like the Halloween and Christmas decorations without stress and digging later on in the year.
If by getting organized you feel like you just need more space, visit our website at or contact me directly by voice or text at 310-259-7419 to discuss your options. Interest rates are at an all time low, so it might be the time to make your move!

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