Back to School Organization Guide: Tips for Smooth Mornings and Tidy Spaces

Back to School Organization Guide: Tips for Smooth Mornings and Tidy Spaces

Whether you’re Team “WOO-WHO 😊!” or Team “BOO-HOO !” the beginning of a new school year is a great time for a routine refresh! By creating some simple guidelines, you can eliminate chaotic mornings and evenings of yesteryear and give the kids the best chance at a successful school year.




Night Before Preparation Tips for a Smooth Start:

  • Lay out clothes
  • Pack lunch
  • Pack backpack and put by the front door
  • Sign any paperwork
  • Lay out after school activity gear
  • Put out breakfast supplies (cereal boxes, bowls, spoons, etc.)


Morning Routine Tips: Start Your Day with Calm and Efficiency:

  • Remain calm and eliminate chaos as much as possible
  • Wake up 30 minutes before your kids and enjoy your coffee in peace
  • Give kids plenty of time in the morning to get ready so they don’t start off their day feeling rushed and annoyed
  • For younger kids, create a morning routine checklist (eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, etc.) so they get used to knowing what to do and will need less prodding from you overtime. 
  • PRO TIP – Keep an extra toothbrush and hairbrush in the downstairs bathroom – it saves you time from going up and down the stairs


Home Organization Tips for a Smooth Back to School Season:

  • Organize lunch items in one part of the fridge and pantry for fast and easy lunch prep.
  • Inventory last year’s school supplies before going out to buy more.
  • Create a dedicated space at home for your kids to store their school supplies and technology.
  • Add some kid-friendly organization solutions, like low hooks for kids’ coats and shoe baskets or cubbies to your entryway.
  • Establish rules for where kids should put lunchboxes, etc. when they come home.
  • Dedicate a rack in the garage, basement or entryway for sports equipment.
  • Set up a laundry system that makes it easy to sort and wash clothes. Make sure the kids’ rooms and/ or bathrooms have a laundry basket (preferably without a lid).
  • Establish a homework station with school supplies. 
  • Create a list of age-appropriate chores.


Kids Bedroom Organization: Smart Solutions for Tidy Spaces

  • Use under-the-bed storage for off-season clothes and toys that aren’t regularly used.
  • Set up a hanging organizer in your child’s closet with five slots for clothes, one for each day of the week.
  • Inventory your kids’ wardrobes and toss/donate things they’ve outgrown.


As the new school year approaches, taking the time to refresh your routines and organize your home can make a world of difference for both parents and kids. By implementing the back-to-school tips we’ve shared, you can bid farewell to the chaos of the past and embrace a more streamlined and efficient daily life. Remember, it’s okay to take things one step at a time; even small changes can lead to significant improvements. 

So whether you’re excitedly cheering for Team “WOO-WHO!” or feeling a bit melancholic as part of Team “BOO-HOO,” know that a well-organized routine and a tidy home will set the stage for a successful school year. 

If you find yourself needing extra support, don’t hesitate to reach out to Home Reimagined – we’re here to help make your back-to-school transition as smooth as possible. Wishing you all a fantastic and productive school year ahead!

Check out the recent Redfin article we were featured in: 26 Small Kitchen Organization Ideas to Simplify Your Home | Redfin

Check out the recent Redfin article we were featured in: 26 Small Kitchen Organization Ideas to Simplify Your Home | Redfin

Organizing a small kitchen can be challenging. Limited counter space, cramped cabinets, and cluttered drawers make it difficult to find what you need and hard to cook and entertain. 

Fortunately, there are many small kitchen organization ideas that can help you make the most of your space while keeping it stylish and clutter-free. With the right know-how and a few simple tricks, you can turn your kitchen into the heart of your home. 

So, whether you live in a Wilmington, NC apartment or a Brentwood, CA home, read on for 26 ideas to take your small kitchen to the next level. 

Read the full article here: 26 Small Kitchen Organization Ideas to Simplify Your Home | Redfin

An Easy Way to Organize Paper and Files

An Easy Way to Organize Paper and Files

As much as I love to organize a client’s home and make it pretty and peaceful and lovely, there are just some parts of a home that must be functional. For many people, a huge headache is PAPER – especially if you are a parent.

Parents know that kids bring home SO. MUCH. PAPER. If you’re like most people, you probably set up a filing system forever ago. You’ve slowly filled it up over the years and haven’t touched it since. Now, the cabinet is overstuffed and the piles on top have started growing higher and higher. Maybe you even have a “TO FILE” box, but good luck finding anything in there in a timely manner.

The doldrums of winter are a great time to organize your filing system. With tax season approaching quickly, it’s a good time to get your documents in order while clearing out papers from the last calendar year and before.

The key is to clear out your filing cabinet first, create relevant folders, and be able to file AND FIND the papers quickly and easily.


Tips for Organizing Paper Items

> Set a timer for 20 minutes – take a break or keep going when it goes off.

> Start with your existing filing system and clean out each file.

> Invest in a good shredder and use it as needed – don’t set up a “TO SHRED” bin. It will just pile up – and who wants to waste their valuable time doing that? Staples has bulk shredding and a grocery paper bag size is usually about $20 to shred. You can even check for local events for free shredding – but I don’t recommend hanging on to old papers for months while waiting on a free event. Kids’ artwork and memory/ keepsake items shouldn’t go in a file system. I typically recommend clear storage bins for this. One per child/person and clearly labeled for ease of use.

> Switch to online bill pay. I highly recommend this! Even if you are more comfortable getting paper bills, paying online makes the process faster and easier. Additionally, if you have a problem with your bill, you will know it by the next billing cycle or two.


How To Organize Paper Items for Storage

Basically, there are 3 types of storage – active, reference and archival.

> Active storage

Might be a desktop filing system. Something you refer to often or a temporary holding spot because you know you will use items soon for an event coming up. These are items you like to have at your fingertips.

> Reference storage

Should hold things like auto records, home repair or improvement info, or education info. You might need them, but they don’t have to be in “prime real estate” areas of your home.

> Archival storage

Should include permanent files like tax returns, closing paperwork on your home, birth marriage and death certificates, etc.

Tax returns can be filed in a labeled box in the attic because you probably won’t need to refer to them but you just have to keep them for a certain amount of time.

Check with the IRS to see how long you need to keep records. You wouldn’t believe the amount of tax records I have found and shredded from the 1980s and earlier in my clients’ homes.

Less Clutter, More Life

A key to wrangling paper is to reduce or eliminate the amount of paper coming in – remove yourself from mailing lists, catalogs that you don’t want anymore – it will save you time in dealing with all the stuff, as well as being good for the environment

If you are feeling overwhelmed at the amount of paper you have and need to sort through – Home Reimagined can help! Book a call today and let’s chat!

Holiday Décor Declutter & Organizing – Part 2: The Take Down

Holiday Décor Declutter & Organizing – Part 2: The Take Down

This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to click through and make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

The holidays are over and now comes the not-so-fun part. Taking down, organizing, and storing your decorations. Here are some of my favorite tips that I share with my clients to make the process a bit easier now–and for decorating next year.

> Take the Time to Do It Right

Whether you like to take everything down on the 26th or leave it up until mid-January, taking the necessary time to organize your décor now will save you a lot of time and frustration next year.  This is not an exercise that you should rush through. I typically recommend devoting at least a day for this process (depending on how many decorations you have).

> Have Appropriate Storage

In my experience, one of the biggest space-eaters that I find among my clients is loose items that have been tossed in the attic. To help combat this culprit of clutter, try utilizing clear, uniform storage bins that stack to take advantage of vertical space and save you a ton of headaches. BONUS–They will also protect your stored items from extreme heat or cold while in your attic, garage or basement.

Pro Tip: Avoid storing your decorations in cardboard boxes! Over time, they can hold moisture, collapse, and attract bugs!

> Look at Everything Twice

Before packing it away to deal with next year, be sure to scrutinize what you have. Rate items 1 to 10 if that’s easier for you. Anything below a certain number goes to the donate bin for someone else to enjoy!

> Store by Area in Your Home

Do you always put the same decorations in the same places around your home each year? Designating a storage container by area (kitchen, mantle, foyer, etc.) will make it quick and easy to set up next year.

> Store by Like Kind

If you are the type of decorator that puts out a lot of items at the end as “finishing touches,” they may not always go in a particular spot. Decorative Christmas balls or greenery are great examples of this. In this case, I recommend sorting these items into like kinds and packing all-together. Decorated garland? Keep those decorations on and carefully fold into a bin. This makes it easier to put up next year.

> Holiday Hostess Gifts & Party Supplies

Do your family and friends gather at your home each year for holiday festivities? Between hostess gifs and seasonal supplies, keep these items together in a bin so you can easily find them for next year as events come up.

Pro Tip: Cut down on the clutter and donate holiday specific hostess gifts and part supplies in favor of more “evergreen” options that can be used year-round!

> Store Gift Wrap Separate

I recommend designating separate storage for holiday gift wrap, separate from non-holiday wrapping supplies. Holiday wrapping can range from simple bows, to elaborate ribbons and ties, so it is often easiest to keep them on their own. By doing this, you can easily see what you have and only deal with it once a year.

> Tree Décor and Accessories

Reuse supplies when you can! Do you have a lot of leftover tissue paper from holiday presents? Use it to wrap ornaments from your tree to keep them safe and minimize the potential for damage. Lights can take up a lot of space, so try wrapping them into a ball (starting with the female end to make it easier to plug in) to save space and keep them from tangling. Be sure to store in a separate bin from the outside lights so you easily know what goes where!


Make sure you label all of your decoration storage and be specific! These labels from Amazon are great option and they are easy to change. Put them inside a clear bin so they are more protected but still easy to read.

Less Clutter, More Life

If these tips worked for you, share some pictures of your holiday décor clean-up! Or if you are feeling overwhelmed and would like some help, let’s chat!

Learn more about Home Reimagined

Holiday Décor Declutter & Organizing – Part 1: Putting Up

Holiday Décor Declutter & Organizing – Part 1: Putting Up

This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to click through and make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

The stores already have lights and trees up and the new, shiny, and sparkly items litter the aisles. It’s easy to picture them in your space while the urge to fill your home is tempting you to buy ALL. THE. THINGS.

But wait – don’t forget about ALL of the décor you already have stuffed in your attic! If you’re like most people, it’s probably TOO MUCH.

Here are a few tips on how to deal with it and possibly make room for new stuff!

>Don’t start too early.
No one wants to pull out ALL the Christmas decorations in July and declutter and organize it – you’re just not in the right head space. I suggest pulling EVERYTHING out just before each holiday and plan to declutter WHILE you are decorating, which will save time.

>Sort like items together.
Group items so you can see what you have and it’s easier to pick out your favorites to keep.

>Put it up or put it out.
Give each piece a second look – if you love it,
especially after not seeing it for a year, put it up for decoration. If you don’t love it, put it out for donation. Let’s face it, decorations don’t last forever – they get worn and tired over time and styles and colors change. So, if you keep looking at an item and year after year it goes back into a bin instead of being displayed for the holiday season, it’s time to say goodbye. If there are sentimental items that you just can’t part with, put those aside in a separate container. Also keep in mind that the fewer decorations you have, the less time it will take to decorate and put away at the end of the season.

>Containers are Key!
Once decorations are up, you can idea of how many and what kind of storage containers you will need. Cardboard boxes are not my favorite in storage areas – they hold moisture, attract bugs, and breakdown over time. The red and green ones seem like a good idea, but in the long run make it more difficult if you need more. These CLEAR BINS have been my go-to for years – they are budget-friendly and the clear containers make it easy to see through. And I like putting the LABELS on the inside so they don’t get ripped off or torn. Also, they are not too big which can get too heavy. I also love using large and small zippered food storage container bags to separate items.

>Organize Gift Wrap Supplies.
Again – though you may be enamored by fun new wrapping paper, ribbons and bows each year, see what you have first before buying new. I think it’s easiest to keep Christmas wrap separate from non-holiday wrapping. This wrapping paper storage solution is a great option for keeping your gifting supplies organized and easily accessible. Toss or recycle any paper that’s old or you know you won’t use in the future.

Less Clutter, More Life

If these tips worked for you, share some pictures of your holiday décor clean-up! Or if you are feeling overwhelmed and would like some help, let’s chat!

Learn more about Home Reimagined

Stay tuned for Part 2 – Tips for Putting Décor Away