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It’s that time of year again! While this year may be different than those preceding it, one thing is for certain: The chaotic back to school season is about to begin!

Before the kids head back to school – whether virtually or in person, it is important to get your home organized so that you feel ready to tackle the school year. Studies have shown that a healthy routine as well as a healthy learning environment are key factors to helping children succeed, which is especially true this year with the potential for rapid change. Here are 3 simple tips you can use to get your home ready:

1.) Get rid of clutter using the keep, donate, discard principle.

Instead of undertaking a massive purge, make a conscious effort to get rid of items on a regular basis, starting with one small section of your home at a time. If an item has been used within the last 3 months, or has a genuine plan or purpose to be used within the next 3, keep it. If you are not able to use it, but are certain someone else can, donate it. And, if you don’t have use for it, and know no one else will, discard it and don’t look back! By taking just 15 minutes a day to clean out some key areas within your home, you will be shocked to see just how much you are able to get rid of!

2.) Set up a cleaning schedule that every member of the family can participate in, including the children!

Listen – if you live within the house, you have to help take care of the house. It is that simple. Unless your child is under the age of 2 (in which case, they still probably enjoy placing an item into a basket here or there), there are countless age appropriate ways children can contribute to your home’s upkeep. Enlist the help of a cleaning schedule that you and your family can use to target specific areas on specific days, and consider setting up a responsibility chart so that your children can see that mom and dad have jobs to do as well. If you reach a certain number of stars as a family, set a reward that everyone can enjoy (such as ice cream before dinner, dinner and a movie, mini golf, s’mores… the list goes on and on)!

3.) Find a functional place for everything to help prevent clutter, while renting a local self-storage unit for items that are simply too big.

Let’s face it, some items are simply too big to store within your home. Seasonal decor, sports equipment, camping gear, and seasonal clothing, are all items that have a specific purpose, but are not needed on a daily basis. By choosing to rent a self-storage unit, you can keep these items off-site, maximizing space within your home for items you need regular access to. Best of all, with various sizes and move-in specials available, finding a storage unit that fits your specific needs is simple, without breaking the bank!

By organizing items you need (and getting rid of items you don’t), setting up a cleaning schedule, and renting a nearby self-storage unit, your home will remain organized and clutter-free! The result? More space, less stress, and a place where your kids (and you) can unwind after a long day of school and work. In the words of Steve Harvey, “When you’re happy at home, you can make a lot of things happen.”

Here’s to making your home a happy one!