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There’s no way around it: this year has been quite the adventure, filled with numerous ups and downs!

Many families that are schooling from home have cleared out their garages and spare rooms, renting self storage units for their belongings so that they can create a temporary learning space. Others are still waiting to hear about what plans are in place for in-person classes. While parents navigate the journey of sending their children back to school (whether it be online or in-person) they are also trying to determine how to get their homes back into a healthy rhythm.

Numerous studies have found that one of the ways to help make this school year (as well as any other school year) a success is through structure and routine. According to The Importance of a Regular Routine to Your Child, “Regular schedules provide the day with a structure that orders a young child’s world. Although predictability can be tiresome for adults, children thrive on repetition and routine.”

In fact, Psychology Today states that when you build routines for your child, you are developing skills that will give them a bright future since, “consistency and predictability of family routines, such as meal or bedtime routines, spending time with extended family or friends, or participating in extracurricular activities, are associated with a wide range of outcomes—from fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety and fewer behavioral problems, to better self-control and health behaviors, like sleep quality and habits.”

Since setting up a routine is important to a child’s well-being – as well as your own – here are 3 simple tips to help you get started right away:

1.) Enforce a firm bed-time policy.

Develop a nightly ritual that consists of a firm “lights out” policy at a certain time to ensure your children are getting the recommended number of hours of sleep for their age. If you have younger children, consider having them wind down with a story time, or if they are older, allowing them to have 20 minutes of reading time to themselves before they need to go to sleep.

2.) Dinner together.

Having dinner together each night (sans TV) can serve as a time to reconnect and reflect after a long day of work and school. By removing distractions, you can have some wonderful conversations – making dinner the highlight of everyone’s day. You can even include your children in the cooking and cleaning process, as a way to increase your time to bond, providing your children with a sense of security.

3.) Clean up policy.

There’s no doubt about, clutter leads to stress – which does not make for a positive home life. Set aside a specific amount of time each day to target areas that typically attract “stuff”, giving everyone a job to do. Cleaning schedules can also help keep your family on track, serving as a great resource to prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.

With more and more American’s opting to live small, space can sometimes be an issue.
If you feel as if the walls are closing in, a self storage unit can serve as an affordable solution. Larger items such as sports equipment, seasonal decor, and memorabilia can be easily kept off-site, helping you make room for items you need daily.

By setting a lights out policy, spending time around the dinner table together, and having each person do their part, you are on your way to a healthy, happy home!

Wishing you a wonderful school year!

“Step with care and great tact, and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.”
-Dr. Seuss