As I work with different types of parents, one of the most common frustrations for all parents is the entry way. It is either too small, non existent, or simply not functional. Parents find themselves cleaning day after day after their children only at the end giving up and letting the children do whatever they want with their shoes, backpacks, and school art work. Whatever your space might be, you have to make sure it is inviting to the children and make sure to include a bit of discipline along the way. In the mean time, here are five tips in how you can make your entry way kid friendly and ready for school.
1. Create a seating area – This is very important! You can have a bench, a stool, or anything that will encourage the children to seat down and put their shoes on instead of sitting on the floor.
2. Have bins and baskets ready – you should have a few baskets assigned for various items like shoes, hats and mittens, umbrellas, etc. This way children learn that each item has a “home” and has to go back to its assigned area. Also, create a personal folder or bin for each child. This is like having your own personal mail box. You can use it to put school reminders in there or your own personal notes. Also, as children get older and start making school projects, this is a great way to remember to grab them in the morning in the middle of a morning rush.
3. Include easily accessible functional hooks – Many times I see parents purchase beautiful hooks only to find out that they can’t hold heavy backpacks or rain coats end up slipping off of them. I like to use the Command hooks because you can find them in various sizes and you don’t need to drill in the holes. Also, make sure that you place the hooks at children’s eye level. They need to be able to reach the hooks easily with no frustrations.
4. Include a calendar – It is easy to lose track of all the events, functions, and activities for the family, so I suggest to have a family calendar right at the entry way. You can even assign a different color pen for each individual. Make sure to take a look at it every Sunday and update it if needed.
5. Include a clock and a mirror – This is a great decorative touch, but this is also very functional tip. A mirror will help your children to take a last glance before heading out the door and the clock will keep reminding them what time it is. This way you are not reminding them every few minutes what time it is and that they will be late. Teach your children from the young age how to tell time and how to be self-efficient in the process.