Get Your Kitchen Ready for the Start of a New School Year

Posted August 21, 2019 by Katlyn Droke

Are you ready for back-to-school season? While you might be preparing to get the kids out of the house and back in the classroom, think about how you can prepare your home, as well. Especially when it comes to prepping your kitchen, a place where your schoolkid naturally spends a lot of time before and after school. Plus, education doesn’t stop when the school bell rings and the kids come home. Luckily you already have the perfect spot for keeping up with school and fostering a learning environment at home: the kitchen. 

Start by establishing a command center. A common feature we see in kitchen design is the idea of establishing a desk space in the kitchen. It makes sense when you think about how much time we spend in the kitchen on average. Most of the time “kitchen desk cabinets” help create this space, but you can create a school command center in your kitchen without them.  

Kitchen wall with magnet organization trays and dry erase calendars
Organization is key for a successful start to the school year. Image: PicNorth

Command Center

How do you stay on top of all the tasks and requirements from school? Start a command center in the most-used area of your house: your kitchen. Keeping a command center or homebase somewhere in or near the kitchen is a good strategy for never forgetting when your student needs something for school, like money for lunch, a signed permission slip for field trips, or a present for Teacher Appreciation week. This is also where you can set goals for the year and track how its going. 

  • Create a blackboard or whiteboard space on the side of a cabinet, a blank wall, or flat-surfaced appliance. 
  • Pin up or magnetize folders for keeping track of important paperwork.


Paper towel and plastic bag storage under a kitchen island
Get creative with your kitchen storage for easier access to your essentials.

Lunches

Lunch making and packing is the most obvious use for a kitchen during the school year, but there are strategies that help make it more efficient. Think about how many lunches you or your family make in a year. The average school year is 180 days — that’s at least 180 lunches per kid if they don’t visit the cafeteria. That’s why lunch-packing is a great place to streamline and add some efficiency. (Without forking over more cash for the lunch cafeteria.)

  • Place a decorative tray on the counter to act as a receptacle for packed lunch bags. 
  • Use cabinet organizers to keep lunch supplies (like baggies and tupperware) under control and within reach. 


Kids backpack hanging on a kitchen hook.
Create a designated bag space in the kitchen to cut down on clutter. Image: Urban Jane

Backpacks & Bags

The kitchen is often the last place they visit before leaving the house for the day, and can be the first place a hungry schoolkid goes right off the bus. It makes sense that backpacks would be picked up and dropped off here, but don’t let the kiddos toss backpacks to the floor when they rush in. Create a space to hang those backpacks or store them out of the way. Having them in reach makes packing quicker and ensures that the important things are less likely to be forgotten.

  • Add hooks to the inside of a pantry door or an unused side of your cabinets. 
  • Hang a mini chalkboard above the place backpacks are stored for leaving helpful reminders as they grab and go.


Open kitchen cabinet door filled with binders, markers, and school supplies.
Keep a dedicated homework space free of distractions for heightened productivity. Image: A Bowl Full of Lemons

Homework

The key to homework success (and completion) is having a space dedicated to it — a space without distractions, where a student can spread out and zone in. Plus, a dedicated homework station in the kitchen lets you keep an eye on the kids and help them through those tough homework problems while dinner is cooking. 

  • Use decorative jars to store and organize pens, pencils, rulers, and everything else they’ll need.
  • Create a folder system in a cabinet or drawer for “turning in” homework for your review and making sure it doesn’t get lost. 


Kitchen drawer with project supplies: sharpies, tape, calculator, staplers
Make a project station to keep all your materials in one easy spot. Image: Drive By Decor

Projects

The kitchen table or counter is a great space for project completion. Just like cooking, clean-up is easier when you have a clean, clear, and durable space dedicated to it. There’s a reason most people don’t prepare food in the living room (just think of the mess), and the same can be said of messy school projects. Think of the glue, the glitter, the paper scraps, and all the other parts that come with making an A+ project. 

  • Consider dedicating a drawer to keep project supplies in reach and out of the way when not in use.
  • Use cling wrap or parchment paper to protect your surfaces from markers, glue, and other messy project tools.

With strategies like these in place, you can set up your school year to run more smoothly with less effort — all while enjoying your kitchen.