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August 26, 2019

Student-friendly spaces: A different type of smart home

The kids are back in school. You relax now that this annual flurry of activity is done. But there might still be more to do. Does your home have student-friendly spaces? Sandlin Homes thinks you should consider a different type of smart home—one that encourages good study habits.

Set your kids up for success at school by creating workspaces that foster productivity. All you need is a little planning, organization, and a few fixes.

Clear out the clutter.

On the last day of school in the spring, your kids probably came home with all the contents of their desk and locker shoved into a backpack. Then where did it all go? In the closet, under the bed, strewn across the bedroom, and mixed in with other household clutter. Now that the kids are back to school, use this quiet time at home to get rid of excesses.

Start by finding and clearing out the drop zone for all the outdated, extraneous, and useless leftovers from the previous school year. Kids won’t sort it out. That’s up to you! Don’t save broken crayons and pencils and dog-eared notebooks that won’t be used again. Throw them out. Collect all useful school supplies and stash them with your other materials. It will also help to label your school supplies storage (drawer, closet, box) with what you have so you don’t buy duplicates (which adds more clutter).

Does your family have a junk drawer stuffed with things they don’t know what to do with? It’s often in the kitchen, the center of the home and all its traffic. Empty out all junk drawers and drop zones. Purge the clutter and then create an organized space. A drawer organizer will provide a system for keeping things where they belong. Store small items, like rubber bands and paper clips, in zip-lock bags. Wrap sticky note pads together with an elastic so they don’t flop around the drawer. And every so often, go back and reorganize the drawer after numerous hands have unraveled your system.

Create a drop zone.

Prevent the mess that comes with the daily shuffle of coming in and going out. If you have a mudroom or family entrance, a hall bench is a wise investment (and a standard feature in our homes). Assign each child their own hook and cubby. Strongly encourage them to empty their backpacks everyday so that more clutter doesn’t grow inside there. A small wastebasket near the hall bench will help control the chaos, too.

In addition, turn this drop zone into a family message center. Put up a board where you can post notes and a calendar to keep track of schedules.

Establish a study-ready workspace

Your home should have a dedicated study area. Don’t let your kids flop on the sofa or spread their homework on the kitchen table. Those are temporary spaces. When they have to move, they not only interrupt their focus but risk misplacing important things.

Where can you set aside a homework station? An open floor plan in the main living area is a great location. You can keep an eye on the work that’s happening and be available for questions. It doesn’t take much room to create a nook with a desk, chair, and storage (like a shelf or cabinet). The desk should face the wall, away from the television, windows, and other potential distractions. 

Your “smart home” should also have the benefit of smart hub. Let curious minds ask Alexa, Siri, or Google for help.

Does your home fit your family’s needs, now and in the future? Don’t let your living space cramp your style. Sandlin Homes builds communities of single-family homes throughout the DFW metro area. Take a look at our floor plans and the current selection of new construction homes for sale right now. If you already have a location in mind, talk to us about building on your lot.

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