Latest News

How to Get Your Home (and Family) Ready for Back to School


It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in the New Year and publishing our first blog about 2018 new home décor trends here at George Sinclair Construction.

But time really does fly. The first day of school for schools across Niagara Falls neighbourhoods is Tuesday, September 4.

That means you’ve got a few weeks to get your home and family ready for it.

So there’s no better time to get started than right now.

Declutter and reorganize entryways

There are many ways for your kids to head out the door and catch the school bus:

  • Front door.
  • Side door.
  • Back door.
  • Through the garage.

Whatever the case may be, this is where your kids will dump half (if not all of their stuff) when they get home.

And you just know come morning, they can’t find their homework assignment or field trip permission form.

Since mornings tend to be chaotic, you need to make sure there’s a place for everything that’s important:

  • Backpacks.
  • Coats
  • Shoes.

You’ll want to establish an entryway floor plan which allows everyone to “grab-and-go” whatever it is they need.

Set a budget and stock up

According to a report by Global News, parents spend, on average, $883 per family on back-to-school supplies.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • $100 for supplies (pens, paper, binders, etc.).
  • $300 for new clothes (shoes, jackets, etc.).
  • $500+ on gadgets (new laptops, smartphones).

Hopefully, things like smartphones and clothes should be a one-time only purchase based on actual needs and not as a must-have item.

But for things like stationery, stocking up now means you won’t have to do a frantic late night run when your daughter’s printer runs out of paper.

And when you have your year’s supply of…

  • Computer paper.
  • Glue.
  • Pens, pencils.
  • Printer ink.

….make certain you keep them in a place that’s easily accessible.

Create dedicated stations for studying and packing lunches

Every morning, you (or your kids) will need to pack a lunch for the day.

And every night, they’ll need to finish their homework.

In order to ensure success for everyone, it’s best to have dedicated areas for these important daily tasks.

For your designated study space:

  • Place it somewhere where you can be nearby to help your kids.
  • Keep it distraction-free (no smartphones, no TV, no video games).
  • Have the school supplies mentioned earlier in this blog close at hand.
  • Make certain it’s properly lit.

For your lunch-making station:

  • Have lunchtime essentials (sandwich bags, lunch boxes, juice boxes, etc.) easily accessible.
  • Post a checklist to ensure everything gets packed (lunch, snack, drink, healthy fruit, etc.)
  • Fill containers with items which can be easily scooped (chips, nuts, crackers, etc.)

Use the inbox/outbox method

Who knows how many forms and permission slips come home in the average school year.

In order to keep track of what comes home and what needs to go back, set up an inbox/outbox station as soon as your kids are fully inside the house.

  • The inbox: Your child is responsible for putting papers, forms, and notes in the inbox. Anything that isn’t in there can’t be looked at or dealt with.
  • The outbox: After you’ve taken papers from the inbox and looked at them, place them in the outbox. That tells your child those forms have been reviewed and/or signed and can go back to school.

With the inbox/outbox method, the onus isn’t on one person (either your child or you) to ensure forms aren’t forgotten.

Rather, it’s a partnership which relies on both parties and is a good example of shared responsibility.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer vacation and look ahead to the new school year

Yes, going back to school is a hectic, busy time.

But that doesn’t mean you need to dedicate all your remaining time towards getting ready for it. Nor does it mean putting it aside until the last possible moment.

Pace yourself. Instead of trying to do all your school shopping in one trip, spread it out:

  • One day, you’re getting supplies.
  • Another day, you’re looking at shoes.
  • Another day after that, you’re checking out backpacks.

This gives everyone something to look forward to without risking any burnout.

And with a few weeks left in summer, make the most out of the free time you have:

  • Spend as much time outdoors as possible.
  • Going to a new school after moving to Niagara Falls? Practice walking to school and get to know the area.
  • Have everyone make a list of what they liked most about the summer that was.

Good luck to all the students and parents out there

Everyone here at George Sinclair Construction wishes all the best for the upcoming school year to students, parents, and teachers too.

And if you’re looking to live in a great place with great schools, you should take a look at Trailside in the Lyons Creek area of Niagara Falls.

Modern bungalow townhomes which can handle just about every family need and are close to some of the best schools Niagara Falls offers.

Sign up to receive more updates and news on Trailside.