Helping Kids Deal with Back-To-School Stress

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Stress of School

Whether your children are in public school, private school, charter school, or homeschool, a new school year can stress out our children.

Unlike adults, kids don’t understand they are feeling stress, or know how to handle it like adults do. In fact, because of their lack of life experiences, they really don’t even understand they are feeling stress.

As parents, it is easy to miss our children’s stress cues. We can mistake signs of stress from our children for defiance and misbehavior. 


The most common signs of stress are…

Increase in crying, throwing fits and temper tantrums

Unwilling to do anything or try anything

Frustration

Anger

Lack of Patience

Misbehaving

Disobedience

Lots of crying

Tired

Behavior that is out of the ordinary

Trouble sleeping

Back to school stress can come from many sources, but the two main sources of stress for our children are unfamiliar situations (like a new school class or when a parent goes out of town) and pressure to perform (such as school tests, social pressures and extracurricular competition). All children feel pressure. Even our little ones. Pressure to share their toys, eat all their food and go to sleep. Both of these sources are very prevalent at the start of a new school year. There is so much uncertainty. I know that uncertainty can stress me out. Why wouldn’t we assume the same happens to our children.
As parents, it is our job to help our children not only deal with the stress, but to also help them recognize what they are feeling so they can start learning how to handle it. 


Here are a number of ways we can help as the new school year gets underway. 


1. Start with Ourselves

When we are stressed out, we pass that on to our families. Did you know that children who are constantly surrounded by stress are more likely to be overweight, and even small babies sense and respond negatively to our stress. We have to evaluate our own lives, make sure we are not over scheduled, get control of our stress and set a good example. Plus, our kids learn from us. They learn how to handle stress by watching US handle stress. What are we teaching them?

2. Give them a Voice

Our children do not understand what stress is. They are limited in their life experiences and knowledge. They don’t always understand what they are feeling, or what to call the emotions they experience because often times, they have never felt them before. It is our job as parents to help them. We need to give them a voice, give them words to express their emotions and help them understand the frustration that overtakes them.

Compare this concept to a time when you have been sick. I know for me, when I head to the doctor, I don’t want something to be wrong, BUT, having a diagnosis makes me feel better. It lessens the stress.

It is the same with our children. We need to give them a diagnosis. Not only will this help them as they experience the stress, but, as they have more experiences, they will be able to pinpoint their own emotions.

3. Role Play

Unknown situations bring stress. Instead of sending our kids into situations blind, take time to act out and discuss situations before they happen. This will help our children feel much more prepared and giving them knowledge will lessen their fears and stress. Take time to role play situations. That way, when they are in the unknown situation it will be like auto response and they will have more confidence in what they should do and say. This is one of the best ways to lessen the stress of a new school year. Talk about and role play all the new experiences our kids are going to face before they encounter them.

4. See their perspective

Consider how we feel when we are stressed. Now imagine being little, with limited understanding and experiences. On top of that, having very little control. If we will put ourselves in their shoes just for a minute we will quickly have sympathy for their situation and be more understanding and patient with their behavior.

5. Listen

Our kids need to talk to us. Not all children are ready to talk at the same pace. We need to be there, ready, whenever they are ready to talk. When our children know they are heard, it relieves stress.

6. Eliminate

Children should really only have one or two extra curricular activities. They don’t have to do it all. And parents shouldn’t be over-scheduled either. Even if our kids want to do a million things, it is too much for them to handle. More importantly we need to make sure they have time to play, to create, to imagine, and to spend time with our family.

7. Be Active Together

It has been shown that exercise helps us handle stress. The same applies for children. But when kids are always in front of technology, that doesn’t leave a lot of time to be active. Get moving together as a family and watch everyone’s stress melt away.

8. Go To Bed

Possibly one of the most important ways to help our children deal with the stress of a new school year, and even avoid it, is to make sure they get enough sleep. Everything is worse when we are tired and life is much harder to deal with. Make sure kids get enough sleep. Get them on a schedule and make it a priority.

Stress is apart of our lives and our children’s lives. A new school year can bring out the worst. Helping our children now will not only lessen the stress they experience as children, but also teach them the tools they need to handle stress as they grow too.

How do you help your children deal with stress?

 

Have a question, or just want to say hello? You can find me at FamilyVolley.com. On PinterestFacebook, and Twitter. Or send me an email. I love making new friends. 

 

Back-To-School-With-Gordmans

Back to School for my kids is literally right around the corner. We have only one week of summer left before my kids head back to school. With 5 kids to get ready, the money can really start to add up. I have to be really careful with how and where I spend my money.

We recently had a Gordman’s move into a new shopping plaza that was built just 5 miles from my home. I have never been shopping in Gordmans and I was really surprised at all the great things Gordmans has to offer.

My kids like to be able to dress in some of their favorite brands, but sometimes those brands can be fairly pricey especially when you have 5 children you need to buy clothes and school supplies for. To make school shopping a fun experience, I try taking each of my children school shopping one at a time. I feel like this makes it something a little more special and a great time for me to have some one on one time with each of my children.

I recently took my almost 13 year old son school shopping at Gordman’s and we found some of his favorite brands an clothing styles at great prices. He was really excited to be getting some new clothes that were the style HE wanted…and I was pleasantly surprised with the prices and selection. He was excited because this shopping trip was focused completely on him and acquiring him some much needed items that were NOT hand me downs from his older brother.

Because of the great prices at Gordman’s he was able to get some items new instead of wearing all of his brother’s old clothes. This way he gets to pick a few items that match his individual style.

Gordman’s also has a great selection of shoes, women and men’s clothing and a home décor line that I was really excited about that I will be checking out a little closer when it is my turn for some back to school shopping ;)!

Official Rules

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Gordmans. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Back-To-School Printables

You guys…it is time for our next Printable Club Blog Hop.  The months seems to be flying by and I can’t believe back-to-school is just a couple of weeks away for my kids.  I know may of you have kids who have already started school again for the new year.

It seems like back-to-school is a great time to get re-organized and back on schedule.    Today I am sharing some great links to some really fun Back-To-School Printables plus the printables that I created you…Idea Room Readers!

August Grid {School}

Homework is always something that can be difficult to keep up with…especially if you have more than one child…or children who tend to not remember when they have homework…ahem!

I thought it would be good to come up with a Homework Notepad for each of my children to help them to stay on top of their school work this year.

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All they have to do is carry it with them in their folder or backpack.  When the teacher gives them an assignment, they can write down what is due and when.  Then you can check it each night to help them keep on top of their studies.

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I realize this system will work great for some kids and maybe not so great for others.  But none-the-less, it can be a great way to keep kids responsible and teach them how to follow through with their responsibilities.

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It was really easy to make into a tear off notepad.  I simply printed out several copies of the notepad and then cut it out with a large paper cutter at my local copy center.  Then I came home and held the top tightly together with some of my husbands wood clamps.  You can also use clothespins or the larger binder clips.

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Then I painted on some Tacky Craft Glue and let it dry.  I did a couple of coats.  When it is fully dry, the paper tears off just like a real notepad.  Pretty fun right?

I have a blank version and Subject version:

Homework Notebook Blank Final  Homework Notebook Final

To download the Back-To-School-Homework Notepads click here:

{Back-To-School-Homework Notepads}

*If you are not a fan of The Idea Room on Facebook, you will need to click like first and become a fan. After you become a fan you will need to click on “Get your free gift” in the upper right hand corner of the Idea Room FB page and then click on “Previous Downloads”.

Homework-notepad 1

Be sure to check out the other fun Back-To-School-Printables below.

August Banner {School}

#1 {The Dating Divas} – A Back To School themed dinner for setting goals with your spouse AND the kids!
#2 {Somewhat Simple} – Fun and quirky Back To School Tic Tac Labels: Arm your kids this school year with cootie antibiotics, brain cell boosters, and more!
#3 {Whipperberry} – A great gift for your teacher to start the year off right!
#4 {Crafting Chicks} – Teacher Emergency Kit to wish them a great year!
#5 {Tatertots & Jello} – Instagram-ready “hashtag” first day of school photo props.
#6 {L’il Luna} – An adorable Back to School Teacher Gift!
#7 {My Sister’s Suitcase} – Printable Keepsake to record first and liast days of school memories!
#8 {I Heart Nap Time} – A small gift for the first day of school.
#9 {The 36th Avenue} – A weekly chart to help keep your kids on track.
#10 {Paging Supermom} – Free Printable Lunchbox Jokes to brighten your kiddo’s school day.
#11 {The TomKat Studio} – A “Bright” Printable Gift Tag for Teachers!
#12 {The Idea Room} – DIY Back-to-School Homework “To-Do” Notepad

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Teacher gift idea

Nothing like a last second project…*ahem*!!  I was hoping to get around to our teacher gifts EARLIER, but such is life sometimes.  I whipped these up the night before the last day of school! But they did get done.  I was hoping to get them earlier so I could share them with you all in case some of you might want to make some homemade teacher gifts.

Homemade Teacher Gifts

Hopefully some of you still have kids with a few days of school left.  Or you can always use this later for the next school year.

I have made several versions of these and my kids teachers always seem really appreciative to receive them.  Apparently they go through a lot of hand sanitizer in the schools.

I usually send mine along with a gift card to the movies or a restaurant.

These are so easy to make and literally took me less than an hour to put all together.  Best part?  The Hand Sanitizer is a super inexpensive bottle from the dollar store.

Here is how to make them:

1.  Buy Hand Sanitizer in clear bottles.  Or buy empty containers (Container Store is a great source) and fill with Hand Sanitizer from a big refill bottle.

2.  Remove store labels if needed.  Goo Gone works great for me to remove any leftover glue residue.

teacher sanitizer insert

3.  Print the downloadable Teacher Hand Sanitizer PDF onto some clear Transparency Film.  **You will need to use a laser printer or copier otherwise the ink will fall off and run in the sanitizer.  A copy center can print it for you for a small charge and has transparency paper.

4.  Cut out the insert.  Roll it backwards and insert it into the top of the bottle.

Teacher-gift 1

5.  Use the stem of the pump to push the label into place in the front inside of the bottle.  The Hand Sanitizer will keep it sitting in the correct position.

6.  Attach a hand written note from your child and/or your favorite gift card.

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You can download the Teacher Hand Sanitizer PDF here:

So happy to have this be the LAST “homework” assignment/project of the school year!!  Bring on SUMMER!!

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Here are some of my older versions of this gift idea for those who may be interested:

Monogrammed Hand Sanitizer

Hand In Hand Sanitizer

Christmas Hand Sanitizer

Thanksgiving Hand Sanitizer

Personalized Product Spiral Notebooks

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Need a quick and easy project?  Make some notebooks (big or little) a bit more fun.  We have all seen the notebooks that you can dress up with scrapbook paper and a little bit of Mod Podge…why not reuse some cardboard from the boxes of some of you and your families favorite products?  Anything will work…cereal boxes, soda can boxes, or twinkee and hostess cupcake boxes or even some of the movie sized candy boxes! 

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Take some spiral bound notebooks, which should be easy to find this time of year with the back to school sales going on.

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Unbend one end of the wire spiral so that it is smooth and flat on the end and gently untwist it from the top of the notebook.  This turned out to be pretty easy.  Just be sure to firmly hold the notebook papers with your other hand so they stay lined up nicely so you can add the wire again when finished.

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Remove wire completely and set aside.  Take the old notebook cover and place it over your cardboard box and determine exactly what you would like your new cover to be.  Trace around it with a pen or marker.  Cut out the cardboard piece.  Place the old cover on top of the new cutout cover and mark with your pen where to make the holes.  Then take a large sewing needle and gently punch a hold through each of the marked dots.

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Place your new cover over the top and hold all the papers so that they are lined up.  Insert the spiral wire back into the holes and gently twist the wire so that it encompasses all the papers and works over to the other end of the notebook.  Gently bend the two end pieces of wire back in.

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And that is it!  Such an easy 5 minute project.  I think these would be a fun gift for your kids friends or for your kids themselves.  It is so easy that most kids could help make them too.  And who doesn’t like to make something that is unique and fun and represents something that they enjoy?

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What kind of notebook would you make for yourself and/or kids?

Linking up here:

Thirty Hand Made Days

Tidy Mom

Finding Family Time

It’s time once again for Heather from Family Volley to share with us some Parenting Tips as part of her “Parenting Tips Series with Heather Johnson” here on The Idea Room.

  Here’s Heather in her own words…

Amy  {The Idea Room}

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At the start of every new school year, I start to wonder, can I really do this again? Packing lunches at dawn, homework, baseball practice, teaching, nursing a new baby, piano, dance, grocery shopping, rushing home to get dinner on the table, the kids in bed, just to start it all over again the next day? 


I miss the slow pace of summer and being together as a family all the time. Finding family time during the school year can be a big challenge. I am not the only parent concerned about the rush that the school year brings. Questions are always coming in from concerned moms about how to focus more on family and less on the hectic lifestyle that they are living. 


As your thoughts turn to the new school year, I offer some suggestions to help you find more quality family time.

#1: Limit Your Children’s Activities.
Limit your kids to one, maybe two, after-school activities. Shoot for one. This may be a harder decision for you than for your kids. We tend to want our children to be involved in everything and learn every skill and talent. Kids also feel pressure from teachers and peers to be involved in lots of different activities. Choices have to be made. Think of it this way: Teaching your kids to make choices is an essential part of a parent’s job. These activities build skills and give kids a sense of what they can do. But time spent with the family gives them a sense of who they are. Plus, if your kids are always away from the family at their different activities, they can’t be spending time with the family. Don’t over schedule your kids. 

#2: Limit Your Activities.
As parents, we need to limit our activities. A good rule of thumb, no more than one night out for each parent, per week. When we are gone all the time we can’t be there for our families when they need us. The rituals that build closeness- bedtime stories, walks after dinner, playing games, talking-can’t happen when Mom and Dad are always gone. Don’t over schedule yourself. This doesn’t include Date Night. Date night is essential to keeping marital relationships strong and on track. 

#3: Turn off the T.V.
Turn the TV off during meals, especially dinner. In fact, consider turning the TV off Monday through Thursday. You will love the difference it makes in your home. There will be less contention. There will be more talking amongst family members. More will get done around the house and you will appreciate the calm atmosphere. There will be more time for homework, reading, talking and playing. There are better things for families to do than spend excessive amounts of time watching TV.  Plus, having the TV on in the background adds another level of noise and stress. 

#4: Eat Dinner Together.
Set a standing time for dinner and stick to it. Make it clear that all family members are expected to be there to eat together. This could be one of the most important rituals you have with your family. Do what ever it takes to sit down together. Make it special. Light candles, set the table, use special dishes. Don’t discuss discipline issues, don’t answer the phone, turn off the TV. Make it a safe place where every family member feels loved and accepted. If dinner is impossible for you to eat together, eat breakfast together. Just try your best to eat together everyday. Even one day a week is better than never.

#5: Get Some Sleep.
Set a bed time for your children, and for you. 10 pm or 11pm at the latest (for you of course.) Stick to it. When we are rested we feel calm. When we are calm we are better able to deal with our families. We are more calm, more clear headed, more loving and compassionate. I know what you are thinking. “I have too much to do and I only have time when everyone is asleep.” I hear you. I understand. I am the same way. Regardless, getting the sleep we need will bless our lives. If we are not over scheduled we will be able to admonish this suggestion. Do what needs to be done, and let the rest go. It will still be there in the morning, promise. 

#6: Read Together.
Whether it is at night as part of your bedtime ritual, or during the day, find time to read with your children everyday. We read stories every night before bed. We also like our reading tree. We take a blanket and a book outside and sit below our favorite tree and have reading time together. Great bonds are created when we sit down and read together. 

#7: Cook Double.
Dinner is one of the hardest times of the day. Everyone is tired, hungry and there is much to do. Simplify your meal prep so that you can spend more time with your family and there will be less stress. One way to do this is to cook double. Double your recipes, freeze, and save half for another night. It is worth finding a dinner plan that works for your family. Plan ahead, try to prepare, and simplify. It is not so much what you are putting in your mouth, but that you are doing together. 

#8: Plan a Fun Family Activity Every Week.
Friday nights are perfect for a family activity. They don’t have to be expensive. Family Volley is loaded with family activities, a new one is posted every Friday. Be creative. Check out what your communities and cities have to offer. Take a hike, play a game and make a homemade dessert. Anything together. I know a family that goes out every Saturday night together. The children take turns planning the activity. They are given a 5 dollar budget. They have been carrying out this tradition since their children were very small. The children have become so creative, most of the time they don’t even need the 5 dollars. These weekly activities give your families a chance to regroup, and reconnect. 

There is a great analogy that I like to use in class from Stephen Covey. 
Pretend that you are trying to cut down a tree. Next to you is someone else trying to do the same thing. You work and work and never take a break. Never the less, the person next to you finishes before you do. You question what they have done. 
“How is it you finished first? Especially when you took breaks every hour?”

The response, “I might have taken a break every hour, but what you didn’t see was that during each break I sharpened my saw.” 

We often think that our families will function better if we put our noses down and never take a break. That is not the case. We need to take a break and sharpen our saws. Take time to spend with our families, engaged in fun, interactive, meaningful activities. We will be more productive, and happier. 

These 8 suggestions will make a HUGE difference in your family. If we want to protect our families from the 24/7 world that is trying to take over, we must decide to make our home and families our fortress. We have to be intentional with our families time. Family time will not happen unless we make it happen. 

HOW DO YOU MAKE TIME FOR YOUR FAMILY TO BE TOGETHER?
ARE YOU GLAD THE KIDS ARE BACK IN SCHOOL?
Have a question or just want to say hello.

Back To School Ideas-Clothing Organization

back to school organization wm

We have been busy getting our house back in order after a crazy summer.  I needed to come up with some back to school ideas for organizing the kids and our new schedules.  I knew one area we needed to work on was our morning routine.  This year we decided to make a drawer for the younger kids to hold each of the school weeks outfits.  I know this is not a new concept, but we needed a better plan of action at our house this year.  Last year we tried hanging them in the closet…but that didn’t seem to work for us very long.  My kids seem to forget how to hang up their clothes for some reason.  Do your kids suffer from the same problem?  So this year I decided we need to have a spot in their dressers for their school week outfits. 

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My kids are really excited about this new method.  And I actually have hope that this one will stick.  We have been refilling the drawer when the kids put their laundry away for the week.  I have been helping them this first little while so that they can know what to do and what shirts and pants/shorts make a good combination.  This is really going to save me some headaches this year when dealing with a certain child’s dressing habits.  And hopefully it will save us some precious time in the early morning before school rush.   And in case you missed it, I also like to organize the kids home lunch routine that I shared last year.

What do you do at your house to beat the early morning chaos?

Establishing Back-to-School Routines

 

Hey guys…It’s Amy…still taking a little break and spending some time with my kids before school starts next week for us.  Becky from Clean Mama is back to share some great tips for getting back into a routine when the kids head back to school!  Thanks Becky!

Hi there Idea Room readers!  I’m Becky from the Clean Mama blog and I’m back today to share a little checklist with some ideas for a smooth transition from summer fun to back to school routines.  Even if your kids have already started back to school, the tips today are easy to implement any time.

 

I have five areas that I think will help organize your home, your child, and your school year.
1.  Set up a snack and lunch making center or spot in the kitchen-
       
*put lunch items in a container in the fridge and pantry
*make healthy snacks easily accessible to hungry kids – fruit, veggies, nuts, pretzels, cheese….
*put lunch making supplies (bags, lunch boxes, reusable containers) all in one place to alleviate searching
2.  Create an art work and school work collection spot – decide how you’ll save special artwork and schoolwork (binder with sleeves, boxes, scan to computer)
I’m using these boxes from The Container Store.
3.  Start or update a family binder or notebook-
*determine important sections: home-keeping, contacts, school info, contacts, bills, emergency info, etc.
(Shameless plug: my Etsy shop, Clean Mama Printables-is full of great documents to quickly create a Home-keeping binder – I even have a School Days Kit that’ll help get your year off to a great start)
4.  Create and/or Stock a Homework Station-
*stock up on supplies (now that everything is on sale)
*designate a quiet spot for homework – this can be as simple as the kitchen table and a basket with school supplies
This is a cute little station from The Container Store.
5.  Sort Through Clothes, Shoes, Outerwear-
*place outgrown clothing in boxes/bins
*donate clothing to friends, family, your favorite charity
*make a list of what your child/children need and watch for sales and coupons
Any ideas you’d like to share that help you get ready for the next school year?  We’d love to hear them in the comments section!
You can go here to grab a little School Days Checklist to make your transition a little easier this year!

international_delights_header_large_spring

 

Hey, In other news, I would love for you to come and join me, Amy Anderson (Mod Podge Rocks) and Jen (Tatertots and Jell-O) for a live chat tonight over in the Blog Frog’s International Delight Coffee Talk Community. What are you favorite beauty secrets? How do you stay looking young? And what products or recipes that you love and want to share? We’re talking all about beauty and how to maintain it TONIGHT, Thursday, August 18th at 9pm EST. Come join us!!!

 

To join us simply follow this link!

 

 

Cherokee Back to School Giveaway

cherokee Target 9 wm  cherokee Target 5 wm

This giveaway is now CLOSED!

‘Tis the season for freshly sharpened pencils, crisp clean notebook paper, perfect unbroken crayons, and new clothes.  Back to School is right around the corner and is a busy time for many parents as they get their children ready for another school year.  I have always loved this time of year as it means cooler weather, back to schedules, routines and a house that stays clean a few hours in a row!  This year, I have already started doing my school clothes shopping at one of my favorite stores…Target!  Which should come as no surprise to you as I mention it often.

target 2  target 1

Target carries a lot of great and stylish clothes for great prices.  With 5 kids to dress for heading back to school, the expense of new clothing adds up quickly.  So I have to be pretty picky and careful about what clothes I spend my money on.  The clothes need to last long enough for me to pass them from older to younger siblings and stay in style.  Target carries the Cherokee Brand from which I have found several items that my kids and I both like.  Sometimes that is hard to do.  The Cherokee Brand seems to hold up well especially with how rough kids can be on their clothing.

target 3  target

They have all sorts of clothing items to choose from.  We recently picked up some new socks, t-shirts, dress shirts, and jeans at Target from the Cherokee Brand.  Plus, you can’t beat their great prices.  Look at the cute Cherokee Brand clothes you can find in stores now.  And there are a lot more great choices and styles that I wasn’t able to show you.  You will have to stop by your local Target store to see all the Cherokee line has to offer.

cherokee Target 6 wm  cherokee Target 1 wm 

I also have an obsession with getting photos of my kids each year on their first day back to school.  It has been fun to look at them from past years to see just how much they have really grown.  I also love to see their smiling faces and pick out the subtle look of nervousness about meeting their new teachers and classmates.  I always try to get a picture of them walking to school.  I always go with them that first day and take pictures of them in their school and their classrooms.  The older they get, the less they appreciate it…I wonder why?  hehe!  But they always want to see the pictures when they get home that first day!

cherokee Target wm  cherokee Target 4 wm

Because many of you have kids that will be heading back to school and will need new clothes, I thought it would be fun to offer you an awesome giveaway.  Cherokee is sponsoring this post and will be giving ONE lucky Idea Room Reader a $100 gift certificate to Target!

{…so you can pick up some great Cherokee clothing for your kids of course!}

target gc

If you would like to be entered for a chance to win the $100 Target Gift Card, you must:

For additional entries you may:

1.   Enter an additional contest on the Cherokee USA FB page prize package includes a $1000 shopping spree from Cherokee and $300 smart phone from Cozi.

2.  Sign up for Cozi.com.

“Cozi is a  free online calendar designed especially for busy families. It’s a central family organizer the whole family can access from any computer or mobile device.  It helps busy families keep up with appointments and lists, coordinate home and work schedules and share favorite memories all in one place”.  Perfect for starting the school year off right and keeping track off all of the different activities and responsibilities back to school brings with it.

cozi

This giveaway will close on August 12, 2011 at 11:59 pm PT.

*This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cherokee. The opinions and text are all mine. Contest runs August 8-12, 2011.

Winner must be a fan of Cherokee USA on Facebook to win.

A random winner will be selected and will be given 48 hours to claim their prize before a new winner is chosen. 

The Idea Room would like to thanks the sponsors of this giveaway…Target, Cherokee, and Cozi.

target brand

cherokee

cozi     

Taming the Clutter

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Every year when the kids go back to school I get in the mood to ORGANIZE my home. I usually spend the first couple of weeks going through closets and cupboards and dejunkifying and taming the clutter. I actually find it very relaxing…I know…I have a sickness! (When I was growing up I used to rearrange my room by myself and deep clean it every few months…but I digress!)

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So one of the first things I tackled is this cupboard (in the kitchen) above the “business center” in our home. It houses our office supplies, electronic cords, mail, items to be filed (the file cabinet is actually upstairs in my “craft/office/computer” room), kids paints, play dough, etc. Do you see my calendar planner and notebooks on top of the drawers? Love those!

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I really like having these small drawers to hold the markers, crayons and colored pencils, etc. When the kids need them, they can just pull out the whole drawer and then (in theory…) replace the drawer when they are finished.

I also have a couple drawers dedicated to “cards”. These include thank you notes, blank note cards, birthday cards, get well cards, etc. That way I am always prepared for any occasion. You know those birthdays that sneak up on you. This way you LOOK like you were prepared all along and you don’t have to make a last minute dash to the store to get something.

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I also have a phone number list taped to the cupboard door. This includes phone numbers of people we call frequently and the kids friends. It also has emergency phone numbers so they are right at hand. This list also comes in handy when we have a babysitter over tending the children when the hubs and I have our “date nights”. We also tape up soccer schedules and important dates for the kids schools.

I love having everything in one place. It makes homework time a lot smoother because everything they need can be found quickly. (We usually do homework on the kitchen counter when the kids get home from school after they have a healthy snack).

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I have a few more organization projects I have been working on that I will share with you soon. I also have finally finished some home remodeling projects that are also on tap to share!

What about you? Have you been organizing something in your home? Do share! I love hearing what my readers are up to!

★Amy