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Making Room in Our Home for Back to School

Back to school is coming. Are you ready? Preparation isn’t just about school supplies — it’s about making room in the home for education.

Back to School Desk Square

When the desk arrived in our house, a hand-me-down from my parents, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. After more than two years living in the same petite townhouse, we’re quickly outgrowing the space. But the small, functional desk with the honey colored wood surface came to us with a purpose: to become the study spot for my son Will, who’s about to start middle school. Paige, my eight-year-old daughter, will use it too.

The desk sat in the same place for a few weeks, right next to the staircase, jutting out from the wall farther than the other furniture. Too far. In that high-traffic spot, it quickly gathered clutter. A few movies. Books. Papers that needed to be sorted. Magazines. Other things put down and forgotten.

We need a space for calm and quiet, where homework could be done efficiently. But with piling clutter, it was quickly becoming the opposite.

School’s coming. The house needs order. The desk couldn’t stay there.

At the same time, I didn’t know where else to put it.

I could remove a side table from beside the couch and create a corner nook, I guess. But that table holds a beloved lamp that was my grandmother’s. Or maybe the little table next to the front door needs to go, despite its usefulness as a spot for storing games and pictures. Or perhaps it’s time to temporarily move the ottoman, which serves as expansion seating when we have guests. Or the bookcases?

No, never the bookcases.

School’s coming. I needed to do something. The desk needed a home.

Finally, over the weekend, we moved seldom-used dress-up clothes to storage in the basement. A doll house found a new home. After a few shifts and adjustments, the desk slid into a perfect space on a different wall. It’s out of the way, but not crammed into a space. It just fits.

The desk isn’t quite ready for text books and math homework — we need to dig out a desk lamp, find a way to organize looseleaf and relocate necessary dictionaries to its surface — but it’s getting there. And so are we. It’s a slow march to the start of school, but we’re finally on our way.

Is your family getting ready for back to school? What’s the biggest back to school issue facing you right now?

Stay tune to SCB through the month of August for tips, advice and recipes to make back to school 2016 your family’s best ever.