Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Florida Home

It’s hard to believe that the unofficial end of summer is here as kids prepare to head back to school in Florida! Whether they’re just starting school for the first time or they’re entering their final year of high school, it’s important for your student to have a space at home that creates an environment for academic success. Keeping your children focused on homework and studying, while also staying organized during this exciting time of year is crucial for your children’s routine, as well as your sanity!

From built-in areas to DIY stations, creating an organized, central place for all things “school” in your Lakeland home is easier than you think. Here are a few of our best tips:

Drop Zones

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Backpacks, lunch boxes, sports equipment, oh my! Back-to-school time means tons of extra “things” that always need to be handy. However, if they are not compiled properly, they can appear to multiply and take over a living room, bedroom or office!

A solution for this common problem is the drop zone, a space that is included in several home designs available in our Lakeland new home communities. A drop zone, typically located near the entrance of your home, is a space designed specifically for dropping off backpacks, lunchboxes, jackets, shoes, keys, mail, sports equipment and other odds and ends before they find themselves scattered throughout your home.

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Find these organizational dream spaces in our Shelby, Parker, Skylar II, Tristen II, Savannah and Wayfair plans. You can even see the drop zone in person when you visit our decorated model homes at Towne Park Estates II showcasing the Serendipity and Oleander III plans!

If your home doesn’t have a built-in drop zone, you can create one of your own! Add hooks near the entrance your family comes in, and then add a bench with bins underneath or purchase a cubed storage organizer for additional space. Each family member can have their own hook and cubes or bins so they always know where their items are!

Command Center

Staying organized is crucial to your peace-of-mind, especially when juggling multiple kids’ school, sports and extracurricular schedules. That’s why a command center, which is built around a family calendar or message board, is the perfect solution to staying on-track and on-schedule!

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Select the perfect central location in your home that is easily accessible to all family members – whether that be a room used as a home office, empty wall space by the entrance to your garage, or even the upstairs loft – and then start customizing. Use chalkboard paint to create your own calendar or message board, or add a dry-erase calendar or cork board to keep important dates and memos in plain sight. Add hanging file folders or stackable document trays to organize important papers, and even consider posting chore lists, daily task reminders, weekly menus and more, so everyone in your home is on the same page.

Homework Station

Perhaps the most important space for your child is the homework station, a well-designed space that fosters productivity and good grades. Creating a designated space and time for homework helps to set expectations, avoid distractions and prevent procrastination. According to the US Department of Education, setting up the right environment for homework includes finding a fairly quiet location with good lighting, turning off the TV, discouraging phone calls during homework time, and providing the right resources, including supplies, books, and computer access.

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A homework area can be a simple space or as elaborate as an entire room. For the simpler version, find a space in your home that is quiet and distraction-free, such as the corner of a bedroom, a nook in an upstairs loft, or even consider converting a closet into a pocket office. Alternatively, if you live in one of our Lakeland homes with a drop zone, you can convert the built-in desk into a homework station.

The ultimate solution is to turn a spare room into a study room. Before setting up the space, think about who is going to use it. Will the space be just for the children or a home office for the adults as well? The room can satisfy a variety of needs by ensuring proper planning ahead of time. You can incorporate smaller workstations for children, add an adult-sized desk, incorporate plenty of organizational and storage features, or even include a cozy reading corner for everyone!

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You’ll find bonus rooms that can be customized into your dream work station in our Wayfair, Tristen II, Savannah, Williamson II, and the Windemere with Loft. You can see both a loft and flex space in the Willow II with Loft model at Highlands Grace or a den at the Serendipity model at Towne Park Estates II.

No matter which space you choose to use as a homework area, make sure you incorporate these important elements and tips:

  • Have all necessary supplies within arm’s reach to prevent distractions
  • Computer access (with appropriate security measures or monitoring in place)
  • Organization solutions for loose paper and supplies, including shelves, drawers, file boxes, caddies and canisters
  • A trash can for easy cleanup
  • Supportive and comfortable seating
  • Additional table or counter space for larger projects
  • Keep televisions and other electronics out of the area
  • Make sure the lighting is appropriate and comfortable
  • Have a set study time each day so homework becomes a regular habit

Check out our back-to-school Pinterest board for more organizational inspiration, examples of work stations and more.

At Highland Homes, we are proud to offer homes for sale in Lakeland, FL at three fabulous communities! Featuring single-family homes priced from the $180’s, these communities offer a wide selection of home plans ranging from 1,878 to 3,315 square feet of living space with three to six bedrooms, up to three-and-a-half bathrooms and two- or three-car garages. Homes feature both single- and two-story living options with features designed for your life, including open living areas, modern kitchens, flexible rooms, drop zones and outdoor living spaces.

For more information about Highland Homes and our Lakeland-area communities, contact our Lakeland New Home Specialists by calling 863-859-1429 or visit us online!