It may still be summertime but kids in Florida are going back to school. This is both an exciting time and a stressful time for families – especially families with both parents working – or single parent households. 

Mornings
Getting kids out the door on time with food in their bellies, backpacks and completed homework is extremely stressful. Especially those first few days of school as kids are used to sleeping in! And don’t forget about “girl” hair. You will know what I mean if you have girls in middle or high school!

For those building or selling new homes – do your houses ease the routine or add to the stress? How do your kitchens perform for families on the go? I love the idea of the messy kitchen – a small alcove off the main kitchen where mom and dad can get fortified with coffee and kids get fueled with toast, bagels, pop tarts, whatever they will eat without whining. 

Help families stay organized with a drop zone in the family foyer (garage entrance to the home). Here the bags, backpacks, sweaters and cell phone can all be lined up and ready to go. Does your drop zone have enough plugs for the entire family? 

Afternoons
If the mornings aren’t stressful enough, the chaos only builds in the afternoon. Coming home should be a relief. However, when you’re tired and hungry and trying to make dinner before a riot ensues, it can make work feel like therapy. Wouldn’t a second refrigerator be great? One that keeps the drinks and snacks out of the food prep work zone. Perhaps a separate beverage center with a small drink refrigerator for juice boxes. When the kids have grown and flown the nest, you can reward yourself by converting it into an adult beverage center like the one in the NEXTadventure Home… Something to look forward to!

Back to the task at hand, once snack time is over, homework amnesia tends to set in. You ask, “What did you do at school today?” You get the typical “Nothing” response. “Do you have any homework?”  “No.” The next day you find out they had a test that they forgot to study for. “Well, technically it’s not homework, Mom”. Whatever! This is where a pocket office adjacent to the kitchen is ideal! You can prepare the evening meal and keep kids in the corner of your eye to make sure they do their homework AND study with minimal distractions! MasterCraft Builder Group integrated a clever office nook just off the kitchen. No pocket office? An oversized island works great too, like the Firethorn by Sabal Homes. Now mom or dad can answer a math question or two – wait that’s not our job!

Which do you feel is the more stressful of the two? Morning or Afternoon?

When it comes down to it: A great deal of the competition for new homes are existing ones. Paint a picture of all the great time-saving features that new homes have to offer. Hopefully, buyers will begin to see that their current homes or apartments are simply inconvenient. The chaos won't go away with a new home, but if you can minimize the stress on families heading back to school and communicate that value to them, you just might sell them on it!