While summer is not yet over, it’s never too early to start thinking about back to school. This time of the year can be very stressful and last minute because we are all caught up in our final summer plans. Here are a few reminders to help you get ready for back to school efficiently this year:
Plan before you shop: Take a look through clothes and school supplies that the kids got for the previous school year. Chances are that some of the clothes still fit and some of the supplies are in good shape. This way, you spend less money buying new things that your children might not need just yet.
Organize paperwork: Before the much awaited first day of school, make sure you look through paperwork for activities and classes. This way, you will know exactly what they need to bring with them, such as those dreaded “signature required” or “class fee” papers. Additionally, after the first day, make sure to look over all of the handouts they will get during the first week. These will keep you up to date on when things are due and what to expect from each class.
Schedule health appointments: It is easier to bring the kids to their annual doctor, dentist, orthodontist, etc. appointments before they start the school year. The school year brings on sports and extracurricular activities that are going to interfere with scheduling. Pulling the kids out of school mid-day for an appointment can also be a pain.
Coordinate carpool and bus schedules: Carpooling with the neighbors this year? Create a set schedule that makes it easier for everyone to remember who is driving the kids that day. If your children take a bus to school, double check the time it will arrive and make sure the bus stop is still in the same place as last year!
Plan groceries: Nothing is worse than pouring the kids some cereal in the morning and realizing you are out of milk. Make a list each week to plan breakfast, packed lunches, and dinner options. Although it may take a couple of weeks to get it right, this is a great way to save time and money during the busy school year!
With more than 50 years of experience in homebuilding, Miller & Smith has created over 500 distinctive floorplans for homes in its communities in the Maryland, Virginia and Delaware area. Averaging 2-3 different home designs per community, the award-winning homebuilder offers flexible and customizable features that are uniquely designed to meet the varying demands of today’s homebuyers. Such designs and custom features are the direct result of extensive research and product development.
While development can span several months or even years, Miller & Smith averages approximately 6,000 hours of total research, planning and designing per product prior to construction. Besides conducting surveys, focus groups and competitor visits, Miller & Smith also organizes field visits as part of the research process. Most recently, five design teams were sent to Toronto, Charleston, Austin, Denver and Richmond to focus on inspirational design and innovative features from other markets. In the past, team members also visited Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Seattle and Atlanta. Here’s just a few things they came back with:
1. Open Concept Floorplans – Homebuyers are hungry for open, airy layouts and spacious floorplans. Great rooms adjacent to large kitchens are the design of choice nowadays. A connection to a patio, deck, or screened porch earns homebuyer bonus points, as everyone wants seamless indoor/outdoor living.
2. Chef-Style Kitchens – Granite and quartz are considered standard in many of today’s kitchens and attention to detail is particularly important in offerings, for example a unique kitchen island with several functions and styles. Stainless steel appliances are another must-have at every price range.
3. Hardwood – Hardwood flooring throughout the home is a huge selling point for today’s buyer, especially on the main level of the home.
4. Outdoor Room – Regardless of the location, homebuyers want to utilize outdoor living space for entertaining and enjoyment. You don’t have to live in California to have a beautiful outdoor patio, deck or kitchen!
5. Connectivity – “Internet of Things” is the latest buzzword in new home technology as home automation is on the rise. It makes a “smart home” within reach of most consumers.
From detail-specific island essentials to wireless home automation, every nook in a Miller & Smith home is backed by focused design and research.