Tidying for high school

There was a day last week when I was crossing the Target parking lot that I could sense the coming of Fall. I certainly couldn't feel the coming of Fall -- it really doesn't work that way along the Gulf Coast of Texas. But there is a quality of light, a certain slant of gold, that takes my mind directly to yellow pencils and fresh notebooks. I'm uncertain just how many more high school physics projects I can emotionally withstand, but new school supplies will always signal hope and happiness. School supplies are evergreen.

I'm doing my best to channel every good back-to-school feeling I can muster into Parker's room. It needs a major clean out. He grew about 27 sizes this summer, which means that very little of the size 10-12 clothing currently stuffed into his drawers and closet still fits him. Like seven things. Even the khaki pants I bought him at the Gap three and a half weeks ago are borderline too short. I'm beginning to worry that tomorrow I'll find a grown, bearded man sprawled across his lower bunk. My girls didn't do this. They grew predictably. Their growth was gradual. This boy-growing seems to be of a different order.

Also concerning --  Parker's room hasn't changed one bit since we moved into this house when he was FOUR YEARS OLD. The super cute dinosaur quilt from The Company Store? Yep, it's still there (and it has held up great!). I realize this is a fluffy, inconsequential, first-world problem. But dino bedding for a high schooler? That's the stuff therapy sessions are made of.

 I'm all about keeping it real here at N&L. Behold the 'before.'

I'm all about keeping it real here at N&L. Behold the 'before.'

About six months ago I read Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. There have been synopses of this book ALL over the Internet, so I won't bore you with a lengthy recap. Suffice it to say that Kondo recommends a hefty purge, keeping only those possessions that "spark joy." I employed this method on my own closet and can report that her techniques really are life-changing! My closet is ALWAYS tidy, and has been for six months now. Turns out that if you don't have much stuff, then that stuff requires very little upkeep. I hope to help Parker learn to tidy up. I casually mentioned spending an hour a day for the next few days getting his belongings in order. He gritted his teeth a bit at the edict, but found the hour passed quickly, and then he was off to hang out with other lanky, quickly-growing friends. Yesterday we sorted clothes. Today we move to legos. Tomorrow? The dino bedding is retired in a silent ceremony.

What about you? How do you get ready for the new school year?