Back to School with Beckett

Home Hacks to Prepare for School Days Ahead

As a livable luxury expert, I am constantly on the lookout for practical ways to make your luxurious home more livable, kid friendly and of course – pet friendly. Here are a few tricks to help stay organized when your kiddos head back to school!

Beckett Perkinson
Director of Livable Luxury

Water Bottles



Water bottles. Your kids are forever leaving them at the field. You somehow always lose a top or straw, and they are a complete mess in the cabinet because you probably have over 5,000. One game-changing and inexpensive hack we learned from our friends at the HOME EDIT is to use these narrow plastic bins from the Container Store to keep them organized. Available in multiple sizes, these bins upgraded our deep cabinet from a chaotic mess that looked like wreckage from a tornado to a neatly organized lineup of wattle bottles always ready to take the field for battle. This also forced my owners to dispose or donate the other 4,085 bottles they were not actually using.

Bread Storage

Almost time to start packing those lunches!  Has your bread ever been smushed in the pantry by an overzealous peanut butter jar? Has your Labrador Retriever ever eaten an entire loaf of bread because it was stored too low in the pantry? Or has your bread ever molded because it was hidden in the back of the pantry, and you forgot about it?  Here is a simple hack to keep bread fresh and intact. These hanging baskets from Amazon attach to your pantry shelves, ensuring the sandwiches you pack for school are easy to locate, in tip-top shape, and marked safe from heavier food items in the pantry.

Organize Kids Shoes in Style

While there are a lot of options for shoe bins – we personally love these stylish whitewashed rattan storage bins from the Container Store for any mudroom.  In theory, the open bin is the easiest storage solution for children as they can simply drop their shoes in when they come in from playing outside. However, we are all aware that, in reality, this never happens. You will most certainly have to remind them 100 times to “PUT YOUR SHOES IN THE BIN!”  While I have no parenting advice on that – at least the bins are pretty! There are many more options at the Container Store, which conveniently has a location in Short Pump.

Dog Safety Heading Back to School

Finally, I would like to give an important reminder to all families as you pack snacks and lunches for school with your furry friends at your feet.  According to the Humane Society, the following foods can be very dangerous and should not be fed to dogs:

  • Alcoholic beverages (which I learned are actually not allowed in school entirely)
  • Apple seeds 
  • Apricot pits 
  • Avocados
  • Cherry pits
  • Candy (particularly chocolate—which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets—and any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol) 
  • Chives
  • Coffee (grounds, beans, and chocolate-covered espresso beans)
  • Garlic
  • Grapes 
  • Gum (can cause blockages, and sugar-free gums may contain the toxic sweetener Xylitol)
  • Hops (used in home beer brewing) 
  • Macadamia nuts 
  • Moldy foods 
  • Mushroom plants 
  • Mustard seeds 
  • Onions, onion powder, and onion flakes 
  • Peach pits 
  • Potato leaves and stems (green parts) 
  • Raisins 
  • Rhubarb leaves 
  • Salt 
  • Tea (because it contains caffeine) 
  • Tomato leaves and stems (green parts) 
  • Walnuts 
  • Xylitol (an artificial sweetener that is toxic to pets)
  • Yeast dough


Wishing everyone the best of luck in the new school year!  KIDS: DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Teachers know DOGS DO NOT EAT HOMEWORK –  they only eat stinky shoes that aren’t put away in bins and water bottle straws.

-Beckett Perkinson

Livable Luxury Expert

Perkinson Homes

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