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9 Projects for Mom to try during the school year

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Dust off these hobbies when your kids return to class

Back to school feels different as a mom, doesn't it?

Dust off these hobbies when your kids return to class

Photo credit: WiffleGif.com

In fact, all my mommy friends talk about it as "back to freedom" more than "back to school." Now that your house is a little quieter and a little calmer, consider picking up one of these nine projects to celebrate.

1. Create a shoe organizer

Dust off these hobbies when your kids return to class

Photo credit: Emily Henderson

What is a key indicator that your children have gone back to school? No more little shoes clogging up your entryway. Now that a dozen tiny shoes aren't messing with your zen, take the opportunity to build an entryway shoe organizer, like this one by Emily Henderson.

2. Clean the baseboards

If baseboards were living and breathing, their feelings would be seriously hurt from all the neglect. Now that your kids aren't around to further abuse the baseboards, bring out a few cleaning supplies and get the job done. Start by dusting the baseboards with a clean paintbrush, and then scrub with a towel and a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Use a Q-tip to remove grunge from the corners, and your walls will sing.

3. Pick up embroidery

Dust off these hobbies when your kids return to class

Photo credit: Pinterest

A few weeks ago, I went to an art class and we did embroidery — and, you guys, it was seriously relaxing. Before you get overwhelmed with embroidering an entire set of cloth napkins, start with these cute embroidery badges that are perfect for a beginner.

4. Trim back overgrown shrubs

Summertime shrub growth is a disaster waiting to happen to your house. When shrubs are less than three inches away from your home's exterior walls, you're at increased risk of a termite infestation. Use your downtime to trim back the extra growth.

5. Plant a potted herb garden

Dust off these hobbies when your kids return to class

Speaking of shrubs and gardening, fall is the perfect time to plant a miniature herb garden. To make the job easy, you can purchase an herb garden planter, like this tiered one that uses space wisely. (Home Depot, $17)

6. Start a blog

We know you have things to say, so say them. Between cute kid stories, anecdotal wisdom and your savvy design sense, you'll have more than enough material to start your own blog.

7. Paint with acrylics

OK, acrylic paints are a little messy, but I love them because you just can't mess them up. Enjoy pseudo-therapy by blobbing rich and vibrant acrylic colors onto your canvas and swirling around to create something beautiful. The best part? There are no rules.

8. Finally print your digital photos

If you're anything like me, all those amazing family memories are perpetually stored on your smartphone, and will likely never escape. It doesn't have to be this way. If you're overwhelmed by the idea of printing all your photos, just head over to Shutterfly to upload your images and turn them into a photo book with one click.

9. Let your mind unwind with Pinterest

And wine. Don't forget the wine. After all, mom, you deserve a little time to yourself.

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