How to make back to school a whole lot less painful

back to school

 

Back to school can really be quite painful, can’t it?  The daily lunch boxes, the need for a strict routine, making sure uniforms are clean, managing the thousand pieces of paper that come home, trying to stay on top of everything… did I mention the daily lunch boxes?

 

I really sucked at the whole ‘school Mum’ thing last year. I think I was too busy resisting the whole thing, instead of pulling myself together and getting organised. I wrote a post at the end of last year about all the things I learnt after the first year of school – you can read it here. 

 

This year I vowed to pull my act together so the whole thing would feel a little less painful.   You can either watch the video below or read on for the five things that I’m doing to be a bit more organised.

 

 

Buy the GOOD lunch boxes

There is nothing worse than having to scrounge around your tupperware drawer every morning for forty weeks of the year. Cursing your lack of organisational ability to put lids back where they go every day isn’t good for your self esteem either. Pay the $40 for the lunch boxes with separate sections and you’ll only have to keep track of one thing all year.

 

Create a command centre in your home

Despite the fact that it has the most cringe-worthy name, a command centre where you organise everything you need to keep your life running smoothly, is a god-send.  

 

Ours includes:

+ a large blackboard for meal-planning and keeping track of all the things that happen each week.

+ a pin-board to hold a couple of months worth of calendars to write when bills are due, social events, and Andrew’s shift work roster.

+ two clipboards to hold school notes and bills

+ a basket to hide alllllllll the bags and things. Eg. school bags, lunch bags, banking bags, swimming bags, library bags, hats, goggles, and other various items that I inevitably want to hide at some point but don’t want to have to think about finding a place for at that very moment.

 

 

back to school tips

 

Create routines for you

Last year I fought the routine big time. I think in a way I resented that our carefree do-what-we-want-when-we-want days were interrupted so much by the need to be at school at 8.50am and 2.50am on the dot.

This year though I’ve got routines and days set for certain things so I don’t feel like I’m chasing my tail all year long.

The main ones for us are:

+ washing on Sundays and Wednesdays (obviously I end up washing on other days as well, but these days are a must to make sure there are always clean uniforms)

+ doing a big food shop on a Sunday and a top up fresh shop on Thursday = no last minute dash to the local store for lunchbox items

 

Create routines for your kids

It makes life so much easier if your kids can get in each morning and get themselves organised so you don’t have to do the mad quick-get-your-shoes-on-where-is-your-hat-what-about-your-drink-bottle-dance just before you race out the door.

Eamon’s current routines at age 5:

+ before he can play of a morning he needs to have had brekky and gotten dressed (including socks because they’re always a nightmare to find!)

+ after school he needs to get changed (uniform in washing pile), unpack his lunchbox and put the freezer block back in the freezer.

+ two mornings a week he unpacks the dishwasher in return for a small amount of pocket money (not strictly school related but helps in the general scheme of getting everyone out the door in the morning).

 

Meal plan

Meal planning is something I have a love / hate relationship with. I love how much money we save and that we don’t waste food when I do it, but I hate the actual process of it.

I’m trying to learn to love it this year because it’s a goal of mine to be a bit smarter with our money, and so far so good! I’ve been working on four different weekly plans so that I can just recycle them each month throughout the year. I’ll share them once they’re working well!

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