THE summer holidays are almost over, and while we're sure most parents are jumping for joy at the prospect, the sudden realisation that you have to get ready for yet another school year sinks in.
Fortunately, professional organiser and mum, Vicky Silverthorn has shared eight easy ways to get you back to school ready with ease.
Getting your kids ready to go back to school can seem overwhelming. It will feel less daunting if you include some simple prep into the days running up to it.
Prep days provide excellent headspace. Setting aside time to get organised is essential. No one wants to start back on the first day of school without having done any prep or only half achieved it.
Keep the list minimal. I don’t call these ‘To Do’ lists instead I call them ‘Action’ lists – it seems less scary.
Sounds a bit posh and executive doesn’t it? Yes, most decluttering and professional organisers use one for a reason – you can lay your eyes on things in seconds.
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But labels don’t mean your home has to be Insta-ready. They just help you get organised. Stick one on a basket of food stuff with “lunch box food” on it. Then you know it’s out of bounds for daily snacks (and the kids know that too). And no, the packets don’t need to be lined up and facing forward either. As a professional organiser even I don’t have time to do that.
Dymo is the first name when it comes to labels and they have different ones to suit all budgets.
First up have a good clear out of your children’s clothes. Declutter what no longer fits. Getting their wardrobes straight will be a big help. So you know what you need. Don’t add to clutter. Get out of summer mode. Be ruthless you’re not going on holiday again until next year. Work on the premise of giving yourself and your kids fewer options.
This is important for mums too. Know your school run outfits and keep them to one side in your wardrobe so you can grab and go too.
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My mantra is – keep it simple. What makes my time efficient is having a uniform sorted for each day of the week. Multi-packs are so good and reasonably priced. Buying now means you’re not running around in the middle of winter the night before school doing a pricy midweek wash because of uniform stains that day.
Get school clothes in a location where your children can find them easily and also get dressed independently. We want this for our kids – right? For my daughter, I set aside a section on a chest of drawers. She knows where they are so she can get herself dressed in the mornings. If they’re up high or out of reach it’s not going to be helpful.
I’m going to repeat it again: I recommend bulk-buying kids' uniform sets! Primark sells a pack of three for £9.
My motto when it comes to labelling clothes, bags, lunchboxes and water bottles is “stamp stamp, stamp.”
I don’t own an iron and I don’t sew. Long gone are the days when us mums need to spend hours ironing or evenings sewing on name tags.
Order a personalised name stamp to help keep track of your kids’ clothes. It’s like a Sharpie pen and works on everything from socks to the bottom of water bottles. They arrive quickly so you won’t miss out before term time. Check out someone close to you or this range
Washable and long lasting – I love Stamptastics range.
Label lunch boxes and drinks bottles and make sure you have all you need. Multibuy your kids’ favourites. As for labelling stamp or label.
My Dymo label maker has paid for itself over the years I’ve been a professional organiser. Are cupboards stocked and tidy for lunchbox filling? You want to ensure mornings go smoothly in the home because getting out of the house is never easy!
School can come with paperwork whether it’s clubs, admin, trips or anything else. Lever arch files and hanging files? It’s a no from me. When it comes to child life admin it’s time-efficient to have raw storage spaces. A set of drawers clearly labelled “school memberships and clubs” “health stuff” and school admin”. Keep on track by keeping the most recent paperwork on top.
Another tip from me is to put the school stuff in the drawer on top. That way those forms you need to sign on a regular basis get dealt with first. Try the IKEA one for £35 which will pay for itself catering for your child’s school and social life.
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KID CLOTHES ZONES
When it comes to coats and bags I operate a grab-and-go motto. Keep the area near the front door, hallway or cupboard under the stairs super simple. Think like you’re a little person in school. Keep the pegs for coats and storage area for bags and shoes at their height.
Keep it simple so the kids can store their things themselves and get them when it’s time to go. I use a cube from IKEA shut the drawer and it’s done. An alternative is a unit that closes that can be found in any high street store.
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