As a working mum of three, I know – it isn’t easy to get everyone organised and back to school.

Getting all your “ducks in a row” and sorting all the gear associated with getting your kiddo’s back to school is stressful, and it can make us anxious, plus it can be costly. So here are some ideas that will help make things run smoother.

Get the Kids Involved

I know that you are finding things tough but so are your children. They might have a new teacher perhaps in a room in a different part of the school. Some might be starting school, starting at a new school, or away from their past peer group. That’s exciting but also a bit scary. So do any organising together with positivity and a dash of fun.

Start by introducing the idea that you will work together to get organised for school. Things like saying aloud what you are thinking or what steps you’re taking towards school prep help children get used to the idea and feel valued. Listening to their concerns, ideas, or desires might mean you become aware of unique issues that need to be considered. This could be as simple as, “This morning, we are going to try on your school shoes to check they still fit.” “Yes, I think it is great your friend Sally, and you want to wear rainbow laces, so along with any shoes we might buy today, we will get those too”.

Create Useful Spaces, Before You Start

We at Outside the Box are ready to help you reorganise your home and routines to make the school day more manageable. Contact us if you want a helping hand.

I find it valuable to keep our kids school items separate from their other clothes, shoes and accessories. So, take action now and think about a drop zone for school bags, newsletters/notes, dirty school clothes, where used lunchboxes go etc.

Get your child to role-play going to school and coming through the door after school whilst talking through where things should go. This will create spaces that work and help you both develop more straightforward routines. If you are unsure, choose the most practical option. It has to work for your family, not that “YouTuber” who thinks they know best.

Now let’s create a clear sorting space plus gather empty containers you already have to “shop from home” before you buy…

Assess What You Have

I know that nowadays parents feel pressured to buy everything new and yes, it can be easier to do, but it is a costly option – not to mention the negative cost to our environment. We both know, lots of things on that school list, you already have – sometimes new – in your home.

The bonus is that getting it all out will declutter your household stationery too. Don’t forget all that stuff the kids brought home at the end of last year, and you might even find unused or barely used exercise books. Not using stationery items that look perfect can be a valuable lesson for our children, but please do check that it is all in working order – yes, that means testing each pen – and if needed, this is also a great time to label each item too.

Categorise and Declutter As-You-Go

As you get out all that stationery, sort it into categories, e.g., coloured pencils, pens, folders. Use whatever tubs, boxes or spaces you have to keep them separate. This will make things easier later when you go through that school list.

You have got this!

Best wishes from our Outside the Box team to all the parents, carers, kids, support workers and teachers as they prepare for back-to-school.