After having spent fifteen years doing the yearly back to school preparations with our three boys, I will share with you some hints and tips I have learned along the way.
1. Write a list of everything you need for each child including uniforms and lunch boxes. Usually, booklists are organised through the school or Officeworks has a pick and pick up service online. Anything that saves you time, is your friend!
I mistakenly decided to do the booklist on my own one year, as I thought I could do it cheaper. Ahh nooo, it cost a lot more and it caused a lot of stress trying to find the right items on the list.
2. Label EVERYTHING! And I mean everything… even socks (you will be surprised what kids manage to lose). I have told our middle son that I am buying gps chips for his clothing this year because he is chief lost and found, especially school hats and jumpers. Our label maker has been a life saver for labelling books and stationery.
3. Bulk buy socks and undies. Again, you will thank me for this! We have had so many pairs of socks and undies go missing. I swear we have an underwear fairy in this house, who regularly takes one sock from every pair and a few pairs of undies a week. We recommend Bonds socks and undies. Great quality and their bulk buy packs are fantastic. At the moment, they have $8 sock packs and $10 undie packs. Bargain!
4. Get the kids back into a bedtime and sleep routine at least a week before school starts. Then you won’t have trouble getting them up to go to school. Plus kids need at least eight hours of sleep to function effectively at school.
5. Set up a routine timetable for school work, chores, out of school activities etc. Kids thrive on routines and it really does help when they get to high school.
6. Have designated spots for school bags and shoes. I bought a square cube storage unit off eBay to store the boys bags and shoes in. It had doors down the bottom for the shoes and the cubes above provided a great spot for their bags. Ikea has great storage solutions such as shoe units to help tidy near your front door. You can buy an array of decorative hooks to place near the front door or their bedroom doors for school bags. Below is a hanging rack from Ikea. The PS 2014 hanging rack is $19.95. We also love the coloured knobs, Eames style, coat hangers from Kmart for $6.
Below is a hanging rack from Ikea. The PS 2014 hanging rack is $19.95. We also love the coloured knobs, Eames style, coat hangers from Kmart for $6.
7. School lunches.
From day one, try and include a balanced variety of foods in your child’s lunch box. Unfortunately, the boys will only take a sandwich and snack, so it gets a bit boring making the same thing all the time.
Short hair means it is cooler for your child and easier to get rid of nits if they catch them. However, if your child has long hair, we recommend tying the child’s hair back and spraying with a leave on conditioner, hairspray or similar as nits don’t like hair product.
9. Eyes and teeth.
Now is a great time to get your children’s eyes and teeth checked. I usually book the boys in to see OPSM every couple of years in January and the dentist annually. Both are free. Both appointments are bulk billed via Medicare and covers children aged between 2 –17 years on any one day of the calendar year.
10. School uniforms
I usually buy at least three of everything. If you forget to do a load of washing for a day, you will thank me. Believe me, when my eldest was in primary school, I was working full-time out of the home and it was a regular occurrence!
Buy decent quality school clothing. Decent school wear doesn’t have to be expensive. After buying cheap polos and shorts from the major department stores and having to buy new items every few months due to piling, stains, stitching coming apart, the shape of the item stretching or going out of shape (especially shorts!) and colour fading I soon learned that replacing cheaper items works out to cost a lot more than quality items.
I cannot stress how much I love Stubbies school wear and they are reasonably priced for excellent quality. The last few years, I have bought the boys polos online from Stubbies and they have lasted the whole year and look just as good as when we bought them. Stubbies are having a sale at the moment, so you can get quality schoolwear under $20.
11. School shoes
School shoes are another item that can’t be scrimped on. Kids growing feet mean you need to be fitted properly for shoes. When the eldest was young, he would go through a pair of shoes from the cheap department stores in a month. Boys are incredibly rough on shoes!
In the end, we would go to the start of the year sales and buy runners from sports stores and they lasted all year. When he hit high school, we quickly learned the same thing, to buy decent quality shoes, like Clark’s school shoes, and they would last all year.
Speaking of Clark’s shoes, the latest styles available include The new Mighty Tuff Scuff-Free Shoe & a sporty Machine Washable style – all designed for busy parents who want their kids shoes to last. The shoes feature anti-scuff technology, scuff-free leather, toughest school shoe on the market, durable & tough to withstand wear & tear and features a natural technology, developed to eliminate odours & prevent bacterial and fungal growth.
The shoes feature anti-scuff technology, scuff-free leather, toughest school shoe on the market, durable & tough to withstand wear & tear and features a natural technology, developed to eliminate odours & prevent bacterial and fungal growth.
All you have to do to enter is fill out the form below. Entries are for Australian residents only. Competition closes at midnight Sunday the 25th January 2015. T&C’s below.
Terms and conditions: The Clarks giveaway is a game of skill and the most creative entry will be deemed the winner. The competition opens Friday 16th January 5PM EST and closes on Sunday 25th January at midnight EST. One entry per person. Australian entries only, sorry. There two pairs of Clarks Daytona school shoes to be won, with a total value of over $250. Winner will be notified via email. All entries will be signed up to our newsletter upon entry, if you do not wish to sign up to our newsletter please let us know via email. Good luck!