Monday, January 24

Stationery! My tips and something to win!

Now you may think the only stationery you're going to need this year is for the kids.  Yes, well most schools do distribute a stationery list and then if you have older kids they'll be begging you for the latest, coolest, 'everyone's got' bits of stationery.

I found myself buying a lot more stationery last year.   Permanent markers to label, whiteboard markers to practice writing with Eloise... then pens, where do all the pens go?  And envelopes.  Oh my the envelopes - permissions slips this, fundraising that.  Lots of envelopes. Lastly I bought clear plastic A4 envelopes because they are brilliant to put all the notes that come home from school in.  I got Eloise in a routine of emptying her bag each day and all the notes went in there. I never lost notes thank goodness. The other thing I'd recommend is a highlighter.  Highlight dates things are due back, money required etc on notes... helps so much.

We haven't even embarked on covering books yet!

So I'm organised this year - not only have I bought all the kids' stationery, labels etc but I've bought pens, envelopes, markers and my trusty plastic envelopes (they only cost $1 or so from the supermarket).

And Pilot are giving away a back to school kit for three lucky Frills in the Hills readers!

Each kit valued at $50  and includes:

  • 4 x of the new Pilot B2P (Bottle to Pen) pens - these are made from recycled plastic drinking bottles!
  • 1 x Pilot BegreeN clean eraser
  • 2 x Pilot BegreeN Rexgrip ballpoint - I love the grippy ones
  • 2 x Pilot BegreeN G-Knock retractable pen with the grippy bit!
  • 1 x Pilot BegreeN Spotlifter Dual in Pink/Yellow - double ended highlighter
  • 1 x Pilot BegreeN White line correction tape - messy liquid paper is a thing of the past!
  • 3 x Pilot Frixion erasable pens (btw you can win an iPad with Frixion over at the Pilot Facebook page at the moment!)
(the items from the BegreeN range are made with at least 70% recycled materials too!)

Now to enter:
I want to hear YOUR tips.   How  you stay organised for school - lunches, notes, homework, uniforms, getting out the door without having a nervous breakdown (I need those ones)

Leave a comment here with your entry - 1 entry per person please!
Extra entry if you use that fabulous new little Facebook Share button up the top of the post!
Entries close midnight 4th February and open to those with Australian postal addresses.
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34 lovely comments:

Nic on January 24, 2011 at 2:46 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Okay my tips.

* Pack bags the night before, keep at the front door.
* Lay out clothes in the lounge so they can get dressed as they are eating breakfast.
*Quick shower on the way to bed the night before so they are all clean, and no rush in the morning.
* Once a month, bake and freeze various muffins, slices etc and I usually pack lunches while I am buttering toast and making breakfasts ! :-)

Quentaris said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

First off, buy extra lunchboxes and drink bottles - one will always go missing when you are already running late. And make sure they are labelled!!!School shoes have their own shoe rack at the front door and they are not allowed to wear them after school or on weekends - and if they lose them, point out that their little sister's bright pink sandals will fit them in a 'lost school shoes'
School hats get attached to their bags with a peg as soon as they get home, and their bags are not allowed anywhere else but the bag hooks on the back of the door.
And most importantly - don't give them too much time to be ready in the morning - the more time they have the more likely they are to dawdle and be running late - set alarms - breakfast and dressed by x time, lunches made and bags packed by y time and teeth and hair brushed and out the door by z time.
And remember to keep your sense of humour - you are going to need it ;-)

Marcia said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

All school library books must be placed in a magazine rack that is just for school library books.
One of our kids just finished primary school and we've never misplaced a book yet!

I have an "intray" for notices etc.
This worked perfectly until my son hit year 7. His school bag then seemed to refuse to give them up....

I also keep a draw full of extra stationary eg white out, glue stick, lead pencils, black fine liners and red/blue/balck pens.
It will never cease to amaze me how many can be given away to another child.
My son is a very thoughtful, but it gets very expensive!

I also have a spare lunchbox incase anyone forgets to bring theirs home.

Caz (The Truth About Mummy) on January 24, 2011 at 3:08 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Fill in school notices as soon as they come home and always put them straight back in the school bag. That way you know there done! Trust me they come thick and fast!

Kristie on January 24, 2011 at 4:32 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Ok, so I am not skilled at this yet (first year school!), but I have just spent the day making a visual check list for us to mark off all the things she needs to do before we leave the house. Including brushing hair, making bed, packing lunch box etc. It's got pictures to make it easy to work out. Will laminate it so that we can reuse it, and stick it on the fridge. I've also got a big organiser calendar to write everything on, and the My Schools Kids Organiser to keep everything neat and tidy.. hopefully this will all help!

lolliegirl on January 24, 2011 at 4:43 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

*Make and freeze a week's worth of sandwiches on the weekend.

*Make and freeze enough snacks for the week.

*In the morning all you need to do is grab a sandwich and a snack (muffin/slice etc)out of the freezer and add fresh fruit and what ever else you need for the lunchbox and you're ready.

*Get as much as you can get done the night before.

*Get the kids involved in preparing their lunches/bags etc. They'll soon get the hang of it and it will be one less thing you need to organise.

mummy_chelle on January 24, 2011 at 5:08 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Not the most organised person at the moment but have two tips to share. I HATE nagging with a passion so my 5 year old daughter has a few schedules to keep her on track (a weekly one, one for getting dressed, one for packing her bag for pre-primary and one for everything she needs to do before school). Then I just give time reminders to keep her on track. Not my problem if she goes in her pjs then ;).

The water bottle half filled and frozen before topping up on the morning it is needed is a great way to get her to drink (she loves cold water) and if you pop the bottle in it's own insulated cozy (I sew) it stays cold for most of the day.

That's the best i can do...

Keren said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

With 4 kids in 3 different schools I need to keep track.They have their own file in the filing cabinet for school letters/notices so I can go back to check information. School trips noted straightaway on the calender, permission slip signed and put in envelope with details on front and due date.
The younger 2 have check lists on their bedroom doors to check of before school musts and then one on the fridge for school bag musts. For the girls I have several containers in different bathrooms of spare bobbi pins and elastics. Library books and homework books and equipment have their own drawers in a cabinet. Lunches are done the night before along with uniforms.

Danielle on January 24, 2011 at 8:20 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I keep a ringbinder folder with Jan-Dec dividers and I file all notes, newsletters, parent portion of permission slips under the relevant month. Notes are signed and put straight back into school bag when received. We are lucky to have an organized school who issue a calendar each term with all events already marked which us extremely handy. Check what days are allocated as sports vs regular uniform as this will dictate the number of each uniform piece you need to buy. Always buy spare socks as they go missing often. We have a dedicated bookshelf for library books from school and local library so they are easy to find. I also keep a list on my IPhone of upcoming events that need me to source/buy something (eg yellow shirt for rainbow week). And here's a good one, any birthday invite we receive from school I plug the parents and child's name into my contacts with phone number which a) builds up a handy list of contacts for school parents 2) if invite is subsequently lost I can contact the parent to get details again 3) it helps me to remember parents names instead of just knowing them as 'William's mum' and is there for future reference. Cheers! Danielle Pfitzner

Candice on January 24, 2011 at 10:46 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Well Im loving everybody idea's as Im a first timer this year as well (but only 3yr olds and only once a week). He doesn't start until next week but I will definately be having his clothes out and ready to go the night before and make sure his lunch is made and in the fridge ready to go as well.
Thank you for the above tips - I will have to check back and see what other mums have posted because this info is gold!!!!

Anonymous said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

OK, so I start off organised at the beginning of the year, and slowly lose my ability to do my 'easy fixes'!!!
I always make and freeze an assortment of sandwiches for the week, so my son doesn't get bored with the same sandwiches everday, and then hopefully they're a little more palatable by the time lunch comes around.

I also bake goodies for the lunch box also, and freeze them too.

I pack the lunch box the night before usually, and put in the fridge, so it's a 'grab and go' lunch, which works for us.

I usually set the microwave timer for different tasks, like getting dressed etc so taht he knows he has to hurry, otherwise he fiddles around for AGES!

we still end up leaving the house just in time to make the bell, but it's still a less stressful existance having at least a little organisation :)

Sharon Fawcett said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

We have a laminated check list on the door which has on it:
*Drink bottle
*Lunch box
*Reader bag
and a picture of each item. Before the kids walk out the door they can check their own bags and make sure they have each item on the list.
The pictures are good for the littlies before they can read.

Lovely Lassy on January 25, 2011 at 10:38 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I leve everything and totally panic at the last minute.....oh wait......thats not a tip is it?

Chrissy on January 25, 2011 at 1:58 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I started buying things last year, for me money is tight and I knew if I left it to the last minute there would be a major panic. So the bags, lunch boxes, uniforms...... are all bought.

I have a large freezer and have started making lunch and snack foods in bulk then freezing - muffins, cupcakes, quiches, mini pies. Then the night before school I pack the lunchbox - I just place the frozen food inside.

I make sure uniforms are washed and ironed the night before, and I even place his cereal in his bowl.......... I also set the alarm clock 10 mins early as it usually takes him that long to drag himself out of bed

Jasmine1485 on January 26, 2011 at 10:01 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I have a slightly different perspective on this, because I don't have any kids and it's ME who's going back to school (uni) shortly :)

My best tips are to have a particular spot (I have a big basket) to keep all of your school bits and pieces, every time you get home you put everything there and that way you always know where it is.

Secondly, I always pack my books and make my lunch the night before (mostly this is because I want as much sleep as possible!) so all I have to do in the morning is grab it and go.

Another great tip is to have WAY too many pens and pencils - if you have a conservative amount you'll always find yourself short at some point, either by losing them or the ink running out.

Finally, (and I think this is as important for kids as it is for me) give yourself something to look forward to - pack something fun in the lunch, like a frozen popper or vegies cut into cool shapes, or for a parent, even a note for your child. :) The morning goes a bit better if you have something nice to think about until lunch :P

Kate1485 at

Jasmine1485 on January 26, 2011 at 10:02 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I also shared it on Facebook:

Kate1485 at

Leesa on January 27, 2011 at 10:59 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

My tots aren't at school level yet but go to daycare.

I pretty much do the same as most others. Make lunches the night before. Make sure clothes are ironed ready to go. Bag packed etc etc

I pack little notes in the lunch box that the carer reads to them. Whether it be Mummy loves you and is thinking of you, or Mummy is so proud of you being such a good girl Or when Mummy picks you up she has a special surprise for you :))

di-a-tribe on January 28, 2011 at 10:32 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

My tips:

Have a checklist near the door. Things like "Water bottle, lunch, crunch and sip, library books"

Also have a timetable for things that need to be happening. eg: Library: tuesday. After school care: Mon-Wed-Fri. Drama: Thursday. Sport: Friday - pack shoes. Lunch order: Friday. That kind of thing

It is really easy to miss things without this.

And make your KIDS responsible for these things right from the very start of school. They will try to avoid it, but it is a good thing for them to have the list and know they are responsible for packing their own bags.

And make em give you their lunchboxes as soon as they finish school for the day. Sunday night discoveries are NOT fun.

Kim on January 28, 2011 at 10:43 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

The best thing I did last year was a laminated list on the fridge for what to pack each day. That way library day, reader day, and the day homework was due was never forgotten! It means Mr 7 can start taking responsibility for his own bag, and I won't forget things now that my youngest is starting, there will be one each!

I also make treats in bulk and freeze for recess (mostly your recipes Liss, making scrolls, finger buns and cookies today!)

I love the ringbinder idea from Danielle, I think I'll adopt that one!

Cheers, Kim.

Helen said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Loving reading new ideas--

I agree with Caz, notes are always filled in and put straight back into the school bag for the next day. Even better pop them into lunchboxes to make remembering to give them to the teacher easier for your little one (and easier for you to find if they forget!)

Also, think of some 'jobs' your kids can do if you are not quite ready to go and they are all dressed. I find this especially great as a working mum as I get them ready first and then do a 5 minute dash getting my own clothes, shoes and make-up in place.. These jobs will keep them busy and get rid of the battle that will ensue if you let them watch TV for 5 minutes before you try to drag them away. Jobs can be making their bed, or even your bed, checking the cats/dogs or even chickens have water/food, taking dirty washing to the laundry, watering a plant (or two) etc etc. My eldest has just turned 7 and he loves to help, and if he involves his nearly 3 yr old sister it keeps her out of trouble as well, and THAT is always a win!


House of Dust and Fur on January 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Some great tips here! Last year I went away for 10 days and before I left I wrote up lists for both hubby and daughter. Kitchen list is a list of sandwich fillings, other lunch options as well as snack ideas. My daughters lists - one for getting dressed (which days are sports uniform) and another list covering library day, homework day and after school care days. The lists save me from having to remember it all:)

kerrie on January 31, 2011 at 10:58 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

1. Routine-the most important for homework, reading and lunches
2. Dont do too much for your kids, make them organise themselves.
3. Dont stress its not very hard

JennyB on January 31, 2011 at 2:14 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

My last one has just left school and is about to start uni. From experience, tough love works well...

~ Kill the morning TV. Hide the remote. Secretly flick the circuit breaker if necessary.

~ Walk them through the morning routine for a fortnight or two then tell them it's up to them. If they can learn a foreign language and maths - they can learn to pack their bag.

~ If they won't get up, dress themselves promptly or eat breakfast, they get hauled to school in PJ's. Believe me, it only happens once and sets them up for taking responsibility and developing independent skills!

rebecca on January 31, 2011 at 3:15 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Do as much as you can the night before. 10 minutes in the evening is easier than 10 minutes in the morning.

Di on January 31, 2011 at 5:03 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I get everything labelled, organised, LOCATED and ready in the days leading up to my son going back to Occasional Care. I also have back up drink bottles and hats because we lose them all the time!
I start thinking about what fruit Im going to use and get all the containers ready, ie, find the matching lids. That's the most stressful part for me, never being able to find a lid that fits on a container!

DD on January 31, 2011 at 6:25 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Do everything the night before, from making lunches, to showering & everything in between. This way in the morning all you have to do is wake up, eat brekky & you're all off!!

Diana on January 31, 2011 at 6:27 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

DELEGATE! You're not a machine & can't be expected to do & remember everything. Set a schedule, write down who does what, when, how & how often, so nothing can fall through the cracks & everyone pitches in, and I mean everyone who lives under the roof, Dad, ALL the kids, Nan & even Auntie Jan when she crashes on the couch (with or without her hangover!).

Ernie on January 31, 2011 at 6:30 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Marry well like I did! My wife is ridiculously organised, structured & pretty much perfect. She's very old fashioned (like a typical 50's wife...which is a rare, but an incredible find in today's society). Call me lazy, no not at all, I'm the breadwinner & my domestic Goddess does the rest. And to perfection too.

Kym on February 1, 2011 at 9:20 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

With my daughter attending family day care I use a simple laminnated checklist. I have it typed up all the things that need to go in her bag and then it is attached to her bag and it is a matter of simply going through the list before we walk out the door :)

Julie C said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Prepare early -
- have extra name tags done adn be ready to replace them if they fall off .
- have a dedicated drawer for school items - T-shirts / shorts socks / hats / jumpers.
- have spare / back up items ie stationary/ plently of clothes / socks/ lunch box/ drink bottles - it's amazing what will get lost in all the excitement of the new school year, first days back.
-I label my sons items with name and my moblie number and the word "Kindy" at least if it ends up in the lost property box it should be easier to find, when you do an occassional check for anything missing.
-Remember to charge the camera for lots of first day pics.

Meagan on February 3, 2011 at 11:40 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I always enter into my calendar when permission slips are due, which is on my fridge along with a clip holding any permission slips. I pack lunches and water bottles the night before put them in the fridge. Lay out clothes, pack bag with any requirements such as hats, notes, money. Get up early in the morning so we have plenty of time to get fed and dressed which is always good because we use the extra time to hang out together!

SARA on February 3, 2011 at 4:09 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Pack as much as you can the night before...

We do the lead by example thing and pack along with the littlies before dinner.
Even if i'm going to be home the next day i pack my lunch into a container at the same time they do and pick out an outfit just like they do. Saves a heap of stress in the mornings and is a great way to spend time together after a hectic day too!

nic-1103 on February 4, 2011 at 3:44 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Wow its been great to read everyone suggests. I do a lot of bits a pieces that others do too! My eldest is starting 4yr old kinder which she is very excited about! We have made a special kinder clothes drawer so she still gets to pick her outfit but from clothes I have deemed "kinder appropriate"! On kinder days we have already explained there is no tv and that there are things she will need to do to help out! Thanks for all the tips and goodluck to everyone now that the school/kinder year is underway, may it be organised and stress free!

piccolanippy on February 5, 2011 at 12:01 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Freeze a water bottle with water and put a tea towel around it for them to have at school in their bag for after doing sports or being out in the sun, it will be nice and icy for them


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