Monday, 17 June 2013

Getting Organised With a very DISORGANISED Mum of Five Girls #1 School Tips

My husband would laugh so hard if he knew I was writing a weekly blog about being organised...but hey I wouldn't blame fact I admit to being the most disorganised person that I know. 

So here's to my weekly organisational tips...some that I currently already use...some that I plan to adopt....  Let's see where this organisation can take us!

Since it is a Monday morning and the rush out the door to school is still fresh on my mind I think I will start with school tips.....

Tip # 1...... Use a Weekly Planner.....

With 3 daughters in high school, 1 in primary school and 1 in preschool there is not a day that goes by that is not somebody's library day, news day, violin day, sports day...etc....etc... 

There is no way that I can commit all of this to my failing memory so I keep a Weekly Planner attached to the back of the front door.  This way I see it as we are leaving each morning, and provided that I can recall which day of the week it is, I can do a quick check that correct uniforms are on etc..

The weekly planner that I have is a whiteboard one and I use a non-permanent white board marker to write on it as sport days, news days etc... can often change each term.  It is also magnetic so if need be I can pop a last minute permission slip on there so that it can be grabbed on the way out the door.

Tip # 2...... Have a Central Location for School Bags, Hats etc.....

With 5 bags needing to be accounted for on school days it works best for me to have them all located in a central place.

I was lucky enough to come across this wonderful message centre complete with 5 chalkboards and 5 with 5 children it is perfect .  We have it hanging in our entrance way so that school bags are not left on the floor for mum to trip over repeatedly!!  Hats and library bags etc... can also be hung here so as not to be forgotten.

With the bonus of a small chalkboard per child this has also become a central communication area as well.  Generally at 3 pm I am  bombarded with "I need this...." and "By Friday I have to have...." and "I need money for ...."   Now I can pretty much guarantee that  I am going to forget 100% of this by the time I make it now the girls have a designated blackboard each and it is their responsibility to write up things that they may need for the week.  

So if Miss 15 needs to take materials for her tech project on Thursday she writes it up as soon as she finds out....if Miss 14 needs to make a payment for her Japanese trip she writes up the amount and the due date.... if Miss 12 needs fabric for sewing she writes this up.... if Miss 8 needs money for iceblock days this week she write what days....(ok Miss 4 generally just draws pictures but hey!!)....this way hubby and I can look at the boards, see who needs what and by when and we can save ourselves a lot of last minute running around.  And if it is not written up....then it won't be've been warned !!!!!

Tip # 3...... Plan Ahead with Lunches and Snacks.....

Each grocery shop I would buy up on lunch box snacks, hand a few out each day and keep the rest in the pantry.  Faster than expected the supplies would diminish ...seems little hands, and some not so little hands, would help themselves to the treats when I wasn't looking.  

With a tight budget to keep to I had to find a better way to store these items so I went out and purchased some small plastic tubs and labelled on for each of the girls....and one for hubby too.  So whenever I would get home with the grocery shopping I would immediately get the tubs and I would distribute all of the snacks accordingly.  

I keep the girls tubs up high (which may have been somewhat more dramatic when they were younger but now that Miss 15 is some 163 cm tall and towers over me I am sure that it has lost its dramatic effect....but there is still the scary mummy glare to keep them away from the tubs!!)   

Each morning I simply grab the girls tubs from the top of the cupboard, line them up on the table, and pop their lunches on top.  The girls know that the snacks have to last the week so if they go too hard too fast they then go hungry later in the week!

I have used this system for probably 5 years now and it really works well for me.  It saves me money because the snacks are not being consumed other than for school lunches and I can customise each of their tubs with the things that they like to help reduce the amount of food that doesn't get eaten at school! 

Now that the girls are getting older a sandwich doesn't always cut it for lunch.  I still keep a stash of vegemite sandwiches in the freezer for Miss 8 and Miss 4, and also for desperate weeks where everything is going wrong....better than starving I say.  I also keep some buttered bread in the freezer as well....then I can quickly turn this into a gourmet cucumber and cheese sandwich which is Miss 14's  lunch of preference at the moment.  I also chop up extra salad stuff each night and hide it away in the fridge so that in the morning I can perhaps add a little leftover dinner or dice up a bit of chicken or ham to add to it to make a reasonable lunch for Miss 15 who is adverse to the whole concept of sandwiches!

Tip # 4..... Have a Spare....

No matter how many times you asked everyone if they had everything, and even if you went through it item by item there will undoubtedly be at least one child that declares that they do not have their hat or their news item on arrival at the school gates.....

Now hubby may just think that I like a messy car.....but in actual fact if you overlook cleaning it out on a regular basis you will be sure to find something that will suffice for news that day once you dust off a few crumbs!!

And always keep a spare hat in the boot and some spare change in the centre console as well!

Tip # 5......Check, check and check again.....

I am forever asking the girls if they have everything ready for school the next day....and the response is always the same drawn out 'yyyeeeesss'.  Then inevitably the sun rises and their school shoe has gone missing, their tights are not where they left them, they just need their diary, their blazer is get the idea !!

So huge note to self here.....I must physically check that each child has everything that they need.....I must see it all laid out.....right down to the socks and undies!!  

I must get them to check their diary for the next day and I must see them pack their bags....

Seriously what seems like a pain in the butt each night will be a ray of sunshine each morning when things run a lot smoother.

So always check and double check..don't just ask!!

So there you have my  5 organisational tips for week 1......I hope that they were helpful in some way.

See you next week for some more tips!

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