So the summer holidays may well have only just started however the “Back to School “stuff is already in the shops and has been for a number of weeks now. I must admit this is a pet hate of mine however it pays to be organised. The guys at M&S have asked me to share with you my top #TipsandTricks when it comes to preparing for Back to School.
1. Get your uniforms sorted early
I have previously been caught out by not having bought Ben’s school trousers early enough and then struggled to find his size. Lesson learned. This year I checked all their uniform as the term ended, threw away things which were too tired / scruffy / small to make it through another school term (all of Ben’s t shirts went this way – although he had grown out of them they weren’t fit to pass on to anyone else as they were ruined with pen, suncream, beans and general boy wear and tear!) and put away anything that still fitted and was in good condition. I wrote a quick list of what we needed to replace and got it ordered early on in the holidays.
2. Label it all!
Once you’ve got all the uniform ordered it’s important to make sure you label it – don’t forget that the whole point of a uniform is that it is the same – a name label will make it a whole lot easier to keep hold of and save your child sniffing jumpers to see if it smells like theirs (Yes this honestly happens). I don’t personally bother with iron or sew on labels – they take too long and always come off in my experience. We use either tags or stickers these days, so much easier and worth the extra money in time saved. (When we were kids Mum used to spend ages sewing labels on our clothes – she used to buy labels which had our surname in the middle and our first names as either end “Colette Hallinan Nicola” so she only had to buy one set of labels each year and fold under the wrong name when she sewed them on! How did she have the time?! )
School mornings in our house can be heaven or hell and for the most part it comes down to the planning. I get all the uniforms out the night before and lay them out in their rooms so that there’s no excuses not to get dressed straight away when they wake up. This also means that I give myself fair warning if there’s some socks or a jumper missing! Oh and while we’re on the subject of things going missing – keep shoes and book bags in the same place, insist that they are put away properly the moment they walk through the door as there is nothing worse than hunting for a rogue shoe at 8.50am!
4. Check those book bags
I check in their book bags most nights, that way I can’t get caught out by only finding out about fancy dress the day before or not sending in trip money on time. Children rarely remember to give their parents the letters they’ve been given, even if they only put it in their book bag the moment before the walked out of the classroom door! Oh and if your school has a text system make sure they have the right mobile number! We get regular text updates about assemblies etc.
5. Make the most of school dinners!
I’m very lucky that at the moment both Ben and Chloe are entitled to free school dinners for under 7s – apart from saving me around £80 a month it also saves me the headache of packed lunches or remembering to take the money to school each week to pay for their dinners! Ben has always been on school dinners and loves them.
*Disclaimer – M&S are sending me a voucher as a thank you for writing this post*