I’m not naturally an organised person, so I need all the hacks and tools available to get me there, because I do like being organised.
For me, having the house in order is my basic starting point, although it never seems to be that way! But at the end of the holidays is always a good time to reset the space.
TIP 1. HAVE A SORT OUT DAY
Plan in a day of sorting stuff out. Empty last years school bags (and discover mouldy things that may once have been some sort of fruit, along with letters to parents from 6 months ago).
Clear the the messy drawer, so you can start afresh. Get rid of the clutter collected over the break.
TIP 2. PUT IT ON PAPER - (IN A CALENDAR)
Clubs, music lessons. birthday parties, PE days, fairs and other events are going to be happening again soon. I need to have it ALL written down, or we forget.
I use our large A3 5-column Family Planner - with a column for each of us, to get a good bird's-eye view of the month. And that way everyone can see for themselves what is happening on which day. (Muuuummmmmmm, what are we doing tomorrow…. Check the calendar!)
TIP 3. MEAL PLAN
Small people need feeding, every day, for many years. A clear error in the human design. Anyways, without a plan, for me, it's guilt-meals all round. But I do love a healthy diet.
I designed the Fridge Magnet Meal Planner - which lives on our fridge, where I plan the meals for the week ahead. That way, kids can see what they’re having for dinner each day and we know what to buy and cook when (and who’s cooking), without using too much brain power.
TIP 4. (RE-)SET ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
This time of year it's always good to remind everyone of the daily routines and what everyone’s responsibilities are.
The kids are all a year older, so a good time to consider how else they can contribute to the household. I have referred to this list in the past to see what’s appropriate (it’s an American one).
Our kids have to empty the dishwasher each morning, for example, which over the holidays has been hit and miss with the thing running at different times of day and kids at sleepovers etc. So I am sure they’ll be delighted to be reminded of it!
TIP 5. CREATE MICRO ROUTINES
I like to write out the small routines expected throughout the day, especially for my younger daughter. When it’s written down and we’ve discussed it, the expectations are clear for her.
The before school morning routine, which includes making the bed and preparing a packed lunch.
The after school routine, which includes emptying lunch boxes, homework and putting shoes away (ha, that one has never actually happened!).
The bedtime routine includes a 10-minute-tidy-up, teeth, charging phones, laundry in the machine etc.
Hopefully, these tips help you start the school year with minimal unnecessary stress!