Back to School Organising Series

I have great plans for you in 2014, however I’m going to treat the beginning of the year a little different.  Whilst I like to make goals, reassess and make changes to what wasn’t working for me last year, I don’t usually start this on the typical 1st day of the year.  For me my year starts when the kids go back to school, February.  This is when I can start to clear my mind, sit back and breathe a little easier.

December is always a rush with Christmas, early January is a great time to spend with the family, then it’s time to start preparing the kids for school.  So during January I will share with you all my Back to School tips, then come February we will let the fun begin, making it your year to shine, make changes and organise!

I hope you enjoy the Back to School Series, use the ideas I share and adapt them to suit your home and kids!  Please share with me in the comments below what areas on Back to School would you like to see discussed in the series?

Back to School FB Header

 Also, I wanted to thank you for your patience, unfortunately my shops maintenance is taking a little longer than expected and will be closed for a few more day.

what areas on Back to School would you like to see discussed in the series?



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Leann January 1, 2014 - 7:23 AM

Lunchbox ideas – I always struggle there 🙂

Katrina January 1, 2014 - 10:45 AM

Great topic Leann, I’ll definitely cover this one for you!

Cara Jonkers January 1, 2014 - 7:27 AM

I would like to set up a “lunch box” station so that my 6 yr old son can make his own lunch for school. Any ideas would be great.

Miss Maudy January 2, 2014 - 2:10 PM

I make all the sandwiches for a week at a time, and muffins if I have time – they go into the freezer. Kids lunch boxes sit on top of the freezer. They grab lunch box, sandwich, fruit from the fruit bowl, snack (muffins or home made biscuits) and a drink. Takes them two minutes because everything is close at hand.

However, I am upgrading my kitchen this year and not going to have the same layout, so not sure how it’s going to work come March!

Elita Hooper January 1, 2014 - 7:51 AM

Lunchbox ideas for a fussy eater pls

PlanetSchnooks January 1, 2014 - 7:51 AM

I would love to some ideas on what to pack for lunch!

Maryanne January 1, 2014 - 8:18 AM

Vegetarian lunch box idea. With so many schools being nut free it’s hard for those that are vegetarian to include variety of protein since it’s normally done via nuts. And healthy only please. No relying on store bought items.

Also would be great to have ideas on different types of lunchboxes. We use Tupperware lunchboxes. The ones divided into sections but they are no good if you have wraps or leftover pizza. So ways the lunches can be packed to last and that are compact and not messy.

Rachel January 24, 2014 - 5:19 PM

Just wanted to share an idea. Have you considered cutting the wraps/ left over pizza to fit. Bite size/ finger food style?

Kristie January 1, 2014 - 8:41 AM

My eldest is going to school for the first time, so just knowing all the things I need to have ready will be handy.

Yvette January 1, 2014 - 8:42 AM

The logistics of getting three children and myself (looking respectable, no trackies or pjs) out of the door by 8:30am, and only having an hour and a half to do so.

Jade Buhck January 1, 2014 - 8:46 AM

Highly recommend the routine charts! Both my 2 have used them since Kindy! Great to get them into before they start prep!

Margaret Hillier January 1, 2014 - 9:09 AM

Hi Kat & family, I am way past having to worry about school lunches, I just want to wish you & yours a wonderful 2014 and to thank you for helping me declutter my home.Each day I clean & tidy at least one drawer or cupboard, you have been a great inspiration. Thank you.

Tricia Greig January 1, 2014 - 9:28 AM

both my kids are in new schools this year, yr 1 and first year high school. I have new uniforms to buy, and an iPad too! Im looking forward to your gentle reminders of daily chores, to keep my mind off my impending cash crash.
I’ve really enjoyed waking up to your blog every morning, over the past year, I tend to follow your cleaning tips the day after but it gets done.
have a glorious January with your family, I love the holidays, no rush, no lunchbox fuss, just hanging around with my kids.

Kathryn Leslie January 1, 2014 - 9:30 AM

My daughter starts high school this year – any tips for helping her organise her study area, set up a homework/study routine etc would be most welcome.

sally January 1, 2014 - 9:44 AM

Thanks for being so great at what you do!!!. I have 4 kids and three of them with autism. You have helped me to be more organised over the past year and our christmas was well organised. I think that being organised for school with as much visual aides as possible is super important, one of my boys is starting kinda this year so the visual countdown is already on…..thanks sal

Melanie January 1, 2014 - 10:17 AM

This time last year Kat I had only just found you a few months prior and I spent my Christmas holidays reading heaps of your blogs on various ideas and organisational tips! I bought a couple of your downloadables, and set up a homework station for my four kids. It was wonderful! I am naturally just disorganised. I was finding it difficult to function at work knowing my household was not in good order. So thank you so much for help. I am definitely on my way to being well organised. I just need to work on morning and afternoon teas. I have these good ideas and but various things for snack foods but then I just forget them. So this year I’m going to write the snack items down & then the children will know what’s available. Any ideas for this? Thanks so much for all your help in the last 12 months – you have impacted my and my family’s life for good!

Jo January 1, 2014 - 10:17 AM

I have 3 boys in years 2, 6 & 9 this year, and would love some tips and ideas on how to manage the never-ending pile of school notes that get sent home…some are for events up to a month in advance. Thanks 🙂

Katrina January 1, 2014 - 10:44 AM

I’m sure you have your hands full there Jo! I have some ideas for you which will hopefully help, I’ll share them next week on the blog.

Janine Mumma D Daly January 1, 2014 - 1:33 PM

that was what I was going to say Jo, we have 6 at school grades, 1,3,5,7,9&10 and they bring home a note every other day 🙂 I can never keep up

Andrea January 1, 2014 - 11:35 AM

I love to see discussed great and easy to use/open lunchboxes and containers, etc… Whilst some containers/lunchboxes look great, they can be difficult for little ones to open, etc…

Shaz January 2, 2014 - 9:53 AM

I like this idea as well

Nic January 2, 2014 - 5:54 PM

I’d like to know where you can get that silver lunch box in the picture?

Terri January 3, 2014 - 2:27 PM

The silver box is a planet box. I am not sure where you can buy them in Australia but they might tell you on the website. I think it is planet My oldest daughter has been using hers for 3 years now and it is still in perfect condition. They are a little expensive but worth the money as you don’t have to replace them every year. They are also easy for little ones to open and come with 2 containers, an insulated bag and fun magnets that go on the front of the box.

kate @ livinglovinglaughing January 6, 2014 - 8:58 PM

Biome just started selling them but i did the math and its actually $10 cheaper to order them from planetbox in the USA!! this is my dream lunchbox for my kids… stainless steel, lots of compartments, etc – now to convince the hubby 😉 wish me luck haha

Donna Jones January 1, 2014 - 7:05 PM

My daughter is heading to school for the first time so it’s all new to me. Looking forward to reading some of your tips and going over some of your old posts 🙂

Kaz January 1, 2014 - 7:15 PM

how to organise their extra-curriculum items, so that Mum is happy with their rooms being tidy, but kids are happy because they can find things… I’m talking cricket gear, guitar, swimming, ballet, etc!

Rennie January 1, 2014 - 7:39 PM

I created a box under the bed called “sport” box. Any sport they do can be found in the box and when they have finished with it, they are to put it back in the “sport” box. So much easier with their sporting uniforms too. Doesnt get jumbled with normal clothes wearing.

Sallyp January 2, 2014 - 6:24 AM

Each ‘sport has its own bag, even just a supermarket one, and everything goes back into it. They just need to grab the right bag each time we head out. Luckily we have some shelves in the laundry that they all sit on, and as items get washed like bathers, they get put straight back into their bag. Nothing gets ‘lost’ in their rooms.

Yvonne January 3, 2014 - 11:09 AM

I do the same thing Sally. The bags live in my son’s bedroom and he grabs and goes! I was talking to a girlfriend before Christmas and she was was saying her girls had turned up to swimming without bathers as they hadn’t got them out of the drawer. She asked how I did it with working full time and a busy child – the system works much easier for me.

Rachel January 24, 2014 - 5:02 PM

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I’m doing this, this year for sure!

Sharon Young January 1, 2014 - 8:38 PM

Ooh. I always find it hard to think of exciting lunchbox ideas for my daughter. Especially nut free ideas,

Edith Twaddell January 1, 2014 - 9:19 PM

I was wondering the pros and cons between getting a newsagent/office shop to fill out the kids book list or doing it yourself and where are the best deals for kids stationary. Thanks heaps

Sallyp January 2, 2014 - 6:21 AM

I once owned a news agency, and found that parents loved the fact that I only sold them what they needed, and not huge packs. One parent attempted to do it by them selves and instead of the $70 that the list was with me, he spent $120 and spent a lot of time going from store to store.
I would say have a good look at the list and cross off things that you already have then trust the retailer to do the rest. Some of the cheaper brands (from a teachers perspective), are poor quality and do not last the year. I feel it is always nice for the children to have the stationery, so that they are not worried about brands etc.

Rachel January 24, 2014 - 5:00 PM

I agree! Having seen 3 step children through High School and still having my youngest 3 in school I find it is worth the time saving and impulse spending avoid. Buying some extras of the basics for the children/ home office and gifts while back to school sales are on is also well worth considering.

Monique January 2, 2014 - 9:25 PM

In 2014 I will have one child in Year 10 and three children starting Year 7!!! I would appreciate any ideas, charts etc on how to set up homework schedule/s especially on those days when they’ll all be needing or wanting my time to assist them. This may include some weekend time for those bigger assessment tasks. I’m a bit stressed about how I’m going to divide my time between the 4 of them!!! Their dad works rotating rosters so he may or may not be home to assist. Thanks in advance Kat for any tips or ideas etc.

Raachel January 24, 2014 - 4:57 PM

Yes please! Great idea!

Leesa Massey January 3, 2014 - 11:50 AM

I would love reviews on lunch boxes and which ones are the best. There is soooo many too choose from and with my first going off to school this year I would really love some help in this area.

Katrina January 3, 2014 - 12:19 PM

Hi Leesa

I will write up a post next week all about this 🙂

Leesa Massey January 3, 2014 - 5:28 PM

Excellent!! Looking forward to it!

Rachel January 24, 2014 - 4:54 PM

Whatever you choose I must recommend:
* Lids which stay attached to main container make life much easier, no lost lids or lid hunting/ storing hassles.
* Easy/ simple to clean and store.
* I love the “smash” brand sandwich containers, they stack and store well, and are also useful for household storage when retired from food use.
* keep it interchangeable with multiples of same easy to stack and store style, rather then buying based on cuteness alone.
*colour coding for individuals is helpful. We have Green for me, Pink for youngest Daughter, Blue for Son, Purple for Teen Daughter. The children had a say in what colour they got.
* Label EVERYTHING. Just using the Family name can save time and $$$. Permanent marker is the budget friendly option which is fast, simple and effective.
I would also love to see a review of different styles/ options.

Terri January 3, 2014 - 2:33 PM

I need ideas on what to do with all of the pictures and art work my girls bring home. How do you decide what to keep or throw out and how do you store the stuff you are keeping?

Jo January 4, 2014 - 9:21 AM

I had a similar dilema and have tried (for the 1st time) taking a photo of everything and creating a photo book of the years art work (some are huge and 3D and projects etc). We have only kept a few special (and flat) items, but still have a great memory,

Madeline January 4, 2014 - 9:23 AM

I am a first time school mummy this year… My little boy is going off to prep at the end of jan… So I need to know EVERYTHING!! lol… any advice on starting off on the right foot 🙂

Katrina January 8, 2014 - 6:59 AM

Hopefully you will enjoy the tips I have to share Madeline, and start the school year beautifully organised x

mammak January 4, 2014 - 9:36 AM

I would also love to hear about the lunchboxes. I am loving bento boxes at the moment, but don’t really know where to start.

Bubbles74 January 4, 2014 - 11:59 PM

Nut free, gluten free, dairy free lunches with plenty of protein & vegetables. No prepackaged food, no gluten free bread (still looking for a good recipe the kids will eat).

Renee Simpson January 6, 2014 - 8:51 AM

Lunch box ideas and how to keep track of all the paper work/ paintings etc that come home from school.

Cathy January 6, 2014 - 4:50 PM

Hi – one idea that I love with my two boys is from –
Its a really simple and effective solution. I bought them one box each from office works and by having one “file” per school year, I can keep school reports, photos, awards, some paintings/drawings and anything else that is significant to them. Then at the end of their school life everything is in one handy tidy location. Beautiful…..

Rachel January 24, 2014 - 4:43 PM

Quick tip, buy an art display folder A3 these are great for artwork storage. For “Bulk” of art from Pre-school onwards I find photographing the art then gifting or binning it (with sensitivity to children’s feelings) helps me keep track in an ordered fashion. Always name and date ASAP.

Renee Simpson January 6, 2014 - 8:58 AM

Lunch box weekly planner. Ideas and recipes of healthy lunchbox ideas for the week, especially recipes that are freezable

Katrina January 6, 2014 - 5:13 PM

I love freezing our food Renee, you will love all the ideas I will share soon I am sure!

Rebecca January 7, 2014 - 1:51 PM

About School in general – not necessarily ‘back to school’ – I’d love to hear ideas from you and other mums about how you ‘organise’ or store all your children’s keepsakes from school eg. their special artworks, school books etc.


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