Keeping Back to School Supplies Organised


All the back to school items can get rather unorganised and out of control…. only if you let it.  I have a plan of attack right from the get go.  I start planning early, which gives me enough time to purchase everything I need and either spend a full day labelling and covering or an hour here and there during January.  Below is how I keep everything organised and tidy.

Keeping Back to School Chaos Organised!

Gather a storage basket for each child.

{The Organised Housewife} Back to School Supply Organising 3

I like to keep it in a central location (in my kitchen/dining area) so I can simply label something if I have a spare few minutes, talking on the phone, waiting for the kettle to boil or dinner to simmer.

{The Organised Housewife} Back to School Supply Organising 4

Next I add in everything that the kids brought home from school last year and can be reused this year.  I also add into the basket, uniforms and school bags to be labelled (but for privacy I have left these out of the photo).

{The Organised Housewife} Back to School Supply Organising 5

{The Organised Housewife} Back to School Supply Organising

Then I will print the booklist and place into each basket.  I will then go through the booklist and purchase all remaining items needed.  When the kids were younger I purchased their school supplies from the school’s preferred book supplier.  This order usually has to be placed in November, at which point I don’t know how many extra books, binders or other supplies the kids have left over.  Ordering unnecessary items is a waste of money and adds up when you have 3 children.  This year I will gather everything from OfficeWorks or the department stores such as KMart or BigW.   I have compared prices over the years and I don’t find the book supplier to be any cheaper, it’s just a bonus to have them mail it all to me.

When I bring the supplies home I will split up the purchase into the correct basket.

Then there’s the fun part of labelling and covering, which will all be discussed in another blog post!

Product Stockists:  White Storage Baskets

You may also like


Melva January 7, 2014 - 6:59 AM

I love this way of doing the book lists ! Why do I insanely do it all at once ? It takes me a whole day doing 4 lists, even with the children helping.. I’m getting some baskets and doing it in my spare time

jaye January 7, 2014 - 7:40 AM

These baskets look great 🙂 I have to do lists and shopping today so I think I may add two baskets to my list for organisation too 🙂 Thank you.

julie January 7, 2014 - 7:50 AM

I usually hand my booklist in to the newsagent but this time thought I would do it myself. My 2 children had heaps of items leftover. So I saved money for a start. I took my eldest with me and left the youngest home with dad. This was also a bonding time with mother and daughter as my eldest… same age as yours… thought this was a very grown up task. Who would have thought a chore for me was a bonding time for her.

Sasha January 7, 2014 - 7:56 AM

Hi Kat, fabulous ideas and will definitely add baskets to my list also. Just wondering however if you have thought about, considered or even know about ez covers. I am not affliliated with them in any way, however I came upon them last year and purchased their covers for my childrens books and found them to be FANTASTIC! Not only reusable and super quick, they are much better for the environment than contact which gets one life cycle and you will be amazed at how easy they are to use. Just thought they were worth a mention. I know I will be using them again this year. Thanks x Sasha

Ellen January 8, 2014 - 2:50 AM

I didn’t read down far enough Sasha! LOL just did a bang up sales pitch for EZCover 🙂

Joy January 7, 2014 - 8:30 AM

I am thinking we had the same idea…… Our school sends out a list prior to christmas so the kids got school supplies from santa and they went into the baskets to be ready for labels and school. I also copied the list and stuck it to the front of the basket and highlighted each item as it went in and it was clear what we had left to purchase.

Katrina January 7, 2014 - 10:47 AM

love the idea of highlighting what goes in Joy!! Very organised a girl after my own heart x

natmardon January 7, 2014 - 9:02 AM

Great idea! I did one year of not buying the bookpack and will never do it again though!! I found I couldn’t find things I needed, but then maybe I was not organised enough doing the shopping early enough! Love this idea though, at the moment, ours are kinda just all over the place!

Katrina January 7, 2014 - 10:44 AM

Grab some storage containers or baskets now Nat so it doesn’t get too out of control!

Sue January 7, 2014 - 2:46 PM

At our kids school, they all do what is know as ‘Headstart’. For the first two weeks in December they ‘go up’ to the next year level. eg. if your were in Yr8 for 2013 you would commence Yr9 at the start of December. Therefor all our school books for the following year are all sorted in November. I must admit it is easier as you are still in ‘school mode’ rather than ‘holiday mode’. I agree with Kat and don’t order stationary items through the booklist – just text books (more for 7 – 12 levels). We keep a 28L crate in the linen cupboard and put any excess item in this over the year. Prior to purchasing anything we check the crate to see what could be used. The kids will also go to this crate to get things like glue sticks and biros throughout the year too. As for pencils, textas, pencil cases etc, these are given as christmas pressies or the kids can go shopping at smiggle and get a few fun extras. We always buy our kids quality items such as ‘Derwent’ pencils and teach the kids to ‘be responsible and look after them’. They are so much nicer to use rather than the 99 cent packet and the kids are still using the same packet after 5 or more years.

Jodie Turley January 7, 2014 - 3:04 PM

FYI – Officeworks will match any school book price list. You can leave your list with them and they will collect for you and then call you to pick it up. You can cross off what you don’t need from left over items from the past year too. Oh and where did you get your baskets from Kat?

Em Hart January 7, 2014 - 6:13 PM

My kids school is using “School Stuff”this year and it is fabulous. We no longer need to have the list in by November to be filled and mailed out in January. Now it is a matter of going to the School Stuff website whenever you want and ordering. It is then sent out in 3-10 days. I have found their products fantastic and I could order whenever I wanted 🙂

Joanne January 7, 2014 - 6:37 PM

I bought all of my sons stationery at the newsagent and it worked out $20 cheaper than the schools recommended suppliers ‘early bird special’ 😀

Carlene January 7, 2014 - 8:51 PM

Those baskets look great – where did you get them from? Such a good size 🙂

Ellen January 8, 2014 - 2:47 AM

I am feeling clever because I have all of the Stationery sorted – by week 3 of holidays yeah me! I wanted to let everyone know about a great product that our school is using and it becomes a small fundraiser. makes reuseable covers in 3 sizes and they have EVERY Australian school already in their data base. If you nominate your school when ordering they will donate 5c per cover to your school – when the School’s total donation reaches multiples of $100, they forward it to the school – it rolls over from year to year. If your school actually contacts them about fundraising they will send you a newsletter/e-mail insert that has a code included which, when entered with your order, doubles the donation amount to 10c per cover. I have ordered my 15 covers (A4 and Scrapbook) @$1.20 and will only have to use sticky stuff to cover two text books – Whoot! The covers even come with 12 name labels per order 🙂 I hope this info will save some of you the ordeal of covering that I have been through before. E


Leave a Comment