Back-to-School Tips to Help You Get Organised and Save
Education| By Amy Vagne | October 21, 2020
From getting organised early to outsourcing back-to-school shopping lists, these tips will prep you for the new year. Plus, some will even help you save money.
Time flies. One minute the summer holidays are just starting and the next thing you know, it’s back to school and you’re frantically fitting shoes and searching for sports uniforms. Save your sanity, as well as time and money, by getting organised early for the new school year. This guide is full of life-changing – and wallet-friendly – tips and tricks.
Use the Officeworks School List Service
Back-to-school shopping for school supplies doesn’t have to burn a hole in your hip pocket. In good news, Officeworks has enhanced its School List Service to make it more efficient, with full transparency of your savings. Right now, you can utilise this amazing service and outsource your back-to-school shopping to a team of clever experts who will gather everything on your list, or substitute with budget-friendly finds, before packaging it up ready for you to click and collect.
It's easy: jump online and upload your list. You’ll receive an estimate highlighting your savings and giving you an opportunity to edit and add to the basket before placing your order – or print it out and shop instore. Get in early and save and you'll have peace of mind that the kids’ school stuff is all sorted before Santa comes to town.
Get Smart About Storage
Nip mess and stress in the bud before the school year starts. The secret is setting up smart storage options and making sure your children know exactly where to place their hats, bags and library books as soon as they walk in the door. A cube bookshelf makes for a pretty great school station – use labels to show them where to stow their stuff, and install hooks for hanging up backpacks. If you’re short on space, a wire basket or plastic tub at the foot of the bed is fine; all you really need is a designated spot for keeping their school supplies sorted. Train your kids to stash their stuff neatly at the end of each day and you’ll also save yourself a packet – no more buying replacement school hats and jumpers because they’ve lost them yet again.
Sort out Your Diaries & Planners
Nothing beats an old-fashioned paper planner for keeping track of birthdays, school assignments and music lessons. The act of writing things down actually helps you remember them better, plus a physical diary doesn’t rely on battery power or a wi-fi connection to keep you up to date.
For ease of use and portability, go for a small diary that’s A5 or A6. Get one for you and one for each kid while you’re at it, and stock up on coloured pens and tiny stickers so they can decorate and colour-code while they’re jotting down their homework and assignments. Purchase your 2021 planners now so you can be ultra organised come 1 January. Be an admin queen, and keep everyone in the loop, with a weekly or monthly wall planner – a magnetic whiteboard style is super handy.
What To Try
- Keji A5 Week to View 2021 PU Diary Pink & Gold
- Studymate A4 Weekly Desk Planner Pad 60 Sheets
- Studymate A5 Week to View 2021 Student Diary Terrazzo
- Stabilo Point 88 0.4mm Fineliner Assorted 20 Pack
- Carpe Diem A5 Planner Basic Sticker pad 12 Sheets
- J.Burrows Monthly Planner Whiteboard 600 x 450mm Gold
- J.Burrows Weekly Planner Board 280 x 360mm
Plan the Perfect Lunch Box
Streamline the dreaded process of packing lunch boxes as best you can. Chop fruit and veggies the night before and store them in the fridge. Sort packaged snacks into pantry baskets according to type (eg. “Crackers” or “Dried Fruit”) and delegate snack selection to the kids.
With shelf-safe snacks such as pretzels or chips, buy in bulk to cut costs. Shop the supermarket sales each week for fresh ingredients and batch cook things such as pasta, quiches and muffins, which freeze well. To ensure everything gets eaten, aim for a varied menu and invest in ice bricks to keep things cool and fresh.
A bento-style lunch box with small compartments or containers is an excellent idea for helping you pack a balanced and healthy lunch. Plus, there’s something to the whole “kids eat with their eyes” thing – they’ll literally gobble up whatever’s in front of them if it’s neatly chopped and arranged into a little tub or cubicle.
What To Try
Create a Desk Set-up Kids Will Love
Win the homework battle before the school year starts by setting up a dedicated study nook at home. Every student needs a sturdy desk and comfortable chair away from distractions like the TV, and if you’re short on room there are plenty of compact desk solutions available.
Aim to make the space as inviting as possible to ensure kids actually want to sit there – buy a lamp and fill cups or caddies with pencils and pens. Other essentials include notebooks, sticky notes and folders. If you have multiple children working in the one area, invest in some noise-cancelling headphones – particularly useful if you have Zoom sessions on the go, too.
What To Try
- Newton Hutch Storage 1100mm Desk Oak
- Willow 1 Drawer Semi Assembled 1150mm Desk
- Antrim Student Chair Black
- Brilliant Jansen Clamp USB Task Lamp White
- Otto Pen Cup Bamboo
- Columbia Cadet Hexagonal Graphite Pencils HB 8 Pack
- J.Burrows Ballpoint Pens Blue 50 Pack
- Otto A4 Grid Notebook 60 Pages Kraft
- Otto A4 Notebook 200 Page Multi 4 Pack
- J.Burrows Extra Stick-it Notes 101 x 101mm
- Otto 2 Tone Manila Folders Assorted 10 Pack
- Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones Black ZX110NC
Stock up on Great Stationery
Top of the list for back to school chores? Assembling the right stationery supplies. The essentials include a pencil case packed with writing tools and practical extras like scissors, a ruler, a glue stick, an eraser and a pencil sharpener. Stock up on notepads or exercise books for keeping study notes tidy and together. Coloured files and folders can also help them stay organised and on top of all their handouts and homework.
What To Try
- Studymate Twin Zip Double Decker Pencil Case EVA Navy
- PaperMate Kilometrico Ballpoint Pens 1mm Assorted 10 Pack
- J.Burrows Micro Tip Soft Grip Scissors 7"/177mm
- Studymate Plastic Fluoro Ruler 15 cm
- Keji Glue 35g 2 Pack
- Staedtler Neon Eraser
- Studymate Barrel 1 Hole Sharpener Blue
- Studymate Premium 9x7 Exercise Book 128 Page
- J.Burrows Eco Binder A4 2 D-Ring 25mm Green
Prep for the First Day
Don’t leave everything to the night before – you’ll give yourself a panic attack. Instead, break down back-to-school tasks into small, achievable goals and tick off one or two that you can tackle in the months, weeks and days leading up to term time. Make all of your necessary purchases ahead of time and space out big purchases like laptops or desks so your bank account isn’t hit with several large expenses all at once.
Spend the last week of the school holidays getting the kids back into a good morning routine: waking up early, getting dressed and eating their breakfast at a brisk pace. Kids can get anxious if they don’t feel organised, so try to be prepared and you’ll have a peaceful transition into the new school year.