Back-to-school hacks to make your life easier

School's back and so is the never-ending loop of things to stay on top of!

While this time of year can be busy and stressful for many parents as kids are getting settled back into the school year, Kat Springer, The Organised Housewife, shares some of her top hacks that will help you breathe a little more calm into the back-to-school chaos!

Plan it out

"As with any new project, planning ahead is key and preparation for the new school year is no different. By either creating or buying a family planner or calendar, you can set aside time to mark every important date for each family member; from school assemblies and sports days to important doctor’s appointments or bin days. Pre-planning for the year ahead now is the best way to stay organised and relieve any unnecessary stress."

Getting lunch sorted

"If your children’s lunchboxes and accessories are scattered throughout your kitchen cupboards, it's easy to misplace food jars, lids, and bottles. Create a designated space for lunchboxes and drink bottles in your home, and whenever it gets messy take the time to re-organise it. Having a tidy lunchbox space that’s within reach will save you valuable time in the mornings. Another great way to save time is to pick a good quality lunchbox with lots of compartments and to use a Lunch Box Planner. Both will help tremendously when it comes to assembling school lunches – plus planning your weekly grocery shop will become easier too!"

After school snacks

"At the end of every school day you can guarantee your children will come home hungry, after all learning uses a lot of energy. The best after school snack options are ones which are fast and tasty whilst still maintaining all the important nutrients that your kids need. A favourite recipe in our household is my Ham, Veggie and Noodle Bites. I designed this recipe using MAGGI 2-Minute Wholegrain Noodles as they are an easy go-to ingredient that makes for a quick and nutritious weekday snack, especially when my prep time is minimal. Noodles are also really versatile - you can add them to omelettes, frittatas or simply enjoy them on their own."

Get organised

"To avoid school bags, shoes, homework folders and hats spilling into the hallway or scattered through every room of the house, create a drop-off space in the home where all things school-related can live. Make sure the kids know where this space is, as it’s guaranteed to simplify and smooth out your morning and afternoon routine.

"Another great solution is to purchase colour-coded lockers for each of your kids, this will allow them to easily identify which one is theirs and minimise muddled or vanishing school items. It will also give them a sense of responsibility for keeping their space organised and tidy, and most importantly, it will leave your home looking nice and neat."

Meal plans

"By pre-planning and prepping your dinners a week or so in advance, it becomes one less hassle you need to think about once school transitions back into full swing (it's also extremely cost-effective too!). I find my kids are very tired in the first few weeks of school going back, and often like an early dinner.

"Having a collection of easy go-to weeknight meals that can be cooked in under 30 minutes means you can spend more evening time bonding and getting up to speed with details on new classmates, teachers, and homework. I have a really pretty meal planner that I’ve framed and popped it on the kitchen bench to help with meal prep – plus it stops the kids asking 'what’s for dinner' every afternoon."

Getting on top of laundry

"Once school starts back, laundry reappears, and it can sometimes feel as though it’s a never-ending cycle that is impossible to get on top of each week. My best advice in establishing an effective laundry routine that you will be able to maintain, is to create a schedule that the whole family contributes and is privy to. Many hands make light work and will guarantee that no child of yours will wake up without a clean uniform. 

"Being a busy mum of three, I completely understand how stressful this time of year can be. My advice is to start small, make simple tweaks, and begin integrating some of the above tips so you can de-stress your days and enjoy the exciting transition into the new school year."

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