My most unorganised time of the day is when all the kids come in from school. Even if I have managed to have a good tidy before home time (disclaimer: I usually haven’t!) then the second they come in with their coats, shoes, bags, homework, paperwork and objects they’ve picked up on the walk home, we’re back to a chaotic mess again.
This year, I’m determined to get on top of this and making sure they’re putting everything away as soon as they can. We currently hang our coats up in the front porch, but as we use the back door it would make more sense for school shoes and coats to be kept there instead. Ideally I’d love a mud room (I clearly read too many American blogs), but while I don’t have the time or budget for that, I can create a small area in our kitchen to keep our school miscellanea more organised.
Here are some of the items that I would love to keep us more organised:
1. Coat and Shoe Rack
I covet this colourful Rainbow Coat Rack from Great Little Trading Co. There are eight pegs, so enough for my four kids to hang their coat and school bag, and it can easily be put up at a height that even Izzy can reach. If you have less children then they could also store their PE Bag, Book Bag and Swim Kit on the rack too.
I also love hat and coat stands, such as the KROKIG Clothes Stand from IKEA, and would definitely have one if we had more floor space.
Shoes could be kept under the coat rack. Shoe storage can range from a mat to a shoe and boot Tray. I would love a shoe storage bench so that the kids would have space to sit down too. The TJUSIG from IKEA looks just the job if you have the space.
2. A Blackboard/Wall Calendar
This year we have the Busy B 2016 Family Calendar (in the bird design). It has five columns and a birthday column, but I use this as an extra column as we are a family of six. We had the same one last year in a different design. It suits us well and I love the pretty stickers (refills are available too).
We also have a Blackboard- we bought the IKEA LUNS Writing/Magnetic Board around twelve years ago. At the moment I’m not using it enough so I’m going to buy more Colour Chalks, Chalk Marker Pens and magnets to make it work for us again.
Blackboard Calendar Stickers, such as the Ten Stickers Monthly Planner Blackboard that I saw on Enchanted Pixie recently are a great idea. As we have less wall space, I think I’d go for a Weekly Planner Chalkboard Stickerto remind us of all PE Day/Bass Lessons and After School Clubs.
3. A Letter Rack
With four children I get quite a lot of paperwork from the school. A letter rack clearly labelled with each child’s name would be great so they can put their school letters in there for me to check each night. I read the letters, mark off any important dates on our family planner and either file or recycle it. This IKEA KVISSLE Wall Newspaper Rack would really tidy up and organise our paper work. As it hangs on the wall it takes up less desk space. The KVISSLE Letter Tray could be used to organise homework sheets too.
4. An Art Work Frame or Folder
Kids come home with lots of pictures every day (and make lots at home too). I used to keep every. single. one. Even if it was a biro scribble on a piece of paper, I would display it and then file it away. I soon realised that I couldn’t continue to do this for every piece of art work they make. Now, I keep the best finished pictures that they’re most proud of. We have a few areas in the house where we put these up but I’ve only just discovered the Articulate Gallery A4 Picture Frame. These display your child’s latest piece of art with space behind for more pictures. I’d love to put up four so the kids can display their art work when they empty their school bags. When the frames are full, we can then file the selected pieces of art in their filing cabinet drawer (they have a drawer each).
5. A Scrapbook or Laminate for School Reward Stickers
The kids come home most days with reward stickers and also weekly certificates. When the stickers are on their school uniform then I like them to have somewhere to put their stickers when we get home so they don’t end up going in the wash or getting lost. I usually put up an A4 piece of card or printed laminate A4 paper for them to stick their stickers on. Each half term (or weekly/termly if you prefer) these can be filed away and a new one started for the new half term. Cardiff Mummy Says has a scrapbook to keep all her children’s reward stickers in which is a great alternative.
Before I start our school organisation corner I have the small (hmm) job of repainting our kitchen walls and cupboards. I can’t wait to get it done so I can get on with the fun jobs!
What are your top tips for being organised for school?