January 10, 2017

As you enter the shops and see the isles filled with exercise books, pens and pencils;

As you pass the shoe stores and notice that black and white shoes have taken over much of the floor space – you realise that back to school is fast approaching.

Apart from the cost of purchasing school supplies, there is a sudden realisation that madness is fast approaching – before, during and after school activities, homework expectations, uniforms to be constantly cleaned and pressed, and making sure there is enough food to prepare and pack!

Philips Avent 4 in 1 Healthy baby Food Maker in article banner 750 x 145

My eldest is 21 years old and my youngest is 9. I have had many years of getting it wrong, getting it right, and most years it is a bit of both!

Here I share my top 18 tips to support you being better prepared and be more productive this upcoming year.

  1. Plan and prepare to avoid chaos. This includes weekly schedules, lists and weekly meal and shopping plan. Create a flexible routine that works for your family – from waking to bedtime.
  2. Have a central calendar in the house that all family members have access to with events written on it that are coming up.
  3. At least a couple of times a week make double the evening meal and freeze half for those nights when you run out of the time or enthusiasm to cook.
  4. Make time to bake each week.
  5. Make lunches and get uniforms ready the night before. We all think we will get it done in the morning, but sometimes it is just such a rush and adds so much pressure when trying to get you and your children ready and out the door!
  6. Have bags packed and checked ready to go the night before (including the hat).
  7. I think it’s never too early to give children some responsibility – tasks that you know they can complete for their age and abilities.
  8. Give children checklists – good for parents too!
  9. It is the perfect time to have conversations with your children when driving around with your kids in the car. They can’t get out or walk away!
  10. Take weekly time out for you to de-stress and reward yourself.
  11. Get proper sleep so you have the energy each day needs and avoid getting run down and common illnesses.
  12. Eat well to feel good and keep up. Feed your kids well to keep them healthy and calm.
  13. Remember to breathe – sometimes we just need to stop, take a couple of deep breathes and then proceed.
  14. Keep at least one day free on a weekend to relax and have fun with your family.
  15. Be kind to yourself.
  16. Ask for help when you need it!
  17. 30, 30, 30 and 30 every day! 30 minutes for quiet time for you, 30 minutes listening to your children with enthusiastic interest, 30 minutes for your partner and 30 minutes making sure you have cleared your day and are prepared for tomorrow.
  18. Get up each morning with a grateful affirmative attitude and a desire to meet all challenges with a smile.

As parents, we are constantly creating, re-inventing and re-shaping whilst keeping up with all the demands and challenges of each day. Creating routines and being organised will keep everyone on the same page and help you make sure you go to bed each night feeling a sense of peace and achievement – well most days!

What can you do differently this year to make your school and work weeks run smoothly? Share with us in the comments.


  • BEING ORGANIZED certainly does help. My hubby was in the Army Reserve for 36 years and finished up a WO1 so it has rubbed off on me . lol. I have to gently remind him sometimes that he is not in the army now! lol

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  • You certainly do need to stay organised!

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  • Great tips !
    I like to be organized ahead of time. We just moved and I can get the uniforms only one day before the school starts this year, which makes me a bit nervous. The day before that my youngest will hopefully be discharged from the hospital for a heart surgery. Just hope she’s well enough to go uniform shopping with us.

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  • Lists, lists and more lists. My diary sits on the bench for all of the family to refer to. Funny, they used to joke about it but now it’s the most used thing in the house… and I’ve noticed others adding to it!! It’s also about communicating things to each other.

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  • I don’t have this problem with school. Now it’s the work schedule that I have to have organised. Same thing really. Make sure clothes are set out for the morning and lunches are made the night before. Wallet, keys, paperwork, mobile and anything else is set out ready

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  • Good tips for the coming year.

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  • We usually only get new school shoes a week or fortnight before school starts at childrens feet grow so quickly that they may have grown out of them or them already be getting close to being tight when they start school. Don’t buy new uniforms too far in advance unless you have to buy them from the school uniform before the previous school year finishes. Buy one size larger than they currently are. They might have grown a full size bigger by the beginning of the school year.

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  • I never had an issue with getting school supplies. I know what the kids need, often with the help of lists from the school, and I go out and get it. I love, so do the kids, the new school products. Backpacks, lunchboxes, drink bottles, shoes, uniforms etc etc etc

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  • I am super organised and love having everything in order as a day runs smoothly. I do not like disorganisation as it can lead to chaos. My tip is be organised ahead of time and you will have more free time.

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  • All great tips to get ready for the new year!

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