I can’t be the only mother in the land who dreads the school run – who morphs from a slightly drowsy Mary Poppins to a fully-crazed Cruella by the time I have shouted at a small person to “put on your flamin’ shoes” for the 19 millionth time. Well, I am crazy-mama no more thanks to this little simple life hack….
When we found ourselves in Ikea on a sunny August Bank Holiday weekend (epic parenting fail right there!) we were sure that no good could possibly come of such a dire situation. But we were wrong.
As my husband wandered off, hanging his head in despair and vanishing in the general direction of some vile Scandinavian meatballs, my eyes fell upon some simple wire baskets. Little, simple wire baskets, perfect for – SHOES! The little darlings could have somewhere obvious to put their school shoes at night and FIND their school shoes in the morning. No more rummaging in the ‘shoe hole of doom’ for us (it really is way too dreadful to share a photo of of this dreadful place – final enclave of my sanity on many a morning).
As the afternoon in Ikea lengthened, the vision began to take shape – out of the darkness there came light! We needed a ‘School Command Centre’. One simple set up which was just for school. A place for shoes. A dedicated coat rack for school coats with a double hook set up for school bags and PE bags. And then – I have been saving the best bit for last…a document rack each for school letters, invitations, dinner money slips and all the other god-forsaken slips of paper that languish in the bottom of a book bag for months! Now, every night I raid their bags for school paperwork and stuff it in their racks (or at least I will have to when the novelty of having their own racks wears off). I can then deal with said paperwork over a glass of vino at leisure in the evenings rather than in a frenzy when we are half way out of the door on the way to school. I then pop it back in their racks ready to stuff into school bags in the morning. Hallelujah.
The oversized beach clock serves two purposes. 1 – so that I don’t have to holler the time every ten seconds in the morning and; 2 – to remind me that ‘this too shall pass’ and we will go back on holiday one day.
I have also screwed up a simple clipboard with lots of sheets printed with “We need” and “Must not forget”. Kids scribble on these when they need something for school or they need £1 for baking and the like and mummy can grab the list on the way out of the door. (I’m pretty damned pleased with myself – can you tell?)
Since setting up this little sub-station, our mornings have been transformed. ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’ and all that jazz. There are complicated, overwhelming and quite frankly terrifying ‘command centre’ set ups all over the pinterest world. I never want to meet the mothers who own those. But for us, the reason ours works lies in its simplicity – coats, bags, shoes and papers. I’ve got this sh*t under control.
NB – the life saving letter racks were from amazon.co.uk