This simple £30 solution revolutionised the school run! (and saved my sanity)

This simple £30 solution revolutionised the school run! (and saved my sanity)

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.

school run solutions

Organise your school run

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



organising the school run



  1. Sarah
    September 12, 2017 / 6:53 pm

    Love it so much so, I’ve made our own version of this organisational beauty in our hallway! I salute you Clare, it’s changed our lives!!!

  2. Rachel
    September 12, 2017 / 7:38 pm

    Fabulous idea, love it. We’re going to get 3 sets too; one for the small person and one each for the two big people!

    • admin
      September 13, 2017 / 9:37 am

      Good plan – the big people in our house ought to have one too!

  3. September 12, 2017 / 9:15 pm

    What a fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing, it looks great 🙂

    • admin
      September 13, 2017 / 9:35 am

      Thank you – for us it has been an absolute game changer!

  4. September 14, 2017 / 9:01 am

    This is a brilliant idea, when I was working as a registered child minder, I had a coat rack in my hallway, just for the children at their height with each name above a peg and they were encouraged to leave their shoes tidily too#coolmumclub@_karendennis

    • admin
      September 14, 2017 / 9:20 am

      Thanks Karen – it’s so simple but it works!

  5. September 14, 2017 / 7:36 pm

    Wowzers….you missed your calling in life to be some kind of workplace organisation guru! This is the stuff of dreams…I thought I was winning with my new box by the door for kids shoes, but you just took it up a whole new level!

    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub

  6. September 18, 2017 / 7:26 pm

    I love this. I just wish I had a hallway big enough to do something similar.

  7. September 20, 2017 / 8:56 am

    Fantastic! I never would have thought to do this but it’s a very elegant solution to the chaos.

    • admin
      September 22, 2017 / 1:21 pm

      It works – for some reason it really works!

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