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Resident Blogger The Organised Mummy

The Organised Mummy - Renee Bennett

Organising end of year school chaos

15 December 2012 | The Organised Mummy

childrens art wall stock photo

I thrive on being organized!

Anytime I feel out of control - I vacuum...

I thrive on being organized! Anytime I feel out of control - I vacuum. Feeling stressed - reorganize my pantry. Feeling a little bored - move my furniture around. Hmmm...a little sad, isn't it?

So you can imagine my dread when I see the kids coming toward my car on the last day of school carrying bag loads of - stuff! Anything and everything they've collected in their mis-named 'tidy tray' at school, gets dumped into a bag on the last day and delivered to me!

In my dreams I reverse my car up to my wheelie bin and dump it all in!

Sigh! But this stuff is my children's 'treasures'. They seem unable to part with any of it, much to my dismay! So what to do?

Following are some simple tips to not only help you sort through the stuff but to even save some money along the way...

  1. We have a rule in our house. Each child may keep one or two school books that they really like. I favour their writing books. It's really cute looking back at what they write about! We have a special box that these books go into each year. The rest - ditch!

  2. Any good artwork, either frame it and make an 'art wall' or even better, take pictures of the art and display these. You can display a lot more this way!

  3. Most teachers will hand back unused books. Keep these for the following year.

  4. Go through their pencil case and reuse rulers, pencils, erasers, scissors, pens etc... Just give them a clean and a sharpen and they'll look like new. I worked out I saved $110 on my children's book orders for next year doing those two things above!

  5. One year invest in the slip on book covers (a number of websites sell them very cheap) and reuse them the following year. This saves a heap of time, money and fighting with dreaded contact!

  6. Unless they're totally in tatters, throw any material lunch boxes in the washing machine - they come up like new!

So hip hip hooray to recycle and reuse - it's good for our pockets and the environment!


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The Organised Mummy - Renee Bennett

About The Organised Mummy - Renee Bennett

Renee is an experienced educator who specialises in literacy for young children. She grew up in a single parent home and is a regular speaker to community groups around Australia on this subject. She now has three children of her own.

Renee is author to the newly released picture book Imagine We Were. It's available at good bookstores or from the publisher Wombat Books.

You can read The Organised Mummy's full profile here

This blog contains only general information, correct at the date of publication. For advice regarding your own personal circumstances, always seek individual advice from a qualified professional. Read the full Disclaimer here

What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the


are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.


plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a


or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

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