School uniform is the bane of many a parents life! Even now I’m completely baffled as to how my children go to school in pristine white tops and come home looking like they have been dragged through a hedge backwards! Not only that, but the number of times they seem to take off jumpers during the day and have literally no idea where they were, or what they were doing when they took it off! As both a parent and a teacher, school uniform used to drive me to the brink of despair, but over the years I’ve developed some school uniform hacks which have, if not solved every problem, certainly given me more breathing space before needing to go out and buy more!!
Get those shoes shiny again
Patent shoes look absolutely beautiful when they are first bought, but within a few weeks you can almost guarantee the patent will be scuffed off and they no longer look nice!
BUT – easy hack is to paint the front of the shoes with clear nail polish! One coat every few weeks guarantees to keep those shoes scuff resistant! If the shoes already have scuffs then use black nail polish – the shoes will be back to their shiny goodness in no time at all!
Make your tops whiter than white
How on earth do the children get their white tops so very dirty? I understand that they may drop food down them, but whiteboard pen?? And those various mysterious stains? Well, a quick hack to get your tops whiter than white is to pop a regular dishwasher tablet into the wash with the tops. Include it alongside your usual detergent and your tops will come out sparklingly white!
Quick and easy labelling
We know the drill. Every item of clothing must be labelled (although I draw the line at socks and underwear – why would the children need to ever take these off!). So, although you can buy lots of great stickers and iron on labels, it’s even easier to just grab a sharpie! As a teacher I would spend HOURS searching through jumpers for tiny little labels – it used to drive me to despair. So as a parent, I write on the inside of jumpers, inside collars of tops, inside PE shorts, in big bold letters with a black sharpie. It’s easy to read the name both for your child and for the teacher – win win!
Check with your PTA before buying new
This was a new one to me that I hadn’t come across before the children went to school. The PTA at my children’s school runs a fabulous scheme whereby parents donate any old uniform, the PTA wash it and then sell it back to parents for 50p a piece! Yep, 50p!! I have clothed my children for under £10 and we have so much uniform we don’t need to wash it for 2 weeks. Check with the school to see if your PTA does that, and if they don’t, think about suggesting it. It’s been a lifesaver!
Buy enough for a week
Don’t make the mistake I did of thinking that I could just have 2 tops, 2 trousers and 2 jumpers – because of course they’ll last a week! What was I thinking?? Buy 5 of everything right from the start and put it all into a specific uniform drawer. Not only will it save you time in the morning as the children can find their own uniform, but you don’t have to spend all week desperately washing (or in the worse case using baby wipes in the morning to get those stains out!)
Never, ever iron!
I’m not that keen on ironing for myself, and I certainly don’t want to be spending the whole of Sunday ironing 2 sets of uniform. There are two ways to accomplish this. Either buy non iron uniform (what a brilliant idea!) or, when the uniform comes out of the wash, hang it up straight away – children’s uniforms are mostly designed to be easy wear and the creases should just fall out.
So those are my top 5 school uniform hacks which have made my life so much easier during the school year. I’d love to know any that you use – let me know in the comments below!