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NOW CLOSED Talk to Staples about Back to School and win one of 4 £50 Staples vouchers

(87 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 21-Aug-12 12:41:28

Staples, the world's largest office products company, wants to find out how parents tackle the Back to School period. They're running a quiz on their website where you can find out what type of 'Back to School' parent you are - please click here to take part. Everyone who takes part in the quiz will win a prize at the end - prizes include stationery for the kids and family days out.

Staples would also like to hear your thoughts on how you cope with the busy Back to School period. Are you 100% organised, with everything your DCs need for going back to school ready and packed the night before they go back? Or are you flying around in a blind panic on the first morning of school looking for their PE kit?! Do you have a DC starting at secondary school this Sept? If so, has that changed how you're preparing for Back to School at all? Do you have any pearls of wisdom to share on preparing for the move to 'big' school?

Share your top tips, advice and stories here and the best 4 comments will win a £50 Staples voucher to spend on Back to School essentials.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!

CMOTDibbler Wed 22-Aug-12 11:30:12

It does that to me too moomoo

GetKnitted Wed 22-Aug-12 16:37:18

moomoo annd CMOT It did that for me in interntet explorer but not in firefox. Try another browser maybe?

asuwere Wed 22-Aug-12 19:36:25

I tend to get stuff/replace stuff as is needed during the year so don't really have a big 'back to school' shopping need. When DS1 first started school, my mum took him to get his school bag and pencil case but he didn't really need much, he liked the trip and choosing stuff. He's not really bothered now though - so long as he's got what he needs, he's fine.

Everything is labelled as it's bought - usually just using laundry marker/sharpie pen rather than actual labels.

I guess we are quite organised but it makes it easier if the child co-operates and makes sure their PE kit is put in washing machine when brought home and bags are put in the right place so I can fill them with lunch/clean PE kit etc. DS1 is very good at telling me when he has notes so although I do check his bag, I can usually rely on him to remind me if there is something to be checked/returned. (sadly DS3 isn't quite so reliable!)

jimswifein1964 Thu 23-Aug-12 08:24:11

Well, I've just done the quiz but it didnt warn me I would need to print off a voucher - no printer, so that was a waste of time sad & I cant use the voucher online. The nearest Staples to me is inaccessible by public transport.

gazzalw Thu 23-Aug-12 12:06:34

I didn't even register a voucher - assumed I would get something in my email 'in box' - hmmmm!

moomoo1967 Thu 23-Aug-12 12:49:59

hmmm ok I cannot download another browser on my work pc and my laptop is knackered. I will try it on my phone later

ShatnersBassoon Thu 23-Aug-12 14:51:24

Back to school is a relaxed time. I buy things throughout the year, so there's no huge shopping expedition in the last week in August. The only stressful part of starting a new school year is the shoe shop.

nickiminja Thu 23-Aug-12 16:47:21

My top tip is NOT be organised and buy uniform at the start of the holidays when everything is in stock, because when you go to sew name tapes in 6 weeks later your son might have put on an inch around his waist so you have to buy more trousers..

InMySpareTime Thu 23-Aug-12 17:43:37

nicki not a problem for my DCs, it's more a case of taking the button elastic another notch in on last year or the one before 's trousers after they've run off all their term time "weight" in the holidays. I swear my DCs shrink over the summer confused.

TheOneWithTheHair Thu 23-Aug-12 18:48:58

Well for the first and last time I am considered an "AlphaMum" . grin

I don't know how that's even possible. I leave all school shopping until the last week of the holidays and I am seriously disorganised!

LemarchandsBox Thu 23-Aug-12 18:58:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HannahLI Thu 23-Aug-12 18:58:36

I tried the quiz but I think it got me a bit wrong as despite being laid back I am very organized too.

My top tip is to get your kids involved in the buying, sorting and putting it ready. If they have ownership it's empowering for them and they take more responsibility for it. It also means you have less to worry about.

Bongaloo Thu 23-Aug-12 21:29:49

Make sure you've got a load of cheap little envelopes for all the times the school are going to spring it on you that they need money for such and such.

androbbob Thu 23-Aug-12 21:44:16

I second the envelopes! You can get little brown ones for school from stationery shops and they are great for lunch and trip and snack money

gazzalw Fri 24-Aug-12 06:56:29

Ha the envelopes issue always really annoys us in this house- it seems to fly in the face of all our recycling efforts. Have considered suggesting to school that they issue each child with one of those 'internal memo' envelopes and then it could just shuttle backwards and forwards twixt school and home!

seeker Fri 24-Aug-12 07:11:31

Don't buy envelopes- get some sticky labels (lots of charities sell recycled ones) and reuse. You just have to remember to slit letters open at the top and keep the envelopes.

moomoo1967 Fri 24-Aug-12 10:31:12

ok so managed to complete the quiz but no button to click on to claim my prize, unless it is the FB or Twitter icon in which case it won't let me as we cannot access those social sites at work

insanityscratching Fri 24-Aug-12 12:55:21

I buy uniform in the sales throughout the year so manage to avoid the stress in August, unfortunately can't avoid the shoe shopping but go either for 8.45am or 5.15pm which cuts down the waiting time considerably.
I buy multipacks of stationery basics and keep those at home to refill pencil cases when they have lost the others but also give the children a fiver for them to spend on themed stationery as I know it's important to them.
I label everything and nag the children when they come out of class to ensure they have everything as anything left overnight disappears.

Blu Fri 24-Aug-12 14:31:40

My best top tip? Get a dad to take some responsibility for getting DCs kitted out.

Unless you are a single female parent or in a two Mum family there is no need for this to be a 'Mums' thing!!!! DP is in charge of aquiring kit - I think the Staples quiz would reveal him to be 'Organised Mum' hmm

I have sacrificed my chance of a voucher in the cause of equality and co-parenting grin :martydom icon:

moonbells Fri 24-Aug-12 15:00:19

I had trouble with not getting off Qu 1 as well, and I was on Firefox. switched to IE and it was fine.

The questions about what to buy were a bit irrelevant to me since DS's new school (he's YR) specifies everything. Even to the size of the Pritt stick. He doesn't need colouring pencils till next year, apparently!

But I would order stuff early on if it needs to come from an official supplier. I'm still waiting (>3 weeks now, with 10d to go) for PE kit shirts. I'm starting to panic a bit. Glad I kept the itemised receipts...

Shoes: if you have a shooting beanstalk like me, and want to get shoes as late as possible so you have a chance of them lasting more than 6 weeks, leave at least a week for the shoe shop to order in the ones you want because it doesn't matter what you do, they've never got them... and book an appointment.

<goes off to take own advice>

Doobydoo Fri 24-Aug-12 15:45:33

Cannot fill survey in!
Ridiculous questions about being 'one step ahead'...'only the best etc' am very hmm about it.

prettybird Fri 24-Aug-12 17:24:02

Label/mark a "hidden" part of the more expensive items of clothing (inside of a pocket, the hood, the hem...) so that if the item -- gets stolen-- is mislaid is picked up by accident, then you can say where to look to check if it is your child's.

This is more effective at primary schools where the staff are usually more helpful about looking for missing items of clothing

prettybird Fri 24-Aug-12 18:04:55

My "prize" of a "Back to School" bundle refused to print off (you needed to "show the page in order to be able to "claim the prize")and now the web page says "Server Error in '/' Application.

Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code. "


HairyToedHobbit Fri 24-Aug-12 19:43:03

I'm a Stingey Thrifty Mum apparently blush

I love a 'bargain' but wouldn't say I'm particularly thrifty so my Top Tip would be don't do as I do buy what you actually need! grin

choccyp1g Fri 24-Aug-12 19:48:58

My top tip won't work for everyone, but if your secondary school offers a £25.00 pack of "everything you need", buy it.
Ours has calculator, pencils, crayons, rule, compass etc. etc, dictionary and thesaurus combined (It's brilliant, has the dictionary definitions ant the top and the thesaurus alternatives at the bottom of each page), sketch book, and much more, and it works out much cheaper than getting all the bits from Staples or any other high street store.

However I still want to win the voucher and spend it all on arty stuff for myself.

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