Your heart pounds and you gulp for air … “Not the lunchbox.”

You got it in one mums – little Johnny has lost his lunchbox at school again. What’s more, it’s only day three of the school year.

There is nothing more frustrating. Your family has worked hard and budgeted tightly to provide the things that your child needs and yet, children being children, items go missing.

Sigh. It’s time to head off to lost property and see if the lunchbox surfaces amongst all the other lost school gear.

So, what can you do to help bring that missing lunchbox back to the right home? How can you help your kids know what items belong to them and not to others? Here are some top tips for keeping your kids school stuff where it belongs and out of lost property:

1.     Create A List:

Create a short list of things that are to return home everyday from school. Simply laminate and attach to the inside of your child’s school bag to help them check each afternoon if they have everything they need BEFORE they leave the school grounds.

2.     Label Everything:

Over the top labelling is the way to go and the best defence against lost school items.  Professional labels from SkoolLabels.com.au encourage easy identification of the ownership of items and are cute and tough to boot!  If an item does go missing and is wearing a SkoolLabel – you can bet it will be returned twice as fast!

3.     Know Where Lost Property Is & Check It Regularly:

Take note every new school year where the lost property is located in your school. If something does not make it home, keep checking every couple of days for it in the lost property. Sometimes it can take a couple of days for items to turn up. If it is labelled well, chances are you will find it here!

4.     Don’t Take Everything To School:

Limiting items that are taken to school is another great strategy for keeping items safe. For instance, do all the glue sticks for the term really have to go into the pencil case? You are better off limiting what goes to school to make it easier for your child to bring the items home.

The less that goes to school, the less chance of it ending up in lost property.

5.     Keep Spares:

If possible, keep spares of items at home.  If a winter jumper goes missing, your child can then simply wear the spare jumper to school while you track down the missing one. Limit the stress of the situation on you and your child.

6.     Rewards For Not Losing Things:

Have you got a multiple offender who seems to be always losing school items? Perhaps a reward chart or term reward is in order to encourage and motivate your child to double-check they have all their items before they return home at the end of a school day.

7.     Encourage Responsibility:

Speak to your child about responsibility and how important it is throughout life to take responsibility for your actions as well as your things. Encouraging responsibility within your child will lead to greater independence and a higher return rate of school items.

8.     Colour Code:

Installing a colour coding system across your school supplies can also assist with your child’s ability to organise and prioritise the care of school items. One simple block colour can be all it takes for your child to remember that he/she owns that pencil case, book or sharpener!

9.     Memory Games:

Playing memory games with your children, even developing a small rhyme to help them remember the checklist of items to bring home is another fantastic and fun way to help your child. Choose their favourite song, TV show anthem and incorporate the daily list of things they need to remember into it – they will be singing all the way home bringing all of their school supplies with them!


All of these hot tips will help your child be organised and keep school items OUT of the lost property bin!

Skoollabels.com.au have a FANTASTIC offer for Mouths Of Mums Readers! Simply buy any name label and get a BIG 50% off pencil labels!  Visit their website for the MASSIVE range of labelling solutions to keep bringing your school items safely home!  But hurry! This special offer runs from the 11/02/16 – 18/02/16 only!



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  • So very important to label everything you possibly can.


  • Would love this as we are just put of homelessness and can’t afford to lose what little my 5 yr old has


  • I used to work at a school and the amount of lost property was insane. Uniforms with no names, lunch boxes, Tupperware, school supplies. Just left there and never claimed.


  • Some great hints here thanks Julia. I get the kids to pack/uppack their school bags in front of me, to get in the habit of what they need to keep track of. And EVERYTHING needs labelling. Even socks and underwear turn up in lost property boxes after swimming and school camps.


  • Always good to review methods of remmembering


  • Feeling very lucky that my Son so far hasn’t lost anything. I have a feeling that hisy ounger Brother might not be so responsible though so these will come in handy.


  • Great tips here


  • Great ideas Julia. Thanks for that.


  • I have been very lucky over the years that my son has not lost anything completely. He’s a stickler for that. The once his school jacket went missing, it was returned the following day after we put it on the school noticeboard etc. Permanent marker on the inside collar may have resulted in it being returned. Love the tips though, especially for creating and laminating a list for your child to check off to bring home. It’s all about labels or marking items, too.


  • All of our school uniform items including hats had embroidered name tags sewn in them. When they outgrew the clothes it was easy enough to remove them. We never took our shoes off at school so they weren’t labelled. The day it was sports were wore our sports shoes to school. All of our books have our names written on them. Text books that were hired we had loose covers on and put our name on them also our year number and classroom number. We had our name written on our rulers in biro. Our pencils had a bit of the outside emoved and our names witten on them in biro. Our shelves for our school bags were in the classroom. Now some schools have them under a verandah with a shelter attached to the roof so they are out of the sun, rain etc. In the beginning we didn’t have icepacks or special cooler packs to put our lunches in so we wrapped them in newspaper. At least ours were never stolen. Our drink bottles which were partly frozen were put in against our lunch boxes so that helped keep our drinks and our food cold.


  • I believe strongly in labelling everything in sight!


  • Teaching your child responsibility & labeling everything are important indeed. We visit lost property the whole year through…sometimes things don’t turn up.


  • Great tips – thanks for sharing


  • Labelling the most sensible option. My toddler tends to know where things are if he’s left them behind at child care so we always do a check before we leave because even labelled items get misplaced.


  • Labeling is so important. I guess that nowadays most people use to label kids’ clothes and school supplies.
    You gave very good tips!! I’m sure they will be helpful to a lot of parents!!


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