Previous post:

Next post:


Time Management for Dummies: Oh Crap! Stash

in Life Lessons, Time Management


Photo by linder6580 on

“Mom! I’ve gotta have X tomorrow. Did I tell you that?” Hearing those words at 10:00 PM is frustrating. Whether it is a jump rope, a box of crayons, a folder, or a gift; I have totally been there. The truth is that when you have kids, some of those last-minute requests are inevitable. While sometimes I choose to let them fail to teach them the lesson of planning, I have also found that an Oh Crap Stash can be a lifesaver.

What is an Oh Crap Stash?

I keep an emergency supply of random items including school supplies, gift wrap, cards, and small toys on-hand at all times. When my daughter pulls out an invitation to a party that starts in 2 hours that she completely forgot to tell me about; I’m totally covered. When the teacher sends home a replacement supply request, we usually have that on-hand too.

Stocking up on the cheap

The key is to supply the stash at the right time. For example, right after school starts in the Fall, stores usually put their school supplies on a fire sale. It’s at that time that I stock up on crayons, pencils, erasers, markers, dry erase markers, pens, glue, scissors, paper, construction paper, notebooks, folders, glue sticks, spirals, sticky notes, note cards, lunch boxes, highlighters, and an extra lunchbox or two. Printer paper and filing supplies are usually cheaper then too. I stash them all in a bin and they are ready as needed.

On the flip side, every time I walk past the party supplies and see wrapping paper or gift bags on sale, I grab them. It is not uncommon to find generic Happy Birthday paper for 50-75% off. And as for toys, there are usually massive sales around September (to clear out the older merchandise before the holiday newbies arrive) and then right after Christmas. I keep a stash of a range of toys and when a birthday party comes up, my kids “shop” in the closet. Finding nice, name brand toys at 75% off is not uncommon. Take advantage!

The same holds true for seasonal favorites. After Christmas last year I stocked up on Christmas crafts for this year. When those long three weeks roll around, I’ll be ready. The same is true of Easter, Thanksgiving, and Valentines.

Saving more than money

The beauty about an Oh Crap Stash is that not only are you saving money, but you are saving a lot of time and stress as well. I am successfully able to eliminate most of those last-minute unplanned errands by simply keeping some supplies on hand. This very week I was able to play a game of tag with my kids rather than running to the store for some last-minute markers. I pulled out the bin, put the markers in the backpack and saved myself a massive headache.

Your turn

Do you have an Oh Crap Stash? What do you keep in it? Comment below! I’d love to hear your ideas.

Comments on this entry are closed.