I want to share with you a thing I always take with me on the afternoon school run (sometimes also in the morning), which is a thing I have come to think of as my Bag O Shite.
A Bag O Shite is a ginormous, square-bottomed, lightweight bag, which you can fill full of the shite that your kids hand you, or that they need to take to school. I came up with this solution having spent a year trying to grapple with slithery coats, book bags, snack bags, shoes, “art”, extra books and whatever other catastrophic piles of… shite that your kids come out of school with.
I used to go on the school run forgetting that they have so much shite but finally realised that there is always shite.
Anyway my Bag O Shite as it happens is from Soho House, which sounds wanky and stupid but it is the most amazing Bag O Shite and if I didn’t already have one I would buy one. It costs £12 and I recommend it highly.
I have other Bags O Shite I use – notably an open-topped laundry bag thing from Ikea (I can’t find it online but you know what I mean); so I am a genuine expert on this bag genre; the thing that marks out a really good Bag O Shite from an okay one is the element of sturdiness.
The perfect Bag O Shite is light and easily folded but can, when expanded, stand up on its own so that you can lob things into it from a couple of feet away, or easily retrieve a child’s precious item such as the “airplane singy dat I mades wid duh spikey sings on it” without literally losing minutes of your life rummaging around in folds of fabric.
Massiveness is also pretty key, you don’t want to be jamming a too-small bag full of things, you want to just be able to merrily sling bookbags, coats, awkward-shaped things in. I also think no top-zip is also pretty important – absolutely nothing to impede the quick ingress and egress of the shite.
Look, on this one you could have it personalised to read BAG O SHITE.
Look THIS marvellous woman will make you one to your specs to order – out of oilcloth so not even the rain can stop you! Just ring her up and go “I WANT A MASSIVE ONE”.
This one has a clever front pocket for phones and keys and whatever other smaller shite you’ve got that you need to get to in a hurry. I hang my car keys round my neck. I am a veteran.
Jill Horne (@HornesterJ) says
I saw this on your stories and took my own bag the other day. A revelation and lots of people commented on it. To be fair it was a horrible Christmas themed bag for life so I think that can be improved on but the concept was spot on. Genius!
The Orla Kiely ones for Tesco are great too – I literally have about 10
Omg why four children later have I never thought of this? It’s solving my what to do when I no longer have the pushchair dilemma. Genius
Love this post ! 🤣
I discovered the smug joy of the bag o shite last year. I use a waitrose, Emma Bridgewater style open top bag. Fits all sorts of book bag and other nonsense inside… I can even hold the kids hands on the walk home as I can sling it over my shoulder.
Jill Horne (@HornesterJ) says
Now that’s an added bonus I hadn’t thought of!! I’m on the hunt for a new Bag O Shite now.
Ha yes I’ve been doing this for ages – after I got landed with a scooter helmet when she decided she wanted to walk and ended up dropping Teddy, the Guardian of Sleep somewhere on the way home (we got him back folks) I have so many bags o shite I have a hook on the hall cupboard weighed down with them, at any one time they each have several conkers, some precious precious precious pigeon feathers, plasters (used? Not used?), tissues (clean? Not clean?), Pokemon cards and half a dozen pictures of blue rainbows at the bottom. Orla Kiely via Tesco is a good one. I have a canvas tote from Cath Kidston which is actually very good for this as it holds a lot but sits nicely on your shoulder and never feels that heavy. It’s just a shame it looks like it belongs to a child. I really don’t need any more though (click, click, click, personalise, CLICK!)
Katie Yarde says
Oh god, I really need a Bag O Shite in my life. Why didn’t I think of this before? 🤔 Genius 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
We used to call this Playground Buckaroo- the time when your kids would come out of school and immediately thrust at you a blazer, book bag, piece of “art”, half-eaten apple, sports kit etc etc. A homage to the 80s game where you had to hand more and more bits of plastic tat onto a donkey before he bucked it all off onto the floor. If only I had been aware of Bag O Shite.
I no longer need a Bag O Shite (hurrah!) but I do have a big plastic crate in the boot of the car for shit and it’s also good for stopping the shopping bags full of food falling over. Keys round neck is a game changer. Lanyards make you feel tres important and worklike also. You can always tell the powermums in the playground as they are the ones with giant bunches of keys.
Also, someone told me (and this is true), you never see a childminder carrying a kids bag, they make them carry all their crap themselves. Us mothers are too soft by half.
The point about childminders is so true.
Yes! And a parent should never make the mistake of thinking they can get their children to do what a childminder/teacher/sports coach can especially in an already stressful situation – I’ve seen some school run whining extravaganzas begin with “but you do it when X tells you!”. I do whatever it takes to get them in and get me out and build their characters at another, more convenient time. They soon get to the stage where they don’t want you carrying their stuff anyway because they’re all big and capable and seven.
SEVEN!? Ha ha ha
I know! I’ve pandered to this kid for years but now it’s not cool to have your mum carry your bag. Hugs at the door are still in though so it’s shaken out perfectly.
no no I’m like Kitty is 7 and would literally let me put her shoes on for her for the rest of her life. you have won at all this
Sharon in Scotland says
I am single and without children, but I am proud to have several Bag O Shites. Along with luggage, (I’m lusting after the away carry on) and boots, I’m looking for the perfect Bag O Shite, long and strong handles so I can wear it over my shoulder, deep and wide enough, with a proper bottom so I can fill it with overflowing diary, toys, games and paperwork, (I’m a paediatric speech and language therapist), really firm stitching so handles/ bottoms don’t give way and a pretty design. I am drawn to the canvas ones you see at the ends of the aisles in Tesco’s, but they really aren’t robust enough. I flirt with rucksacks, but they aren’t a true Bag O Shite.
Love the Bag O Shite. I also apply similar principle to any holiday involving driving (esp to self catering property). No suitcases. I just put a large bag (supermarket bags for life or IKEA ideal) in each room and it is filled with whatever needs to be packed. No folding. No fitting things into suitcase corners and trying to close the zip. Just throw it in. They fit in the car boot much more easily too. I’ve been known to shamelessly arrive at hotels with these bags as my luggage. Packing now takes mere minutes.