BACK TO SCHOOL: Chinchilla Newsagency's Donna Guyder and Katrina Waldron are preparing supplies.
BACK TO SCHOOL: Chinchilla Newsagency's Donna Guyder and Katrina Waldron are preparing supplies. Brooke Duncan

Back to school a huge job

WHILE most businesses are just picking up after the holidays, one is in the middle of its busiest time of year.

As families prepare for another school year, Chinchilla Newsagency is hustling to ensure students have the tools for success.

Chinchilla Newsagency co-owner Katrina Waldron said the store provides supplies for every school in town.

"We do the books for the Christian College, the State School, St Joeys bring their book lists in, and the high school we do as well,” Ms Waldron said.

"Last year we packed I think about 1600 (book orders).”

By far the newsagent's busiest season, Ms Waldron said it was the culmination of months of work.

"We have to have our back-to-school order in by October, which is really hard because the schools haven't given us their book lists by then,” she said.

"It gets delivered early December, and then we usually get the book lists after that, and if anything's changed on that we're in for a whole world of hurt.

"But most of it stays the same from year to year.”

One challenge this year has been providing the supplies differently for each campus - bulk supply by class for Chinchilla State School, individual orders for St Joseph's, and bulk supply packed individually for Chinchilla Christian College.

"It's been a bit of a challenge this year; instead of just having all the book lists we've got three different ways to do it, and then we have the high schoolers which either just drop theirs in,” Ms Waldron said.

Though preparing hundreds of orders is a massive task for the four-member newsagency team, it's one they take in their stride.

"This is only our third back-to-school,” Ms Waldron said.

"We actually took over (running the business) in the November so the previous owners had done all the ordering for the back to school the first year, and I was absolutely gobsmacked, I was just like 'I don't ever want to do this again', it's just huge.

"But the good thing about the bulk supply to the school is it's been a lot of labour saving.”

With new enrolments the back-to-school rush won't truly finish until the end of February - but until then the team will keep chipping away.

"Early on when we don't have many to do we try and get them out as quick as possible, but once they all start coming in and we end up with a few hundred book lists, it makes it a little bit slower to get them out,” Ms Waldron said.