Back To School can mean many things, but one thing it shouldn’t mean is chaos and confusion in the morning. It’s easy to make things simple in the mornings, and all it takes is a little planning.
I shared a few ideas on helping control the back to school clutter monster and also have started my COOK Club with a great cookbook of easy recipes for weeknight meals. Now I want to share some ideas we’ve tried to help make mornings easier too!
When you mix kiddos and trying to get out the door on time, you can count on there being craziness in the house. When my kiddos were smaller, I knew I had to do something to change so I wouldn’t be a total mess myself, and leave us all with bad memories of a screaming momma!
Through trial and error, I started using a few simple ideas for keep chaos, confusion and craziness away in the mornings. These simple suggestions worked to helps us be more organized and definitely happier when leaving the house. I wanted to share them with you to make your school mornings calmer too!
SEVEN EASY IDEAS FOR SIMPLE SCHOOL MORNINGS
Lay out clothes the night before.
When we first started doing this, and the kids were small, we called their prepared choices a “clothes kid.” (I’m sure somewhere in the deep recesses of unfiled pictures I have a shot of this but…. who knows where it is?!? ) We told them to lay their clothes out on their floor in the shape of a kid – shoes, socks in the shoes, pants, underwear on the pants, shirt, etc – all the way up. If they kept doing it as they got older, and wore jewelry, they’d even put that on the appropriate spots 🙂 Worked like a charm, and they always had clothes ready to go for the next day.
Make sure everything is in backpacks or bookbags the night before.
I don’t know if it’s happened to you, but I can’t count the number of times I received a phone call from school (for the short time ours were in public school) saying “Mom, I forgot my (insert item here).” It wasn’t long before we instituted a rule that no head hit the pillow before we were sure everything was in the backpack. When that happened, the kids were much more prepared – and I stopped getting calls!
Set up a lunch packing station.
Sounds weird, I know – but if you pack lunches you will love it. I set up a mobile lunch packing station, which consisted of an under the bed tote with all the lunch items in it – baggies, Tupperware, napkins, etc. Sometimes these were store-bought items – purchased with coupons on sale! Sometimes it was what I had made, like brownies or cookies – cut and put in the baggies or Tupperware containers. I did all the baking on Saturday – usually 2 or 3 items. Then I put it in the “station” and it was ready for my next suggestion.
Make lunches the night before.
If you pack lunches, these can be done and stuck in the fridge the night before. When the kiddos were smaller, I packed for them. When they got older, this was one of their before bed responsibilities – pack the lunches and put them in the fridge in their lunchbox. This saved SO much chaos the next morning – and saved having to scramble for change because a lunch was forgotten, or they didn’t have time to pack.
Designate a space near the door for any items leaving for school.
We always made sure the kids had their stuff on the couch before we left. Every kiddo had a designated spot and anything that had to go the next day was there – backpacks, coats, hats, special projects, etc. It was all ready to go. That way, when we left to head out the door, all they needed to do was pick it up and go.
Plan or prepare breakfast the night before.
So – in all honesty – this one came about due to the mom guilt of the kids not always having breakfast before we left the house ;(. So I started adding this to my menu planning routine. I would do muffins the night before, mixing wet and dry ingredients separately to combine in the morning. I made crock pot oatmeal or grits due to simplicity. Some mornings it was cereal – or instant oatmeal or grits. Whatever it was, I had it ready to go and it made mornings MUCH easier.
Prepare yourself the night before.
I know it sounds odd, but by this I mean – get gas in the car the night before instead of waiting (don’t ask me how I know about this!). Lay out your clothes so you can get ready quickly. Put your stuff together at the door too – purse, coat, etc. If you’re ready to go, you can make sure everyone else is ready as well.
It’s never too late to try one, or two, or all of these ideas for better mornings and happier kiddos. Let me know below if you have more ideas to add to the list. Or, if you try one of these ideas, let me know how it works for you!
Until next time