Let’s be real – weekday mornings are tough. Getting the kids out the door when there is a timeline is just plain chaos and the more you try to stay on track, the further your train derails. Here are some simple organizing and planning tips I’ve been using in our house to crush the weekday hustle.
Since there are so many moving pieces in the morning, to save my sanity, I plan
This has been a crucial component since my oldest started daycare. If it wasn’t written out on a note pad or to-do list – it didn’t exist. Once you get into a routine and rhythm, things like packing a water bottle might become second nature. But in the beginning stages when starting a new routine, write your steps down…write it all down! Everything from a time schedule, tasks, and even what to bring. I’m a huge believer in routine and that starting each morning in a calm and pleasant way will set the tone for the day to come.
Start with a fully stocked fridge
Having items organized and in view in the fridge is so helpful – it saves a lot of time when you are packing lunch or making dinner (not to mention snack time!). I like to keep the “grab your own snack” drawers like this on the bottom shelf so little hands can help themselves. It’s also handy to keep organizers stocked with washed and ready to eat food. I find keeping a shelf for prepped lunch food/lunch bags and filled water bottles a simple way to guarantee nothing is left behind during the morning rush.
Anything you can prepare the night before will help make the morning a breeze. Packing school bags, having shoes, jackets, all gear out and ready to go.
I find that kids thrive on independence. My son loves to get himself ready and it’s such a great confidence booster when he can do it without too much assistance. We use this time to chat about the day and what we are looking forward to. This coat rack was an instant hit (I left out the middle piece to make it shorter and super kid friendly). My son gets excited to hang his stuff up as soon as he gets in the house which means a clean and organized entrance with no rummaging around weekday mornings looking for shoes or hats.
Bento box breakfast
Eating a healthy breakfast has always been an important staple in our house, especially since it’s linked to improved concentration and performance in the classroom. Just because mornings are hectic doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in a healthy meal. While I’m prepping lunch the night before, I also prep small healthy breakfasts in a bento box. Make ahead breakfasts are simple and easy clean up.
Below are a few of our go to favourites;
- Hard boiled eggs
- Turkey slices
- Yogurt cups with granola
- Apple slices
- Fruit salad
- Veggies and hummus
- Cheese (Babybel!)
- Cereal and almond milk.
Maybe I’m lucky, but my kids could eat the same thing every day so I generally have the same breakfast for a couple days before switching it up.
Planning outfits ahead of time
On Sundays, we go to bed about 20 minutes early to get all of our clothes and get ready for the week ahead. I love to use this together time to chat about the weekend, pick outfits together, and mentally ease into the new week ahead. When kids don’t feel the pressure of a time clock, they tend to be more cooperative. We use a storage cabinet and arrange each outfit by day in their separate cube. We also arrange show and tell items, books and whatever else we need to take with us that day. Because my son helps pick out the outfits, there are no surprises in the morning which (generally) means no disagreements.
Designated homework station
It’s important to make sure kids are enthusiastic (or even willing) to complete their homework on a daily basis. Create a comfortable nook specifically dedicated to them. If your child is in elementary school they are going to need your assistance – so keep them close. I put our homework station in the kitchen on a small table. This way, while I’m making dinner or cleaning up I can talk through any difficulties and check in often. It’s great to have supplies visible and readily available.
Pencils, erasers, scissors, glue, crayons, markers and other accessories can be easily stored and displayed in these & these (you can even build and customize to your needs). I also like to stock some healthy go-to snacks in the caddy – after all homework can be draining!
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