Oh school mornings, how I both dread and love thee! I love school mornings because I have a bit of time to myself after the school bus leaves. The problem is getting to that point! Some mornings it is SO nice to snuggle under the covers for an extra 10 minutes. Here are some tips on how I organize so that I CAN cheat and grab those 10 extra minutes in the morning.
That extra time has to come from somewhere, so I have found that it works best to have a routine. This will work whether you are trying to get to work, or like me, you are trying to get a husband off to work and kids off to school. Different things work for every family and I know that this is not a cookie cutter “one-size-fits-all” approach. Take this as a guideline and modify it so that it fits your family.
-Have a plan for lunches
I actually try to plan lunches out for every 2 weeks. In a 2-week time frame, I let the kids pick 5 days that they want to buy their lunch from the school cafeteria. The other 5 days they bring their lunch. My husband pretty much always brings his lunch to work. We usually pull up the menu online from the school website. I write the days on the calendar that each kid wants to buy their lunch by writing their first initial on that day. That way, I can easily glance at the calendar and see who is bringing and who is buying their lunch each day.
– Have a plan of attack for the laundry
I used the phrase “plan of attack” because laundry is a never-ending battle. I try to make sure they have clean clothes at least a few days in advance. That way in case of emergency (or stomach virus) I am prepared.
- Write any relevant activities/ appointments on the calendar or use your phone reminders. That way you can see what is coming for each week and make appropriate preparations.
The Night Before
For the Rest of the Family:
- Baths/Showers for the kids. When they are already clean, it is so much quicker to roll them out of bed and get them into their clothes.
- Check the weather forecast for the next day. Don’t want the kids going to school in flip-flops when the temperature is supposed to drop like a rock!
- Set clothes out. This eliminates the proverbial “MOMMMMMM! I can’t find my socks!!!!” when you are trying to rush out the door.
- Set clothes out for yourself and/or hubby. Again, this eliminates trying to find wardrobe pieces and burning precious time in the morning. I do have my husband’s clothes ironed and hanging on the back of the door each morning. This is just one of those “little things” that I do to spoil him and to let him know that I love him.
- Fix lunches. Remember that lunch plan on the calendar? I just glance at it and see who needs a lunch for the following day. I usually fix lunches after supper is over because often times I will use leftovers for lunches. This is less wasted food and money, so win-win. J
- Prepare a grab-and-go breakfast. I have a variety of granola bars, cereal bars, fruit bars, fresh fruit, Pop Tarts, strudels, little microwavable biscuits, pancakes on a stick, breakfast sandwiches, etc on hand that the kids can grab as we are going out the door. Some of the breakfasts I buy, others I make. It depends on how much time I have and what I am in the mood for. I usually try to have at least 2-3 choices for them.
- Make coffee the night before, or put out the little pod that you want to use if you have an instant coffee maker with your cup.
For You the Night Before:
- Bath/Shower for yourself. If you do not mind bathing the night before, then go for it. Getting ready goes super quick when you can just roll out of bed and put on your clothes as well. This also goes for washing and drying your hair. It saves a lot of time in the morning when it is already done! Go ahead and put in a bath bomb or some bubbles. You might as well enjoy it and it will help you unwind and sleep better as well. If you really want to go all out, light a candle that smells good and put on some relaxing music. Oh yes, there are perks to being efficient!
- As much as you can, try to go to bed on time and get enough sleep. It is MUCH easier to get up and go in the morning when you do not feel like you are running on “fumes”.
- If you do not live in an environment that is extremely cold, and your car is outside at night, consider putting a towel on the windshield of your car the night before. If there is a frost, it will frost on the towel, and you can simply remove the towel and you can skip the scraping the windshield. You will still need to run the defroster to avoid the windshield fogging up while you are driving. (* Note: I am not sure how well this will work if you live in a place that gets VERY cold at night. You may want to test this on a weekend before you try it on a weekday to make sure the towel does not freeze to the windshield!*)
In the Morning
Showtime! Here is where all your hard work the night before really pays off. If you did everything above the night before, your morning routine looks something like you wake up, get dressed, wake up kids, kids get dressed while you put on make-up, everyone grabs quick breakfast and lunches for the day, performs personal care tasks, and everyone is out the door. What if there are some things that you didn’t quite get to the night before though?
Let’s be honest – nothing ALWAYS goes that perfectly! I am really bad about losing track of time while I am in the shower. That water feels so good and I’m usually half asleep. I start daydreaming or running ideas through my head, and before I know it, I’m solving the world’s problems while the water runs over me and the time quickly ticks away. Yikes! What if you need to save some time in the mornings? If you did not do everything the night before, then don’t despair! I still have some hacks for you.
- Use an egg timer or alarm while you are showering. When it goes off, time to quickly rinse and get out!
- Put a clock in the bathroom. This really has helped me when I get ready in the mornings because I can just glance up and see how much time I have instead of my (really bad) estimates.
- Simplify your makeup routine. You may not need every single product that you own every day. Find a happy balance, whether it is some days that are completely make-up free or just putting on enough to enhance your natural beauty and make you feel more confident.
- Even if you forgot to put your clothes out the night before, if you have a plan of attack for laundry, you can usually find something clean that will work in minimal time.
- Make sure your phone is charged! If it is not, then charge it while you are getting ready and plug it into the car while you commute.
On Your Way
Congratulations! You have made it! No matter how the morning has gone, you have successfully gotten everyone out of bed and off to start their days. Whether you are on your way to work, or school, or have gotten the kids dropped off, you now have a little time to catch your breath and think. Take advantage of this time. Think about what went right. Use some positive self-talk. Tell yourself that you are going to have a great day. Tell yourself that you are up to whatever challenges come your way today. You are smart, you are fabulous, and you are confident! I love using this time in the morning for some positive self-talk, and to do some praying and talking to the Lord. It just seems like that helps to start my day off better. Also, use that time to plan what you are going to accomplish today. This is mental goal-setting. At the end of the day, think to yourself “I did this, and this, and this!” You will get a boost from accomplishing your goals. If you didn’t quite get to all of them, there is always tomorrow. Here’s to hoping you have a wonderful day!
What are ways that you simplify your morning routine? Leave me a comment and let me hear your hacks for an easier morning! I would love to hear from you!