Mornings can be the most stressful – and chaotic – time of the day for families. Coordinating everyone, making sure everyone is working towards the same goal and leaving the house on time is something that feels like it requires military precision!
To help your home get off to a harmonious start each day, here are 10 things you can do to make your life that little bit easier:
Do your prep work – Clothing
Kids love to be independent and choosing their own outfit is one of the first ways they exercise this independence. That can sometimes create more work for you in the mornings though!
Preparing outfits ahead of time on the weekend is a win-win for everyone. Your child doesn’t have to compromise on independence and you don’t have to compromise on time (or sanity!).
Pinterest is full of unique ideas for organizing your child’s clothing; from quick closet hacks, to labeled hangers, clothing storage and more. However you decide to do it; put everything your child will need with the outfit for that day, so that each morning everything is within easy reach.
Do your prep work – Lunches
If the thought of making school lunches makes you groan, you are not alone. If you’re a parent who doesn’t have the added complications of picky eaters, you’re already winning!
Take the stress out of lunch prep by doing it all in one go – this might be preparing a lunch bag for each day of the week ahead of time; or it might be setting up lunch bag stations in your pantry and fridge so that the night before you can pick-and-pack.
Quick, nutritious lunches are within easy reach with a little bit of prep work, which leaves more time for other morning activities.
Make “Within Easy Reach” your Mantra
Accessories, backpacks, medications, inhalers; we thought we knew where they were the night before, now it’s 8am and we’re running around the house in a frenzy trying to find them.
We’ve all be there!
Eliminate stress by setting up “stations” around your home where certain things ‘live’. Regular household items are easily turned into dual purpose storage containers too.
Cutlery trays and tool boxes are great for larger items; while pill boxes, bead storage containers, magnetic paperclip holders and carabiners are great for keeping smaller items like hair accessories together.
Quick’n’Easy Bathroom Routines
Fighting over the toothpaste can be a thing of the past if you set up each family member with their own little cubby.
Bathroom caddies, Velcro cups on the inside of the bathroom vanity door, floating shelves, cutlery trays and hooks for individual towels ensure that everyone is able to find what they need, when they need it.
It can be challenging when you want to promote independence but also ensure that important things aren’t missed. So why not take pictures?
How to make breakfast, getting dressed, making sure backpacks are properly packed and what to do in the bathroom can all be photographed to create visuals for your child to accomplish each task. It affords you a little extra time for yourself and allows them to feel independent – win-win for everyone.
Program the Coffee-Maker
If a cup of something hot is what helps you feel your best for the day, investing in a programmable coffee-maker is a must. Set it the night before and it’s ready to go the moment you walk in the kitchen.
Coffee not your thing? Programmable Kettles are now a thing too; so whether it’s coffee, steeped tea or green tea, you can carve out a little moment of happiness for you too.
Keep your Clothes clean
When you have children, it can be tough to judge when is a safe time for you to put on your own clothing. Right before you head out the door is less than ideal, but dressing too early means risks of spills, smudges and stains.
But there’s an easy answer – your bathrobe. Wear your bathrobe over your clothes until the moment you need to walk out the door to avoid a frantic dash to the bedroom for a wardrobe change.
Create a Command Centre
“Command Centres” have become very popular – these are designated areas; usually by or near the front door; in which everything is kept.
The magic of Pinterest once again has some great ideas for creating your own – everything from backpacks, jackets and boots can be stored here; to agendas, calendars and colouring supplies.
Make use of alarms
Keep your little tribe on track by setting an alarm to go off 10 minutes before you need to leave the house. For children who can’t yet tell time, this is a good way of signaling to them that it’s nearly time to leave.
Additionally; to help them understand how long the final 10 minutes is, you could practice all the activities that fit into 10 minutes. This way they know what they do and don’t have time for when that alarm goes off.
Quick Reference Lists
Those last few minutes can feel the most chaotic – it’s that last push to get everyone out the door. Make it easier for you (and older children), by creating your own quick reference list, which can be hung on the inside of the front door, to remind you of all the things you need before you set off.
If you’ve found this helpful, we’d love to hear from you! Tell us which one was your favourite.