Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Busy Morning Sanity Savers

Our school year is already a 1/4 over! They say, "Time flies when you're having fun!" Well, time has flown this fall! Back-to-school time can often mean increase in stress, chaos, and a busy schedule for families. I know it has been for ours! Routines, charts, and different methods of organization are what keep our family of 5 ready to face each new school week. Let me share with you some of our sanity savers!

Here are a few things that help me and may help you also....

A "landing pad"...

See post about it HERE!
Each child has their own basket and one for mom and dad too! They kids are so good about putting their backpacks, hats, etc. in their own basket when they get home each day, and they know that's where they can find their stuff in the morning too!
See post about it HERE.
I have a basket in the fridge labeled "Lunch." I keep it stocked with quick-grab type of lunch items including: cheese sticks, yogurt cups, drink boxes, lunch meat, and snack bags of carrot sticks that I fill at the beginning of the week. It makes packing lunches a bit quicker!

As a working mom, I use the crockpot A LOT!  I am so blessed to work only 2 blocks from home so I often run home at lunch and throw dinner in the crockpot so it is ready
when we get home from school!
Check out this Pinterest link to 25+ crockpot recipes!
Also, check out the RECIPES tab under the Sister-Dipity header for more quick, easy, working mom meals!

My son Hugh (10) sometimes has a hard time focusing on the task at hand and can get easily distracted. I created two charts to help him stay organized - a Morning Routine chart and an Evening Routine chart. I put a new one up near the front door every Sunday night and he crosses things off as he completes them.
His evening tasks include: backpack ready, planner signed, clothes laid out, shoes out, glasses out, teeth brushed, homework done.
His morning tasks include: clothes on, glasses on, shoes on, dogs taken care of, teeth brushed, backpack and lunch bag in hand ready to go.

Along those same lines, I have this chart with pictures to remind my little ones what they need for school. Coat, hat, gloves, boots, and backpack - so much stuff especially when it is winter! This is also hanging near the front door and Oliver (3) is often pointing to the pictures, reviewing what he needs. All 3 kids are very capable of doing these things for themselves, they just need visual reminders!

And so do I! I have this Morning Prep Checklist taped to my big mirror in our master bathroom. I got this from Kristen Brown, the founder of Happy Hour Effect seems to know just what busy moms need to stay organized, focused, and sane! :) While I am clearly aware that I need to pack lunches, check my to-do lists, etc., having it in writing taped to my mirror (and created by someone else!) somehow helps me to remember everything!

So these are a few of our tricks for getting out the door on time each morning. Don't get me wrong, we still have morning meltdowns - and not always from the kids! :) However, these tools really have helped me to help our little ones get out the door with less chaos, tears, and rushing!
And here we are - all ready for school!

*these pictures were taken on our first day of school this year - September 4, 2013*
Linking up HERE

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