It’s well established that I am not a morning person. Not even a little bit. If I had my choice I would not even crack open an eyelid until well after 10am. Unfortunately that is not an option. We are always on a time crunch in the mornings so I’ve had to find ways to save time and still make sure everyone is ready to go.
1. Have outfits laid out beforehand. I lay out clothes for the week, not just the next day. Every Sunday I pick out clothes for the entire week- and not just for the kids. I lay my clothes out too. This saves me so much time in the mornings! I don’t have to scramble to find something clean to wear or battle with Maia over her outfit.
2. Gather supplies the night before. Every night I go through the kids backpacks and make sure they have everything they need. I check homework, sign agendas and permission slips, return forms, etc the night before so I know I’m not missing something in the morning rush. Backpacks are placed on the hooks in the front closet along with jackets and shoes are on the shelf below. We can just grab and go in the morning.
3. Set a lunch schedule. Maia likes to take her lunch to school a couple of times a week and Mase has to take his lunch to preschool 3 days a week. I put them on alternating schedules. Mase takes his lunch Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Maia takes her lunch Tuesday and Friday. When I’m doing my weekly menu plan I also plan lunches. That way there is no scrambling for lunch materials in the morning. Lunch items are grouped together in the fridge and anything non-perishable is packed the night before.
4. Give a time warning. I give the kids a 10 minute warning and then a 3 minute warning every morning. The 10 minute warning means they need to start wrapping up what they are doing and brush their teeth, put shoes on, use the restroom, and be ready to go. The 3 minute warning means we are leaving in 3 minutes so you better be heading for the van.
5. Limit distractions. There is no TV, no iPods, no video games in the morning. Period. It’s too easy for the kids to get distracted and then they move slower than molasses! So we just don’t turn those things on and it’s not an issue. This is the first year we have employed this rule and I cannot even tell you how much easier our morning are this school year.