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7 Tips For Staying Sane This School Year

We are a week into the school year now and so far it’s going well! I’m determined to have an excellent year and I’ve implemented several routines and habits that are helping with that goal.

1. Pack lunches right after school. Packing school lunches is the most dreaded of tasks for me. I’d rather do laundry. Seriously. This year I’ve started packing lunches right after school. The kids come in, put their lunch boxes on the counter, and hang their book bags up. I unpack lunch boxes while the kids choose their non-perishable items for lunch the next day. Those things go straight into their lunch boxes on the counter. I make sandwiches, salads, or whatever other main dish they choose and add all the perishable items to my bucket in the fridge. All 4 water bottles are filled and in the fridge along with Tyler’s Gatorade and the little kids capri sun drinks. Lunch packing is done in about 15 minutes and I don’t have to nag or yell later at night.

2. Use alarm clocks. I bought 4 new alarm clocks for this year. Tyler has one that lets me set 3 different times on it because it takes 3 alarms to get him up. The other 3 have very simple alarm clocks that are easy to set and easy to use. They all get up by themselves, get dressed, and come downstairs on their own. It’s so much better than me having to drag kids out of bed. 

3. Lay out clothes for the whole week. The hanging shelves organizer I bought for Mason and Zoey are working out so nicely! Every Sunday we pick out uniforms for the whole week and add them to the shelves. There’s no fighting, arguing, or whining about clothes in the mornings. There aren’t 14 outfit changes every morning. 

4. Deal with papers immediately. This is a big one for me and I’ve had to just make it a habit. Every afternoon the kids empty their folders and put papers on the counter for me. Anything that needs to be signed is done immediately and put back in the right folder. Dates that need to be put on the calendar are done so right away and the paper tossed out. Stuff that needs to be kept is filed in the right place. Life is so much easier without 14 piles of papers on the counter and a mad-rush scramble to find a paper in the morning.

5. Keep a donation basket in the laundry room. Instead of washing, drying, and putting away clothes each week that don’t fit my kids and get tried on and thrown on the floor, I keep a donation basket in the laundry room. Items that need to go to Goodwill get tossed in it and uniform pieces that need to be sold get put in a separate basket in the linen closet. It helps the closets stay organized and I can see what the kids need each season.

6. Clean up before bed. At a minimum I try to clean the kitchen and start the dishwasher before bed. If I have enough time I make sure the dining room and family room are cleaned or at least picked up. Nothing starts the day off on a worse foot than coming down to a dirty kitchen with a sink full of dishes. Taking the 20 minutes at night starts my day off great!

7. Simplify the mornings. I get everything ready the night before. Book bags are packed, iPads and computers are charged, shoes and jackets are laid out, lunches are done, sports gear is packed and ready. If the kids are taking hot lunch I make sure to set out their thermoses and the kettle at night. The goal is for them to literally be able to put on clothes, brush teeth and hair, eat breakfast, and grab their bags on the way out the door. 

I run mornings with military precision around here. Shoving 4 angry and overwhelmed kids out the door at 6:45am does not set a great tone for the day and I’m determined not to do it. I’ve found that a little extra effort at night makes all the difference in the morning!

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  • LOVE the donation basket in the laundry room idea!! Wish my laundry “closet” was big enough for that option.

    Can you share what thermos you use for the kid’s lunch?