Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Organizational Tips for Getting Your Kids Ready in the Morning

Organizational Tips for Getting Your Kids Ready in the Morning

I have four kids ranging from 16 years old to 3 years old and over the years I have developed an efficient working plan that will get my kids out of bed, fed, dressed and out of the house in just under 30 minutes. My plan also leaves me feeling less stressed and ready to start my workday.

Preparation and organization cannot be expressed enough when it comes to organizing especially if you have kids. Most of my preparation comes the night before and it really does pay off.

Laying Out Clothes

Every child in my house lays out his or her clothes before they go to bed. This includes sock and shoes and they are all put in a central location near their beds. My younger kids aren't concerned with getting a morning shower so they are expected to get dressed immediately upon waking and making their bed. Even if the older ones take a morning shower, they are to lay out their clothes as well so that they don't search for any missing items during the course of the morning. This is a huge timesaver and eliminates unnecessary waste of time by having to look for socks, shoes, belts, etc. Laying out clothes is not only for my kids. I also do this for myself including shoes and jewelry which saves me from standing in my closet and wasting time trying to figure out what to wear.

Preparing morning breakfast the night before

This might sound very strange but it really does work. My kids eat cereal and drink milk for breakfast so this one is pretty easy to implement and since my kids like to make their own breakfast, this one is a big help to me. Before I go to sleep the night before I put out the cereal boxes, bowls, spoons, and cups in the kitchen where they make the breakfast. When they awake in the morning the only thing I need to take out is the milk while they are already preparing the cereal bowls. (I don't pour the cereal in the bowls the night before so I don't attract bugs). I never thought this would be a huge timesaver but I have been doing it now for several months and it works out really well. It also is a big help to the little ones who want to pour their own cereal. They don't have to search in the kitchen for bowls, cereal boxes, and spoons. As a motivation to have them do it themselves, I give them a sticker on the mornings that they do this task.

Backpacks near the door

I have installed several hooks on my laundry room wall. This is the first room that we walk into through the garage when we come home from school. As soon as my kids walk in the door, they hang their backpacks on those hooks where they remain until the next morning when we leave. I implemented this a few years ago when I would waste countless minutes looking and searching for backpacks. I thought that it might be best to have them hanging in a location that was easy for them to reach. Incidentally this is where I hang my car keys and purse so I never have to search for them either. This is a definite timesaver.

Shower the night before

I totally understand that there are people who need to shower in the morning. I am not one of those people and do just fine showering and drying my hair right before I go to bed. This is the biggest timesaver for myself. I used to think that if I did that I would have to spend more time trying to fix my hair the next morning. However that turned out to be a false concern because even though my hair is a mess when I wake up, it is nothing that a spritz of water and blowdrier cannot fix. All that I need to do is wash my face, put on my makeup, spruce up my hair, put on my clothes, jewelry, and shoes that I laid out, and help my kids with the milk for their cereal.

If you are looking for any help in the morning, I suggest you try one or all of these tips. I think you will find that a little bit of preparation the night before will be a big help in how you start the next day.

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