In addition to shopping for supplies and new clothes, back to school means early mornings and a return to routine. When everyone is tired and trying to get out the door in a timely fashion, it can make for a stressful start to the day. Luckily, there are a few things you can do from bed to bus to organize your morning. Check out these tips for a smart start to the school year.
- Prepare the night before. A few extra minutes at night can save you a lot of time and frustration in the morning. Prepare lunches, lay out clothing, and get backpacks ready in advance. Create a space in the refrigerator where children can quickly grab sandwiches, fruit, veggies, and more. In the pantry, use pull out shelving so they can easily access snacks, protein bars, and other items. Have your children set out their clothing nightly, or better yet, for the week, in an organizer.
- Use an alarm clock. Even young children can get used to waking up this way every morning. It eliminates the need for you to get involved with the process and slow down the morning. Be sure to use an actual clock and not an iPad or cell phone, as these can be distractions and disrupt sleep. Keep a close ear to listen for the alarm, so your little one doesn't hit snooze and roll over.
- Keep bathrooms organized. Store personal care products in baskets or pull-out shelving so your kids can brush their teeth and groom themselves with ease. Check-in weekly and replenish items such as toothpaste, floss, toilet paper, hair ties, hair products, and more.
- Eliminate all electronics. If you want your kids to move faster, don't let them zone out with their phones or the TV. Since breakfast will likely be quick, any small distractions can lengthen the process and dampen their momentum.
- Create a drop zone. Whether you use a rack with hooks, a closet, or you have a mudroom designated for backpacks, shoes, and coats; it's a good idea to have a specific space for these items. After school, your child should get in the habit of emptying their backpacks and lunchbox and putting these things back in the drop zone. This way, everything will be easy to find the next morning.
- Build in a few extra minutes to snuggle or connect. If you and your children start your day on a positive note, the day is likely to go better for all of you. Wake up fifteen minutes earlier, so you have time for an extra hug or story before you usher everyone out of the house.