My bedtime alarm rings at 6.30 am and I am tired again! According to my iPhone, I was suppose to go to bed at 10:00 to get 8 hours and 30 minutes of sleep. Because I enjoy my quiet time too much and it’s precious to me, I often go to bed after 10:00 each night. Knowing I have less than an hour to get everyone out the door, I tried many different morning routins and find the one that works for us.
Here are the 15 hacks that save our (my) mornings:
1) ALWAYS DO ALL THE LAUNDRY BEFORE MONDAY
For the whole week, I don’t have to think about any laundry whatsoever and that helps me! That means, you will need at least 7 pairs of socks for each person in your household.
2) HAVE AN OUTFIT READY
I like preparing outfits before morning, so when Alex and Bella wake up, they already know what to put on. Alex picks his own outfit, because he’s at that age that he doesn’t like Mom’s taste very much. Different story with my four year old, she puts on whatever I give her (almost).
3) CLEAN LUNCH BOX
Depending on what lunch box you use, since we have Planet Box, I need to wash it every day. Having it all ready for the next morning really helps.
4) PACK YOUR BACKPACK WHEN YOU FINISH YOUR HOMEWORK
One of the rules in our home is, as soon as you finish your homework, put it into your folder and your folder back into your backpack. Our goal is to have our backpack ready in the morning, in the same place everyday.
5) COFFEE PERSON?
Want to save another 5 minutes, invest in a coffee maker with a timer.
6) NO MORNING CARTOONS OR TABLETS BEFORE LAST 10 MINUTES
I don’t let my children watch TV shows or play with their tablets until we are all set for school. Our routine is: get dressed, eat breakfast, wash your hands and face, brush your teeth, and if there’s 10 minutes left, we will turn on TV! Usually that keeps them motivated to get ready fast, without distractions.
7) HOLD THEM RESPONSIBLE
Alex is responsible and knows the rule, bring your backpack downstairs when you come downstairs in the morning. He takes care of his homework and his backpack.
8) VELCRO SHOES
Easy to put on shoes are time savers! Tight pretty shoes with lace, not so much.
9) TO-DO LIST OR ORGANIZATION APP
Mornings are hectic and there are other responsibilities besides the kids and their lunches to think about before heading out. Help yourself with a to-do list or a phone organization App.
10) SIMPLE BREAKFAST
My children are big fans of waffles and pancakes, so I usually toast waffles from Trader Joe’s, or make pancakes for the day and the following one. If we have pancakes for breakfast, sometimes I also send them for lunch. Another simple breakfast is oatmeal, cereal, and basic fruits.
11) MORNING TUNES
Have you tried waking your children up with their favorite gentle melody? 5 minutes before they actually need to wake up, I play their favorite music on my iPhone (they like Bedtime Alarm “Early Riser”).
12) QUIET TIME
To get ready for another hectic morning and start your day in peace, wake up 15 minutes before everyone else. If you liked my suggestion on #5, your coffee will be ready for you and you will have 15 minutes of ‘waking up’ and going through your to-do list for that day.
13) BAG AND KEYS ALWAYS READY
I like to have that one bag, in which I always have my wallet with my documents, and my car keys. If we are in a super hurry, I always know where it is, I can grab the bag and leave in seconds. I know for sure, everything I NEED is in that bag! If I am heading to the office after dropping off kids at school, than I put the computer, chargers, paperwork and other items to my bag the previous night. In the morning, I grab the bag and viola, I am ready to go!
14) MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH FOOD IN YOUR FRIDGE
When you are doing your grocery shopping, make sure you buy enough of food for all the meals, plus for all lunches you will pack that week. I don’t over buy fruits, because if we don’t eat all of them, they go bad. But again, I try to buy many different options, along with strawberries, I also buy apples, which last longer.
15) STAY IN YOUR BED AS LONG AS POSSIBLE
Alex needs to wake up very early during the week, so I let him sleep in on the weekends. Because week mornings are so hectic, I try to keep everyone calm on the weekends. No rushing, no stress. I do plan every weekend to go places and do something fun, but usually Sundays are our cleaning/laundry/resting/getting ready for the week days.