By Shannon from Lakewood, OH
Also have them pack their book bag and all non-perishable items in their lunchbox and have it ready to go. They can choose their breakfast and have the cereal box or pop-tart choice sitting on the counter for faster preparation.
By Lizard from Mobile, AL
By Teresa from Lansing, MI
Once you implement these great tips, your mornings will run as smooth as a new BMW. Okay most mornings will, not all. Being prepared will help when you are running late. Sometimes we just can't avoid it. We're all human and it happens, just deal with it. Don't beat yourself up over it. This is where being prepared will come in handy.
Make snack bags that are easily accessible for the mornings. Put cut up fruit in them, dry cereal, cheese, crackers, etc. Fill sippy cups or containers with juice or milk to keep in the fridge for on the go. That way everyone can grab breakfast when running late.
Keep a cubby at the door or a designated spot where each child can keep shoes, coats, mitts, hats, etc., so you can find them easy. There's nothing like searching for a lost shoe when you're late.
Keep backpacks by the door. Be sure homework is done and in the pack the night before. Keep a schedule for each child for gym days, trips, pizza days whatever it may be. Look at the schedules the night before and put the appropriate stuff in their packs.
Pack lunches after dinner so they're ready in the morning. Make breakfast the night before. Set the table, pour cereal in the bowls or cook bacon, pancakes or muffins the night before and just reheat. This stuff could be done on weekends and put in the freezer for weekdays. Always have yogurt and fruit in the fridge as well.
Lay out clothes the night before. If possible, take baths and showers at night. Keep girls hair accessories, along with a brush, in a handy location so everyone gets their hair done before going out the door. Girls with long hair could sleep with braids. It makes it easier to brush out in the morning.
For moms who work, all these tips work for yourself as well, like making your lunch, laying out your clothes, etc. Another thing is to only have out the make-up, jewelry and hair accessories you plan to use. That way, you're not looking through a bunch of other stuff you aren't even going to use. Just lay out the basics. Don't forget to set your coffee maker the night before.
Turn on some music to inspire everyone to get moving. Have fun and enjoy your time together, it won't last forever!
By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario
I typed up a checklist so that at night, I know exactly what needs to be done for the next day and if I did it. For example, some of the things I have listed to check off are "Lunches Made", "Backpack Ready To Go", "Teeth Brushed", etc. As each thing is done, I check it off. It really helps me feel more organized and be sure there's nothing I missed!
I also set out the next day's outfit--for my son AND myself! Saves time in the morning; after showers, etc., just get dressed without wasting time to choose an outfit.
On Sunday, I make a "menu" for my son's lunches for the coming week, divided by day. For example, Monday might be: ham, string cheese, applesauce, carrots and whole wheat crackers. I write every item down. I do this for each day, putting down everything I need for that day's lunch. That way, on weeknights I can just pack lunch quickly without having to even think about it. (I've already done the thinking ahead of time, on Sunday!)
I set out any non-perishable breakfast foods so that in the morning, we can just add milk (or whatever the case) and sit down to breakfast without any fuss.
I look through my son's backpack as soon as he gets home, for any notes from school, etc. He also needs to take a snack with for each afternoon, so I put that in a pocket on the outside of his backpack, sign any papers, etc. then hang it on a hook by our stairs so I can just grab the backpack and my purse in the morning and go out the door.
By Lisa from Kenosha, WI
Have your kids take a shower or a bath at night and have them pick their clothes out at night, this will make a smoother morning.
By Wendy from Enid, OK
They don't choose their clothes, I do that in the morning while they are eating breakfast or having some free time. I lay the clothes out on their beds. (09/19/2007)