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Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to School: Getting Your Day Off To a Good Start

By Rachel H

I am a stay-at-home mom, so in the summertime I do not set an alarm. When school goes back, it is a big wake up call for all of us to have to get up before the sun rises on those autumn days! Today I thought I’d share a few of my tips for starting off the day with a successful, smooth start.

One of my favorite ways to save time, arguing, and stress in the morning hours, is this clothes organizer pictured above. I have one similar to this that I bought from Lilly's Kids for my daughter and another one (without the days of the week) that I got for my son at Bed Bath & Beyond. We pick out clothes on Sunday evening and fill the organizer with outfits for all 5 days of school. Neither one of my children have an opinion on what they wear, so I do this myself. If you have kids who are opinionated about their style, this organizer is a huge help, because you can let them choose the outfits for the week themselves. Then you are not watching outfits get pulled in and out of the closet a million times in the mornings. You or your child can stuff this organizer with the shirt, bottoms, underwear, socks, and even shoes for the week. It is also great because I always remember to put sneakers in there on the day my child has P.E. class since Crocs or Sandals won’t do! This simple little organizer will save you so much time! The rule in our house is that you need to be dressed before you come out of your room. We do showers the evening before, so it is easy for my children to roll out of bed, put on the clothes that are in that specific day’s cubby, and come on out for breakfast. If your child does not know how to read the days of the week, it is not a problem. They just go down to the cubby below the next each day.

Another time saver in the morning is to have an area where the kids can easily hang their bookbags, toss their shoes, leave their folders, etc. If it is always in the same place, you won’t waste time looking for the lost shoe or the field trip permission slip that is due today. In the picture above, you can see that there is a specific place for shoes, coats, and folders. When they are there, it is not only easier for the children, but it is also a good reminder for the parent to check the folder, sign papers, sign the reading log, etc.

Breakfast needs to be simple as well if you are in a time crunch. Be sure to check out Deborah’s blog on healthy breakfast choices. These are terrific ideas and easy to eat on the go!

Last, but not least, is the task of packing lunches. On Thursday we will be sharing some great waste-free lunch ideas on the news and on the website. You can use these items to pre-package food for the week. Fill your little containers with grapes, pour pretzels into baggies, cut the carrots, etc. If the foods are already packaged, it is easy to toss them into the lunch boxes each morning without wasting much time. One time saver that always works for me is letting my kids buy lunch! My son loves to buy his lunch at school. No prep time for mom, and no unnecessary waste, either! Most schools have meal cards now where you can put money on the card yourself so that students are not carrying cash to school. They are assigned a number, which even Kindergartners learn quickly, and they punch the number into the keypad and scoot on over to the table to eat. Can’t get much easier than that!

I would love to hear more ideas, especially from those of you with teens who would like to sleep all day long, so please share your ideas below!


R.J.M. said...

I have always wanted to get one of those hanging organizers. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

Here's a second vote for buying lunches!!! It is the way to go!

Kelly G. said...

I got a hanging organizer for each of my boys and it's awesome not having to scrounge for clothes every night. They both love pulling their own clothes off the shelves.

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