Getting your kids ready and off to school in the morning can be an exercise in controlled chaos. It’s even more likely to be a problem if your kids fell out of their routine during the summer or a school break. Sometimes getting more than one kid out the door can feel a little bit like herding cats. Not to mention in panicked desperation of those inevitable moments when somebody forgets something!
In these moments, organization and thoughtful preparation can make all the difference between a daily disaster and making your way toward the door like a well-oiled machine. The following are some basic tips you can use to help your kids get ready in the morning.
Organization In The Bedroom And Closet
If your children are young, chances are they will usually accept whatever outfit you put on them. There might be the odd bellyache or groan but they’re likely to accept what you offer them on a low hanger. If your child is under ten years old, you can probably get away with leaving out one or two outfits the night before. This allows them to grab what they want, while you feel comfortable knowing it’s appropriate for the weather.
Children who are older than ten, or who have plunged deep into their teenage years, typically demand to be in charge of what they wear each day. In these times, the wrong outfit for the weather, or a school day, can grind your entire morning to a stubborn halt.
One way to minimize these problems is to do some routine seasonal changeovers. When school starts back, the whole family goes into their closet and packs away the summer stuff into tote bins or reserved storage areas. Of course, a few choice items can be put into zipper-bag hangers and left at the back of the closet for weekends and fall heat waves.
Not only is this a convenient way to kill a slow Saturday afternoon, but it’s also an opportunity to get a chaotic closet organized for the school year. It also gives you a little extra peace of mind knowing that the “Right Clothes” are in play, and the “Wrong Clothes” are put away.
If you have more than one child, the bathroom can be an every-morning battlefield. Setting up some semblance of a hard and fast schedule can help limit conflict. Having thoughtful bathroom organization systems in place will also go a long way toward making sure everyone can get what they need when they need it.
Sometimes something as simple as putting a mirror and vanity station in a bedroom or walk-in closet can help keep the bathroom mirror available. This is especially helpful if you only have one bathroom in your home.
There is also a wide range of bathroom organizational systems that you might want to consider. This could be as simple as drawer dividers, personalized cubby spaces in the bathroom cabinet, or medicine cabinet spacers. Being able to keep everything in a specific spot saves time for every family member.
Kitchen Organization And Preparation
Once you have them dressed and ready to face the day, the focus needs to shift to make sure they have everything they need to get out the door. The last thing you need is for someone to forget their lunch as they’re stepping on the bus, or you’re dropping them at the curb.
Of course, taking a few minutes the night before to put popular breakfast items where kids can help themselves will spare your hands for making cold lunches, or getting your own self ready. Favorite cereals out on the counter and the bowl where short little arms can reach will free you up and might even encourage a young child’s sense of independence.
Pantry and refrigerator organization can also be very helpful for the days when you need to pack a cold lunch or two. A single dedicated shelf for perishable items in the pantry or reach-in kitchen cabinet helps keep your non-perishable cold lunch supplies in one place. It’s certainly much better than wasting a lot of precious minutes hunting back and forth between shelves.
Single-serve bags of chips, pudding cups, and juice boxes might cost a little more than buying large bags and dividing them into small bags. What it does save you is time. If you do need to mind the budget on these items, you might be able to buy in volume at large bulk stores. Chances are you will go through popular lunch items whether they’re in lunch bags or weekend snacks.
Hanging a whiteboard or chalkboard in the kitchen can also be a great way for your kids to note their preferences. You could make it a part of their evening routine to write down some thoughtful requests for their lunch. This could spare you the inevitable guessing game, and debate as you pack backpacks or move them toward the door.
Entryway And Foyer Organization
Some kids have a nasty habit of shedding everything in a heap when they walk through the door. This might be annoying in the evening, but it can be a downright nightmare of chaos, in the morning. Providing each child with their own space for their things ensures that they can grab them again in the morning.
This includes things like
- Their own coat hook or hanger spot
- Their own shoe and boot cubby
- Their own shelf spot or cubby for hats and gloves
If your kid tends to get sweaty or wet hands and feet, you might want to keep a boot dryer in the hall closet. Some of the better units have sensors built-in to monitor the moisture level and automatically turn off. Your child can load it up when they come in the night before to make sure that everything is dry the next morning. This will also go a long way toward reducing the funky smells that can saturate into boot liners and mittens that are frequently left wet.
Finding The Right Organizational Solutions For Your Family
There is no one right answer that works for every home. Each child and each family has their own needs and ways of doing things. If you aren’t sure which options are best for you, the experienced professionals at ClosetTec are here to help.
We have spent decades helping families to find the organizational systems they need to get their kids off to a good start every morning.