Most mornings seem like a mad rush to get everyone up, dressed, fed, and out the door, all while trying not to scream, break down, or forget something. Just this morning, I cleaned up spilled milk and tried to reason with a toddler as he demanded that HE put his own shorts on and HE walk the dog, which as you know, takes about thirty hours longer. We compromised thanks to the promise of a Fig Bar.
I thrive on routine and organization, so I have implemented a few steps in our house to help the mornings run a bit more smoothly. That way, when there is the inevitable spill, meltdown or bump in the road, I’m not completely panicking that we will all be late.
I work in administration at a school, my husband is back in school for nursing while working 12-hour shifts at a hospital on his off-days, and my son goes to a preschool just down the road from me. We all have somewhere to be each morning, and most mornings, Liam and I are tackling the morning scramble on our own. (Coffee is my love language.)
So what do we do to keep the morning madness at a minimum?
1. We set out our clothes every Sunday night.
I initially did this for Liam’s closet because his outfits are so easy: shorts, shirt and socks. I do his laundry over the weekend and immediately set aside five outfits for the week. Whether I am getting him ready in the morning, or my husband is home helping out, either of us can just grab his outfit for the day to get him dressed. There is no scrambling through his drawers or laundry basket. I use this organizer because I loved the colors and days of the week listed.
Recently, I started doing this for myself, too. Seriously, the less I have to think in the mornings, the better! I found this sturdy clothes organizer at Ikea. For me, I also include jewelry and undergarments, because like I said, less thinking is better.
2. I pack lunches for the week on Sunday night.
I usually take leftovers or a sandwich to work each day. As for Liam, I usually send him with an entree, cheese stick, veggie chips and fruit. I found these Easy Lunch Boxes on Amazon which makes it so easy to pack all of his lunches at once. (And notice the crockpot going in the background? That’s another time-saving trick!)
I try to mix up the entrees throughout the week, and then plug in the veggie chips and fruit option. He often eats peanut butter sandwiches, which I also make a head of time. To prevent them getting soggy, I make them with this sandwich cutter and stick them in a baggy in the freezer. On the day of, I take it out and put it in his lunch box so it is thawed by the time he eats it. It’s a cheaper DIY version of Uncrustables!
3. I make sure there are easy grab-and-go breakfasts handy.
As soon as my kid wakes up in the morning, he’s demanding milk and breakfast. Personally, I don’t function well before my first cup of coffee, so I like to have things on-hand that I can give him.
I typically make egg muffins each week to keep in the fridge. They last up to a week stored in the fridge, and they are a great option for the whole family. I just take 6 eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, salt and pepper, and mix it up. I sprinkle some cheese at the bottom of silicone baking cups and pour the egg mixture on top about 3/4 the way full. I bake them at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. I sometimes add in cooked breakfast sausage and green onions which makes them even more delicious! Six eggs makes yield about 8 muffins.
I also keep Fig Bars (found at Costco and Fry’s), fresh berries and bananas on hand in case we need to eat some of our breakfast literally on the go.
Here’s to a smooth start to the school year!