5 Tips for an Easy Back-to-School Morning Routine

back to school tipsNow that school has begun, your fall schedule is going smoothly without any hitches, bumps, or obstacles, right? :) If only life were that simple! For most families, September is a crazy month of transition. But it doesn’t have to be so stressful. Consider your morning routine. It sets the tone for your entire day. Take time to organize. Make your days easier by implementing my five tips for an easy morning routine. Not only will your blood pressure go down, but your kids will be less rushed and harried. They are watching and learning from you. The more they see you relax, the more they will relax!

alphabet on blackboard1) Set out clothes outfits the night before. How many times has your teenage daughter stood in front of her closet half-asleep saying, “I don’t know what to wear!?” Adults are no different. I do the same thing!  My morning is much easier if I lay out my clothes for the next day, on the night before. When their clothes are chosen beforehand, children can get dressed without fuss. For little children, you can pick their outfit for them.

2) Make lunches the night before. Place each child’s lunch in a labeled plastic container in the fridge (with their name on it). In the morning, have them pack their lunch into their own lunch bag. Teach them how to fill their own water bottle and grab their own after-school snacks. Better yet, prepare groups of snacks on Sunday afternoon for the entire week. Bag up raw veggies, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits for each day of the week. The idea here is to plan ahead. The more you do, the less stressful making lunches will be and the more likely your children will choose healthy snack options.

3) Sign permission slips, check homework, and load up sports bags the night before. Do you see a pattern here? :)

4) Maintain checklists for each child’s activities. One child is in gymnastics, the other in swimming, your oldest in football, and the youngest in art class. Oh yeah, your middle child has piano lessons on Wednesdays! The best way to maintain order is to keep current checklists and calendars for each child. Place a calendar in each of their rooms, so they can be prepared for the next day’s activities. Teach them how to pack supplies for their own activities using checklists.

5) Make simple but healthy breakfasts. Boxed cereal may be fast, but it’s not healthy or sustaining. Your children will be dying for brain food an hour into their school day. Give them healthy but easy-to-prepare breakfast food that can get them through math, reading, and social studies before the lunch break. Here are some ideas. Click on the links to read the recipes. I’ve tried several. They are delicious!

What is your favorite tip for an easier morning routine? There are many great ideas. Share yours and I’ll post the best comments in my next newsletter. In the mean time, enjoy a more relaxed morning routine, even if you are not a morning person. 😉

The New Normal

Whether it’s unexpected or planned, life events can sometimes throw us into chaos for a period of time until we can adjust. Sometimes it’s a birth, marriage, illness, accident, move, or new job that causes stress, good or bad. That adjustment time is when we discover how to operate within the new circumstances. This is what I call living in the “new normal”.

These past few months, I’ve had friends and family go through really hard times, and I’ve been glad to help when I can. For them, they are learning to live in the new normal.

These times are always a good opportunity to evaluate what’s truly important in life. For me, it’s relationships with my family and friends. It’s also a chance to look at everything else in life as just stuff! Letting go of that stuff and organizing it brings us one step closer to our priorities.

What in your life can you release or organize to concentrate on relationships? Here are some examples. Some of these things are about saying yes, and some of them are about saying no.

  • Organizing a garage into a game room so that you can facilitate play with your grandchildren
  • Organizing your kitchen so you can teach your daughter to cook
  • Organizing your work schedule, so you can spend more time with your kids
  • Organizing your meal planning, so you can get healthier and live longer
  • Organizing your commitments, so you are not burned out at the end of the day
  • Organizing your kids’ schedules so that they are not over-committed to too many activities
  • Organizing your office, so you can find paperwork easily and not waste precious time

Often times, crises will cause us to adjust quickly so we are in a better place in life, but I hope that you don’t have to go through a life crisis to adjust to a new and better normal.

What can be organized in your life to increase your relationship quota?What’s your new normal?

My sister, me, mom and nephew!