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Let me paint a picture for you ...
The alarm goes off at 6. You hit snooze. The alarm then goes off again ... every 9 minutes ... for about 45 minutes, while you continue pressing snooze. You finally realize that you need to leave the house in 20 minutes or your kids will be late to school (again).
You jump up, rush to wake up your 3 kids and begin the race to get everyone dressed and ready for their day. All seems to be well, until your 9-year-old screams out that he can't find his school uniform shirt, and of course socks - he has no socks!
You spend 5 valuable minutes searching before you find his missing items.
No sooner then you find the stray shirt and socks, your middle schooler informs you that he needs his gym uniform today. You spend another several minutes searching for yet another lost item, only to find it at the bottom of mount dirty laundry. No way is that gonna get clean in time for school!
As you are wondering whether or not a good dousing of febreeze is enough to cover up that middle school boy stank, you suddenly remember that you also have a toddler who relies on you to dress him. And guess what ... he is still roaming around in last night's wet pull up.
So you start screaming because really, what in the heck else are you gonna do.
Needless to say, everyone is late and you look like a zombie from the walking dead as you drop your kids off.
This has been my morning WAY more times then I care to admit.
That is until I came up with this simple system that has SAVED all my mornings! I won't try to pretend that things don't get hectic sometimes, and I may still press the snooze button a time or 2 (or maybe 10 - don't judge me!) But all in all, my families morning routine has come A LONG WAY!
When I decided to fix things, I first had to figure out what the problem was. I quickly realized that I was taking on too much of the responsibility. My kids, even my toddler, are old enough to take some responsibility for getting themselves ready.
For a while, we tried just setting clothes out the night before, and things definitely improved, but let's face it ... most nights are just as chaotic as the mornings. Between homework, practices, and supper - we were already doing good if the kids were in bed at a decent time.
I started thinking about how I set myself up for an easier week, by prepping my meals for an entire week on Sunday. I figured that if it was good enough for me, then it would be good enough for my kids.
I started having them pick out every outfit for the week on Sunday. At first, it was a disaster! We had stacks of clothes everywhere and the mornings were just as crazy, as we tried to figure out which pile was which.
Then I found THIS super handy shoe organizer. I had my oldest two boys fill each pocket with complete outfits, as well as any other special clothing or items that they might need that day (things like that gym uniform). I filled up my toddlers for him, otherwise, he would be dressed in his finest superhero costume pretty much every day 🙂
Now, when we wake up - still later then we should most days - the boys get themselves ready, without any assistance from me, while I can try to get myself somewhat presentable.
Even Lucas, my 3-year-old is able to go to his organizer, pick out an outfit and dress himself with a little encouragement and some occasional help fixing a backward shirt or a shoe that ends up on the wrong foot.
It really is a simple change, but it has made such an amazing difference. Many days I even have time to fix the my boys a hot breakfast before we hit the road, and I can't remember the last time I lost my temper (in the mornings anyway).
Before, I used to feel so much guilt for how our mornings went. I hated that my boys had to start their days in chaos and screaming, and I felt like I was always behind or missing something.
Most people who talk about "transforming your mornings" will include advice that pertains to getting up earlier. I can not stress enough how much that is NOT gonna happen for me. Not consistently anyway.
I live with an entire family full of night owls. Once we gave up to the attempts to change that about ourselves, and started working with what we already had - we finally found our groove ...
For now anyway!
*NOTE - the organizers that I have been using are no longer available, but the ones linked to in this article are pretty much the some, BUT they also have a handy side pocket for additional storage. ALSO, most of these kinds of organizers come with 10 pockets, to make them fit our needs (and our closets) I just cut off the bottom 3 pockets.