Today’s post is the 3rd in our series “How to Organize your Life”! Last week I shared with you my belief that routines are a great way to help you and your family lead a more organized life and I started by sharing with you my family’s evening routine. Over the weekend I wrote a guest post at OrgJunkie that talked about the afterschool routine that my kids and I use to transition from arriving home to unpacking our backpacks, and coming up with our evening’s homework plan. And today I am going to focus on how to get your day started the right way- with tips on how to create a morning routine for both yourself and for your kids!
First You Have to Determine Your Timeline!
The most important thing about creating a morning routine is to understand the timing of all of the things that you need to achieve in order to get the kids out the door to meet the bus on time. So- get a piece of paper and draw timeline- ending with the time you need to leave your home, and work backwards in 15 minute increments. Now- start listing the activities that you need to accomplish working backwards…. get coats on, grab your backpack, brush teeth, comb hair, eat breakfast, prepare breakfast, get out of bed and get dressed. These are all things that the kids need to do every morning, and when I write them on my timeline- I can see that if I start the process by waking them up at 7:15am, that we can make it out the door by 8:15am without rushing.
It All Starts with You!
I think it’s important that I give myself time in the morning- before I ever have to wake up the first child- to do a few things that are important to me. I like to have the dishes unloaded from the dishwasher so that I’m ready to start preparing breakfast. I like to prepare a cup of tea that I can sip throughout the morning. I like to check in on my e-mail early in the morning too. I need to allow myself time to do all of these things, otherwise I end up trying to multitask while also getting the kids ready…. and trying to multitask in the morning when you are tired and the kids are sleepy too, just amps up the overall stress level in our home. I find it so much better if I can accomplish a few things that I would like to do first.
And I also like to try to push my timeline a little further back to give myself either 45 minutes in the morning to exercise, or to get my shower in before the kids get out of bed.
Creating a Checklist
Sometimes when you are trying to get your kids to create a new habit, it helps to post a checklist in a place where they can see it and learn the new steps from it. For younger kids, it can be a picture checklist showing them all the things that they need to do and the order in which they need to do them in order to leave for school on time.
Our Morning Routine in Action…
Check out this quick 3-minute YouTube video that talks about our family’s morning routine…
How About You?
How is your morning routine working for you this school year? I would love to hear about it! Please leave a comment below….