Creating a Better Morning Routine

8:00 AM , 0 Comments

It all started Sunday night as my kids and I were getting everything ready for the start of another week of school.  We couldn't have another week like we had this past week.  Not getting up on time, fighting over what to wear, running out the door getting only a granola bar for breakfast and constant bickering about why our morning routine needed an overhaul.

So I decided to try something new this week with my Daughter and our morning routine.  A few days later I read this post on the Art of Non-Conformity blog where Chris Guillebeau writes about saving your every day choices for the big ideas so you can improve your focus.  Creating a routine for yourself where all the basic choices have been made already.  You know what you are going to have for breakfast and your clothes are all ready laid out the night before, etc.  Save your personal energy for the larger decisions in life.  The decisions that can make the most impact.  I had a feeling that I was on the right track.  

We had already been making strides with getting to bed earlier and are closer to my goal bed time of lights out at 8:30 PM.  We are still a little sleepy getting up in the morning but I have seen real improvement.  My daughter has finally got the idea that getting more sleep equals feeling more rested and that has helped tremendously.  Night time is also when I read aloud from whatever chapter book we are currently working on.  We get in two chapters usually if we get in bed on time.

To cut down on the bickering and the fighting in the morning I realized we had to trim down our morning routine and make it simpler.  I walked through the morning in my mind and listed all the things that we need to do before we headed out for school.  If we planned ahead each of the things listed could go a lot smoother and make our mornings so much more pleasant.

  • Wake -up
  • Get Dressed
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Brush Teeth
  • Pack Lunch
  • Get Back Pack
  • Walk to School

Waking up has been quite difficult since school started so getting to bed early has been a priority.  I also gave Madi an alarm clock of her very own.  I figured that at 7 years old she could start getting herself up on her own.  That hasn't happened yet but a mom can dream right?

Towards the end of last year I had started laying out a weeks worth of outfits and hanging them up together so all we had to do was pull one down and put it on.  It seemed to work pretty well so we decided to try it again.  I started to make outfits on my daughter's bed and pulled things from her drawers that she might not have worn for awhile.  Madi gave me some input as to what she wanted to wear and we compromised pretty well.  We created five outfits including underwear and hung each one up individually and then put them toward the front of her closet.  All I had to do in the morning was to take a complete outfit down, grab a pair of socks from her chest of drawers, and place it all on her bed.  No arguing and I felt brilliant!

To make a better breakfast possible and pack decent lunches with more fresh fruits and veggies it was a no brainer to work on setting this out the night before.  I am even looking into preparing lunches for the whole week on Sunday night so all I have to do is grab a few containers and warm up some soup occasionally.  This is still a work in progress but I feel like this is completely doable.
I am ashamed to admit that we fail when it comes to brushing teeth before school.  Half the time we are already at school when I realize we forgot, again!  One idea I had was to put an extra tooth brush and tooth paste in Madi's bag so she could do it right before class if she had to or she could brush sometime after school if we forgot.  I have heard that a check list might help with this.  We shall see.

I make it a point to check her bag and get it ready for the next day as soon as we get home and before dinner.  That way homework is checked and I have some time to read important papers.  I also clean out the lunch box from the night before.  Having a consistent place to put my daughter's back pack is a must.  Last year we wasted so much time in the morning looking for her bag it was ridiculous.

Getting all of these systems in place make walking to school a much more pleasant activity and we don't feel so rushed.  By Friday of this week I was feeling quite a bit better and we were all out the door ready to meet the world before the weekend.      

What I learned this week, is don't burn your creative spark out while you are trying to decide what to have for breakfast.  Make your first choice of the day a creative one.  

Do you have any tips for simplifying your morning routine?  Make sure you share in the comments!

Emily Elliott

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard. Google

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