I am no stranger to that morning dash out the door where you have to run back into the house twelve times because everyone forgot something. When I had two kids in school I decided enough was enough and I figured out what needed to be done and of course, I created a system for a before-school morning routine.
I’m going to share with you all the parts of this system so you can go into your day with confidence so that you can have a stress-free on-time morning regardless of what kind of schedule you have. I promise it’s possible! Let’s dive in and talk all about it.
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
My 10 Tips to Stress-Free Morning Routine
I do not like the feeling of being rushed and I’ve found the more things you can get systemized as you’re going out the door, the less you have to think about and go at bat with as you’re beginning your day.
I know it feels like there is a lot to do. I’m living the same life as you and I want to teach you how to set up your day, the day before, so that your before-school morning routine will kick you off into your day. I don’t want you to be rushing out the door and feel stressed when you get up and move about your day.
So what I’m going to tell you here today are the 10 simple ideas you can do the night before to prepare for a super simple and relaxed before-school routine for your kiddos. This can start anytime from the moment your kids get home from school to the time your kids go to bed (NOT after they go to bed). That is when all 1-10 of these things can happen. I want you to take these 10 tips and copy them down and put them in a place where you can see them. You ready!? Let’s get into it.
1. Lunch Boxes Laid Out
Lunch boxes should be unpacked, washed and rinsed out, laid out, and open and ready to go for the next morning. You can choose to pack them too. I like to do it in real-time in the morning when the kids can help me. Test it out and see what feels good for you. The point is you don’t want to be looking for the lunch boxes in the morning, which leads me to the second thing to do to have a stress-free morning routine.
2. Ice Block in the Freezer
We live in Arizona and you need ice blocks and they have to be in the freezer the night before. I can’t tell you how many times, and how frustrating it was, to find we are out of ice blocks in the morning. Then it’s PB&J and chips for lunch because we can’t keep anything cold. Get these in the freezer when your kids get home and you clean our their lunch boxes and you will save yourself a lot of frustration.
3. School Clothes Laid Out
We like to do this before the school year starts so we can see that the girls have all of the right clothes that pair together and then we put them away. My oldest was really excited about this one and wanted to keep them all laid out which is awesome. I pull something out for my youngest and put it on her chair. She is most likely going to instead be coming down the steps in a mermaid costume but regardless I set it out so I can redirect her to put it on.
4. Water Bottles Open
I like refrigerated water so I keep mine in there. My girls like a thermos full of ice and water so theirs sit out empty on the counter and they can fill it up in the morning. But they can’t do that if the water bottle can’t be found. When that happens I have to stop cooking breakfast to help them find their water bottle and it throws off everything.
You see, here’s the secret. These things help me stay focused in the morning and I’m able outsource a bazillion other tasks to tiny humans. That’s 100% what is happening here. I’m not in the weeds with all the little things. There are so many ways to explore this for your family no matter what age your kids are.
“You see, here’s the secret. These things help me stay focused in the morning and I’m able outsource a bazillion other tasks to tiny humans. That’s 100% what is happening here.”
Backpacks are unloaded the day before. I do this the moment my kids come home. We have a killer after-school routine that checks 5-7 of these off immediately and then I’m left with only a few in the evening.
Backpacks are unloaded, papers are cleaned out, signatures are done, and you’re reading the documents. As soon as you see that there is a celebration day or early release you put it in your Google calendar and throw the paper away. You can take a picture and put it in a folder inside your phone that says school papers as well.
Get the backpacks cleaned out, reloaded, and docked for the next day. This also includes your purse, diaper bags, gym bags, and daycare bags. We leave the backpacks open on the kitchen floor because as soon as their lunches are packed they take their lunch bags and put them in their backpack. We have a flow and pattern that works in our house and you need to find something that works for you.
6. Accessories Laid Out
I’m not sure how many accessories your boys need in the morning but over here we are in girl land. It’s the bows and the headbands and the hair ties, and earrings, and bracelets and I don’t have time for tears in the morning when they can’t be found and neither do you. Figure out what is causing the problems in your house and put that on your list.
7. Know What You are Serving for Breakfast
Either prep it or just plan it. For us, it has been really helpful to have some things prepped. We don’t do shelf-stable things for breakfast so we are almost always cooking something. I like to know what that’s going to be whether yogurt and granola or bacon, eggs, and pancakes. You probably know I’m a huge advocate of getting whole healthy foods in you and your children and this becomes a vital part of making that happen.
8. Your Clothes Laid Out
I still love doing this for myself. If you don’t love getting dressed in the morning I get it, it’s not like when you were younger. But there has to be something that excites you in your closest. Maybe you need to declutter your closet. I still go to Goodwill and pick up a few things that make me feel excited. I love going through my curated, simple, organized, closet and pulling out an outfit that I’m going to look forward to wearing in the morning. Then I don’t waste any time and I feel confident and comfortable in the clothes that I’m in to take care of all the things the next day.
9. Set Out Your Supplements
Whatever you do, the packets, gummies, drops, set them out. We have our vitamin D and our immunity oil blend for now and have more supplements in the cold season. If you are trying to create a habit it needs to be visible. It will help you flow through routines when it’s sitting out right in front of you. That’s a huge takeaway from this post. First you need to know what supplements you want your kids to have and then set them out. If you are interested in more wellness tips for your kids I did a whole post on just that.
10. Prepare Snacks
I love my snacks. We have a bin in the pantry that says snacks and the girls can go in and quickly pull out their snacks and put them in their backpacks. You might want some yogurt or berries for yourself. I love carrots and peanut butter or half an avocado. I work at home a lot but the point is I don’t want to fuss with what I’m going to feed myself or my children.
Implement One Small Thing in Your Morning Routine
There you have it! If you love this check out all the other free things you can download on the website. There is a workshop, the time blocking workbook, and fundamental needs workbook. I also have my oil guide that shares all my favorite oils and how I incorporate them into my daily routines to enhance my productivity.
I’m so excited for you to be able to take one small part of the before-school morning routine and start implementing it into your life. I look forward to hearing from you over inside the Facebook group and hearing how this is impacting you and your life and any questions you might have. I can’t wait to see you over there!