As a perpetual night owl, I'm determined to sleep in as late as possible. I'm pretty sure that is my main motivation for streamlining my mornings. I value every minute in bed so I try to come up with solutions that help my kids get ready without a ton of mom help.
Today on Studio 5, I'm sharing some of my favorite mom hacks for easier mornings. I'll link to the video as soon as it's available...until then, here's a quick preview of my morning hacks.
Morning Hack 1: Clothes Caddy
A huge amount of the morning can be consumed tracking down kids clothes. I make these simple boxes that roll under the kid's beds so I can avoid all the morning fights.
I'll do a separate post tomorrow on how to assemble it but it's basically a wrapping paper bin divided up with pieces of foam core. I folded things neatly for the Studio 5 segment but I usually just toss things in. I let the kids pick their shirts, socks, underwear and PJs for each day and then I help them find the bottoms to match.
With my older boys, I also have them add in their sports stuff and Sunday clothes to avoid hunting for jerseys and ties each week.
Morning Hack 2: Hair Help
I know this will seem odd to some of you but I always do hair at the kitchen counter while my kids eat breakfast. When the kids are eating, they're distracted and easy to work with. Plus, the counter puts them at an ideal height for tricky hairstyles. I devote an entire drawer to hair supplies but if that's not an option for you just grab a basket and add it to a cupboard.
Morning Hack 3: Easy Alarms
Mornings are busy for me. I don't have time to follow my kids around and make sure they're getting things done. To simplify the process, I just set alarms on my phone. I use songs as the alarm sounds so the kids the kids can hear the songs and know what to do next. I don't have a bunch of alarms - just three. One for them to get dressed and brush teeth, one to pack their lunches and backpacks, and one to get shoes and coats on. I let the kids pick the songs for each of them and we change them every few months. Currently, my boys are in an 80's metal phase so Thunderstruck roars through our house each morning.
Morning Hack 4: Shoe Arrows
Every mom knows that shoes and toddlers just don't mix. Getting shoes on the right feet is a challenge ... and can really slow down the getting-out-the-door process. To make this simple step easier, I add Sharpie arrows to the inside of Vi's shoes. She just needs to point the arrows together to know which one goes on which foot.
Morning Hacks 5: Homework Inboxes
I hate school paper piles. Between the six kids, I have a mountain of pastel-colored papers littering my kitchen table each night. To control the chaos, I installed some office inboxes near our homework desk. Each kid has their own box and we use them to hold library books, spelling lists, permission slips, homework packets...pretty much anything that needs to go in a backpack.
I promise to post more about our homework desk soon...it's a life saver for those after school hours. Here's a sneak peak...