weekly organizing Tips

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Category: Back to School

Streamline Your Morning Routine

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Think about your typical weekday morning – how did that make you feel? Are you relaxed, excited about the possibility of a new day, a blank slate to fill up with new ideas and successes? Or is it a total meltdown of rushing around, yelling at the kid’s to get things done, getting distracted by email or texts, laying in bed too long, hitting the snooze button too many times? If you’re feeling more of the latter read on…

The first step to figuring out WHY your morning digresses into a state of chaos is to figure out what you are doing in the morning. Get out a pad of paper and a pencil or your smart phone. Write down everything you do in your morning routine for the next two weeks. Everything-  if you hit the snooze 4 times, write it down, took 15 minutes to pick out an outfit write it down.

After two weeks look at your list. Sort the items into two categories: 1. essential items (brushing teeth, breakfast, travel time etc.) 2. Non-essential items (picking out clothes, packing lunches etc.)

With this list you can analyze your routine and take out the parts that are holding you back and causing you to be late. I talk about specific examples and ideas for families to get organized in this blog about Back to School Routines. But what you really want to think about is preparing as much as possible the night before.

I still lay my clothes out like I did in school. I have my day planned the night before and I go to bed on time, meaning built in time to read and relax before turning out the lights.

If you have a problem preparing for the night before set a timer for yourself. Give yourself time to plan for the next day. Pick out your outfit, make your lunch, pack your purse or brief case, make sure your keys are where they need to be etc. When the timer goes off you know it’s time to prepare.

One little trick I read recently that was interesting is, if sleep is an issue for you, eat foods that promote sleep at night. Food like turkey, almonds, bananas, honey or potatoes. Click Here for a few more ideas.  Another thought is to switch your largest meal to the middle of the day with a lighter option at night. Food for thought 🙂

Don’t forget to breath in the morning. It sets the tone for the rest of the day so make it happy and positive.

Happy organizing!

**photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Back to School Routine

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It’s no secret that school mornings can be stressful. Getting your child up, dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast eaten and out the door in time can seem a bit overwhelming and set the tone for your day and your child’s day. So, make it enjoyable and stress free.

One way to make the morning less stressful is to do as much as possible the night before.

In our house this is what my nighttime ritual looks like:

  • Pack lunch and keep bag in fridge to easily grab in the morning
  • Set out clothing and leave them on the living room chair
  • Pack the backpack with everything it needs, , school work, permission slips, special forms for school
  • Shoes by the door
  • Keys on the hooks
  • Breakfast items set out or easily accessible in the fridge
  • Milk cup at a level my kid can reach it so he can grab it while I’m still waking up

In the morning:

  • Get dressed
  • Make breakfast
  • Pack lunch bag in backpack
  • Brush teeth
  • Out the door

As you’ll see most of the work happens the night before so we can enjoy our mornings and get out the door on time?

How do you ensure you get out the door on time? I would love to hear your tips and tricks below.

I hope you and your child have a great first week back to school.

Happy Organizing!

photo from: freedigitalphotos.net

Foods Fit for Back to School

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Making breakfast and healthy portable lunches for your kids is apart of a successful morning during the school year. Here are a few ideas to make the preparation simple and possibly dare I say fun.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Getting your children to et breakfast might not be so easy, but here are some ideas to spruce up the breakfast table and get your kids’ excited about the first meal of the day again.

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Muffins are a great idea. You can make them before and they are portable. Here are a few scrumptious ideas:

Caramel Apple Muffins

Ham and Cheese Morning Muffins

Zucchini Spice Muffins

Cranberry Crunch Muffins

Mini Frittatas add a different spin on breakfast. Your kids will think you’ve transformed into a gourmet chef with this simple option.

Why not whips up a Breakfast Burrito after a night of Mexican for dinner? Take the taco fillers, onion, beans, cheese and add some eggs.

Making lunches for your child can save money and ensure they are eating healthy options. Consider creating lunch bins in your refrigerator and in your pantry for dry goods. This will make it very simple for you or your child to put items together for lunch or grab snacks after school.

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Here are some ideas for the lunch/snack tubs:

Refrigerator Bin:

Lunchmeat

Cheese slices

Mayo

Mustard

Jelly

Sliced fruit

Sliced veggies

Hard-boiled eggs

Cheese sticks

Mini yogurts

Mini containers of dips such as ranch, hummus etc.

Pantry Bin:

Chips

Goldfish

Trail Mix

Crackers

Cookies

Nuts

Popcorn

Dried fruit

Raisin boxes

Cheese and cracker packages

These are just ideas to get your started! Add anything into the bins that your child loves. This will promote self-service and help you trim your morning routine.

What creative food ideas do you have for your children? I would love to hear from you.

Happy Organizing!

Photos courtesy of: iheartorganizing.com, spoonful.com, freedigitalphotos.net

Transition Back into School Mode

Back to School

It’s coming, in two short weeks the kids will be back in school. My baby is starting Kindergarten, which in itself in enough to make me feel a little overwhelmed. So we are getting our house ready for the coming year.

Depending on your child’s age and abilities, consider getting them involved in the preparation. They will be thrilled to help you with school supply shopping, but also consider having them help by establishing systems and routines and areas at home for school work, supply storage and a drop zone for things going back and forth.

I have covered Back to School  before so I’ve included links below to posts filled with useful tips and tricks. For the rest of the month I will dive deeper into topics I’ve only scratched the surface on.

General Back to School Tips
Back to School Time 

I’ve also included two great posts to tuck away until your child’s artwork starts to come home, creative fun ways to cherish their treasures.
Organizing your Child’s Artwork 
Solutions for your Mini-Artist’s Treasures

Even if you don’t have children going Back to School, consider this a good time to reconnect with work after enjoying a laid back Summer. What can you apply to get your routines in check and your spaces and time organized?

Happy organizing!

 

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net