Now that the long holiday break is over, your kids are back in school and you’re breathing a sigh of relief – we’re with you there! But getting the kiddos to settle back into their school routine is easier said than done when they’ve gotten used to a completely different schedule. Here are our top tips for streamlining your morning routine so you can get everyone up, dressed, fed and off to school – with minimal fuss.
1. Give Your Hallway Setup an Overhaul
Create a “getting ready” station for each child, with a hook for their coat and school bag and a box or basket for their shoes and accessories. Hang a new family organization calendar nearby so everyone knows what they need to be doing and when. (For more hallway organization tips, check out our complete guide.) Finally, keep a Swiffer WetJet within reach to quickly mop up any dirt the kids track in – the solution is formulated to dissolve grime from hard floors quickly and easily.
Tip: By this point, lunch boxes, backpacks and shoes have gotten a little grubby. But don’t ditch them just yet. Get our tips for cleaning up school supplies here.
2. Stick to a Routine
Your nightly routine probably went out the window with the long holiday vacation. But now that the kids are back in class, try to follow your nightly and morning routines more closely. Insist on a “lights out” time every night to ensure everyone’s getting enough sleep (including you!). And if getting out the door is a struggle in the morning, create a “morning checklist” on poster board to make the routine more fun. Have younger kids fill it out with checkmarks or stickers – include tasks like “Get dressed,” “Brush teeth” and “Eat breakfast.” If all else fails, sneakily set the clocks forward by 10 minutes to make sure you’re all on time.
3. Stock Up
Nothing’s worse than realizing you’ve run out of a household essential the night before a school day. Save yourself a last-minute dash to the grocery store by stocking up ahead of time on Pantene shampoo and conditioner, Bounty paper towels, Puffs Plus Lotion tissues and Tide PODS Plus Downy.
4. Prep the Night Before
Lay out your kids’ clothes and shoes, pack their bags and lunchboxes (don’t forget a Bounty napkin!) and set the breakfast table before you go to bed to ensure minimum hassle in the morning.
How do you make the back-to-school transition seamless for your children? Share your secrets with us in the comments section below.