Are you stressed? Of course you’re stressed – you’re a parent… It’s part of the job description! The first thing Jennie and I ask ourselves when we get a little too stressed is, “what activities can we cut back and how can we be more organized?!” It’s easy to over commit to activities and it’s even easier to get so caught up in the day to day stresses that once you feel unwound it can feel like a slippery slope to get your sanity back!
Studies have shown that the more organized you are, the less stressed you’ll feel. One way we try to be more organized is to pack things for the next day’s activities the night before. We can put everything we’ll need by the door, ready to go (or, in my case, I have to put it IN the car so I don’t forget it)!
Mornings are usually a little frazzled for us (mostly because I’m NOT a morning person)! Having everything packed and ready to go helps keep us organized. Then I don’t feel as stressed running around in the morning trying to pack everything and get us ready.
Another big project of mine lately has been cleaning the car out. Jennie found some cute fabric bins at the dollar store and she had the great idea of putting them on the floor of the car! One with diapers, wipes, change of clothes for the kids, etc. The other is used for toys, books, games for the boys. Having “back ups” makes your life easier in the end because there is always something you forget to pack right?!
For those of you getting ready for back to school, here are 11 ways to get out the door faster in the mornings thanks to Oprah! (Thanks Amanda!)
- Prepack your kids lunches
- Quicker coffee breaks (prepare your coffee the night before so all you have to do in the morning is press “on” or get a coffee machine with a timer so the coffee is ready by the time you get up!)
- Prearrange your family’s clothes the night before
- Taking turns – coordinate bathroom schedules of people you live with (if needed)
- Speedy breakfast solutions – have a lineup of fast, easy breakfast solutions ready to go!
- Prevent backpack panic by creating inboxes for each family member (have kids unload their backpacks after school, putting important papers in their inbox so they never get lost!)
- Time yourself – if you or the kids tend to linger and take too long in the shower or eating breakfast, set the timer!
- Call ahead for carpool – make any travel arrangements at least the day before
- Think ahead and prepake your purse or briefcase (or diaper bag!) the night before to shave off valuable minutes getting out the door! Also have the kids prepack their backpacks!
- Keep the peace – tempers can flare between children are still half asleep. Prevent sibling spats by making sure your house rules cover things like sharing clothes, bathroom etiquette and sharing front-seat privileges on the way to school.
- Ignore chores – when you’re trying to get out the door resist the urge to do morning chores that will set you behind schedule!
I hope these tips help you feel a little less stressed out and a little more organized! For more info on ways to make your life a little easier by staying organized, check out Flylady! The site seems a little strange, but she has great ways for you to get organized and really walks you through the process! Please pass along any other helpful ways that keep your family organized!