School mornings with elementary kids can be absolutely painful, but they don’t have to be! Did you know that there are a few (really!) simple things that you can do to make getting out the door easier?
Here are three easy ways to simplify school mornings:
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1. Simplify Clothing
I don’t know about you but my kids can make picking out clothes for school a 45-minute long event. But who has time for that? One of the best things that we have done to simplify school mornings is to choose outfits for the whole week on laundry day. We have these hanging closet organizers from IKEA – they’re perfect because they have 5 large cubbies, one for each school day. (Here is a similar hanging organizer on Amazon). Once a week (on laundry day) we assign outfits for each school day for the week and put one set in each compartment. The kids know that they have to choose an outfit from the cubby there’s no changing things after their outfits have been set up. This has made our mornings SO much easier.
If you don’t want to organize a full week at a time, try laying out clothing the night before. Make sure to include everything down to socks shoes and underwear.
2. Simplify Food.
Breakfast foods has been another time suck in our busy mornings. But it’s also one of the easiest things to simplify. Kids don’t need to have 17 different options for breakfast, they can make do with three or four nutritious options to choose from for the week. Even one or two if you’re really crunched for time.
When we had to get out the door extremely quickly, I would make up sandwiches ahead of time that they could eat the morning of. Other quick options are cereal and easy to eat fruit like banana or apples. Save the hot breakfast choices for the weekend, or use a kitchen tool like the Instant Pot or a microwave to quickly whip up hot food on school days.
School lunches are another easy thing to simplify.
With just an hour of prep on the weekends you can make packing school lunches super duper easy. Pre make sandwiches and stick them in the freezer, and pull them out the morning of. Divide easy to eat fruits into snack size bags or containers, and make snack packs of pretzels or veggie sticks. You can even use containers like these to make lunchable style lunches a few days in advance so all they need to do is grab and go. Here are a few ideas from around the web for how to simplify packing lunches:
- YouTube: Make Ahead Freezer Sandwiches
- 7 Tips for Packing School Lunches
- Make Ahead Cold Lunches in a Day
3. Make a List (or Four)
Lists are a busy moms BFF. Don’t make your mornings harder by trying to remember the same things over and over! Make a list of ANYTHING that you need to remember on a regular basis. There’s something so powerful about having your day to day steps written out. Decision fatigue is a real thing and anything you can do to combat that will only help to simplify school mornings and make your day easier.
Lists work great for kids too! You can use a simple pictorial list (like these) for non-readers to remind them of their morning routine. For older kids, lists are a fantastic non-nagging way to help them remember to do chores, check homework, and remember to pack what they need for school mornings. I loved the tips on this video for using checklists for teens (and even myself!)
School mornings don’t have to be chaotic and stressful! With a few tweaks to your day, you can easily simplify school mornings, and maybe even buy yourself enough time to drink your coffee while it’s still hot.
For more great tips on how to simplify your life so you have more time for the important things, click here. Were you encouraged or inspired by this post? Spread the love by sharing the link with your friends!
Jamie writes about living intentionally and finding beauty and perspective in the adventures of everyday life. When she’s not writing, she’s living her own adventures – working full time at an ER registration desk, parenting two spicy girls, and collaborating with her husband on the remodel of a former one-room schoolhouse on their homestead in rural Wisconsin.