Tired of rushing about in the mornings, trying to get yourself presentable and your kids to school on time? A morning routine is helpful, but I’ve found that the real secret to a stress-free morning if found in what you do the night before- a good evening routine sets you up for success the next day. Imagine it:
- Instead of shoveling down your oatmeal so that you have time to make your kids’ lunches, the lunch is already prepared, waiting in the fridge for your child to grab it off the shelf and stick it in their lunch bag.
- Instead of tearing through your closet trying to find the right clothes for your meeting at work, your outfit is already picked out, just hanging there waiting to be put on.
- Instead of arguing with your kids about what they’re going to wear to school, they put on what they already picked out the night before.
- Instead of forgetting to load the extra car seat that was supposed to be dropped off at school so that the babysitter could pick your kid up, the car seat is already loaded into your car.
You may have already implemented some of these strategies from time-to-time, but if you found that they just didn’t stick- that too many tasks are still being left to the morning- then a checklist is critical to getting your household running smoothly. A “routine” is a concept, but a “checklist” is the way to put the routine into action. When my husband and I were both working full-time, and our daughter was in day care full-time, I created an evening routine checklist for us to follow and it really helped make our weekday mornings less hectic. I’m providing it here, for free- download and print the checklist out, and put it on the kitchen counter for everyone to refer to after dinner. You could laminate it so that everyone can check off their tasks each night, or you could print out a new one each night. (If find that you only need to do the actual “checking off” for about 3 days- after that, people can just look at the checklist for reminders.)
Using a checklist results in fewer forgotten items, less hurrying, and more time to interact in a positive way with each other. Not only does it help your household run smoothly, it’s a great way to model efficiency for your children.
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