In our house, getting out the door on time in the morning is an exercise in futility. If everyone is awake more than 30 minutes before we have to walk out the door, there is a chance we will make it, but that is a real rarity.
Then there is the getting dressed, the brushing teeth and maybe hair, the breakfast thing, making sure bags and lunches are packed, putting shoes on (I know, I’m terrible for asking them to wear shoes) and then if you are lucky, walking out the door without forgetting anything.
It’s a lot!
Since I like to keep things simple, let’s try to make Monday mornings (every morning for that matter) easier with these tricks for getting out of the house on time and with as few tears as possible (adults included).
1. Pack lunches the night before
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Start by putting all of the non-perishable items into the lunch bag the night before. Leave it on the counter and open. Gather the items that need to stay cold overnight and put them together in the fridge, ready to go. That way, in the morning, you are trying to assemble lunch, you are merely placing items into the bag.
Looking for more lunch ideas? Check out this post. You’ll find 11 simple lunch ideas ready to go!
2. Pre-make all your sandwiches for the week
Want another trick to make packing lunches even easier? Credit to Danielle Renov of Peas, Love and Carrots for this incredible hack for making sandwiches ahead of time. Make your favorite sandwich:
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Just Jelly
- Peanut butter and honey
- Chocolate spread
- Cheese of any sort
- Hummus and provolone
Now freeze them in individual labeled zip top bags. In the morning, pull it out of the freezer and plop into the toaster or your sandwich maker, warm through, wrap it in foil and plop into lunch bag. You can also just plop them in their lunches frozen. They will defrost by lunchtime.
Remember those easy breakfast sandwiches I shared with you a few weeks ago? These work the same way! Use them for lunch or breakfast. They are simple, healthy and quick to prep.
This really is a genius idea and I can’t wait to try it out!
3. Use the weekend to prep for the week
On Sunday, have the kiddo’s help portion out their snacks for the week. Then it’s just grab and go when it’s time to make lunches. This works for crunchy dry snacks, fruits and veggies. Having your kids help with this, also helps ensure that they will eat what you pack them.
If you are using the frozen sandwich hack from above, prep all the sandwiches over the weekend as well. I still can’t get over how genius this is!
4. Make ahead breakfasts
Again, get the family involved. Ask what they would like to have for breakfast in the upcoming week and prep and freeze these items. Want to go a step further. Label each breakfast item by the day and then when its crazy in the morning, everyone knows what is for who and then they can almost take care of themselves. Well, almost…maybe….kinda?
One my favorite muffin recipes (carrot-zucchini muffins) freezes great and two of those muffins make a great breakfast.
Some other ideas for make ahead breakfasts include:
5. Energy Bites
Don’t know what to pack your kid to round out their lunch. Do they seem like they need a little pick me up first thing in the morning but aren’t quite ready for breakfast yet? Keep a batch (or two) of these energy bites in your fridge on a shelf kids can reach. They are delicious, but healthy and filling so everyone wins.
6. Label, label, label
Label everything. I really mean it. Label everything and your mornings (and most other things you set out to tackle will be easier). Some things that I label to make things simpler for me.
- What day of the week each snack bag is for
- Type of sandwich in freezer
- Type of smoothie in freezer (although mostly I just tell ask them if they want red, orange or green)
- All the clothes going to camp and school (I use these labels for all the “stuff”)
- And the list goes on…
I use Mabel’s Labels for my kids clothes, sharpies for labeling zip-top bags and a label maker for stuff around the house. But, I want you to use whatever method works for you. The only thing that matters is that stuff is labeled!
7. Unpack and repack backpacks when they get home from camp, not in the morning
The worst thing ever is when you go to put a lunch in a bag in the morning and there is still old lunch, wet towel, wet bathing suits and unidentified art projects rolling around in a big mess from the day before.
My tip: Have your kids unpack their bag as soon as they walk in the door and take off their shoes. Have them put the wet stuff in the laundry, the lunch box in the sink, art projects on the table, etc. Not only does this start teaching responsibility, it’s a huge help to you. Then, as soon as that bag is empty, go ahead and repack it for the next day (towel, dry bathing suit, extra clothes, etc), and place it in it’s spot. Then in the morning, you just drop in a lunch and off you go!
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. Try doing just one or two of them for the summer and see if it helps your Monday mornings