2 Oct 2017

Top Five 'Organising the Week' Tips for Mums

Once you have more than one child and you have to add School runs into the mix, life needs to stay organised so everyone gets to where they should be. So to help you get out the door on time each morning I've put together our top five tips which get us through the week and out the door so we all make it to School and work on time. We've all got our family flash points but with this simple set of tips you can definitely minimise them on busy school mornings. I'll start with the most important thing you need to do;

1) Plan ahead

Now this sounds easy and it is but that's probably why most people miss this step...because it's a bit obvious. So for instance, on a Sunday afternoon I make sure that all uniform has been washed and to get us started I lay out both sets of uniform on a Sunday night to help get ahead. When I say lay it out, I include everything from underwear to hairbrushes and hair clips so it isn't such a mad dash on a Monday. It really helps get us out of the house on time on a Monday morning and sets the tone for the rest of the week.

2) Review the week ahead

As above, it's all in the planning and I try and take five minutes each night to write a list or put together anything I need for the next day. A shopping list goes in my handbag and I don't have to worry, I try to think ahead to see what I might need to do. So for this I always need some good stationery to help me out, my current fave is from Sainsbury's 'No Drama Llama' range. I've also got myself a big whiteboard planner which we all add bits to for the week (the kids usually put things on there like 'buy chocolate' or 'go pizza hut'). Now I really enjoy sitting with a coffee or tea and planning ahead.

3) Have a Visual Plan

I'm never going to be that mum who makes sandwiches the night before, I've tried but I'm just not that woman. But I am a planner and so each week I make a meal plan and a shopping list for the weeks and this includes packed lunches. So whenever we need a lunch box meal, I know exactly what is going in and I have been known to pop the non perishables in the box ready and it's easy to prepare the sandwiches or wraps. This cuts down on the headless chicken dance when it's time to leave for school. The meal plan and shopping list also makes sure I use up everything we buy and cuts down on waste (and saves us money). I put it on the fridge and make everyone aware that it's there, so that way I'm not the only one to get bits out the freezer for the next day's dinner so that's another thing ticked off the list.

4)  Keep Everyone in the Loop

So communication is key, you may want the kids to get dressed and put their shoes on (which you've neatly put out in the hall) but unless you explain it then the whole planning stage will be for nothing. I used to get frustrated that I'd tell them they needed to put their shoes on but not explain it fully and just expect them to go find them (which at 6yrs & 3yr they need it really spelled out to them). So now we put things out in sequence so as their shoes and coats are the last thing on, they are at the front door neatly and it all follows a natural flow for them. The kids like having a sequence of events that they know what is coming next and lets them feel in control of the situation.

5) Change What doesn't Work

It's all well and good feeling prepared but if it all falls apart and you end up stressed anyway then it's clearly not the plan for you. Tweak it to fit your needs and ask each other how you all feel, perhaps the kids might come up with ways in which they can help out or make things simpler for you all. We have spent time tweaking our actual leaving time, I'm fairly sergeant major about getting out the house and we leave the house, every day, at 8.20am. It was a bit later but I used to have to jolly the kids along and I'd get stressed when they didn't walk as fast as I wanted so leaving slightly earlier has reduced the stress levels and we can dawdle along a bit more.
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