I was talking to my mom last night and I mentioned that this week we've done pretty well getting everybody out of the house before seven in the morning (well, except this morning, but it's Friday, you know?) even on days when I woke up at six. She was amazed that I could wake up that late and still make it out the door on time and I said, "Mom, it's the before bed routines."
That's right. I have a list of things that I do before bed every night so that should the morning start off late, for one reason or another, it won't be hectic. This routine is written on my bathroom mirror in window crayon so that when I'm brushing my teeth at night, I can double check my list and make sure I'm ready for morning. I do most of this after the kids are in bed (7 o'clock bedtime).
And here it is, my before bed routine, tweaked from the Fly Lady's to fit my life:
1. Pack O's lunch.
2. Shine sink, which includes doing dishes.
3. 5-minute room rescue, usually the living room, putting up E's toys.
4. Put out a "hot spot" – 2 minutes, usually the kitchen counter and the breakfast table
5. Put items on my "Launch Pad" for morning/load the car.
6. Put phone on charger, if needed.
7. Find my keys.
8. Check my calendar for tomorrow's events. Also, look at my perpetual calendar (Power of a Praying Parent) and pray for my kiddos..
9. Lay out clothes for tomorrow.
10. Brush teeth/wash face/take meds.
11. Go to bed at a decent hour (9 o'clock is the goal!). I deserve my rest.
Yeah, so that's it. Seems like a lot, but I started small, with just shining my sink every night, and I've added things little by little, and I can't tell you how peaceful my life feels when I can start the morning without being frazzled. I am especially grateful when I have two cranky children in the mornings, or when Oscar wakes up for the day earlier than I anticipated (before six!) which throws my morning routine off a little bit.
One thing I have been doing is picking out the kids clothes for the week ahead. One night during the week I run a load of kids' laundry. Then, on Saturday, I pick out clothes for the next week, including socks (man, I hate finding socks that match, especially at the last minute). My sister suggested that I use a shoe organizer to store the clothes "tacos", and I thought that was a splendid idea, so I went to Target and found a 10-pair shoe organizer that sits on the ground has fabric bins. Five bins for each child, for five days of the week. I have noticed that Sundays are a little hectic if I haven't picked out clothes for the little ones, so I think I'm going to get better about that now, too.
Anyway, that's how I make it out the door with two little kids before seven, even if I wake up at six.
Hope this helps someone. Credit to the Fly Lady and all her common sense.