It’s a hectic time of year, and even though I just have a baby and 2 preschoolers, these 7 back-to-school hacks are saving my life!
1. Make all sandwiches once a week. Making lunches for 3 kids can take a long time in the morning (and usually means forfeiting the slim-to-none chance I have at a shower), so I’ve skirted the issue by making all their sandwiches once a week, on Sunday night. Yep, I slap that mayo and bologna or peanut butter and jelly on some bread, throw them into 15 small sandwich bags and put them all in an open plastic container on a shelf in our fridge. Done, done and done.
2. Unpack and repack lunch bags right after school. This is a lifesaver! Basically, you can put anything room temperature in their lunch bags the day before. (Duh.) So, after I clean out today’s old stuff, I immediately refill their water bottle and put it right back in the bag, along with bags of chips, crackers, pretzels or cookies, and usually fruit like an apple or banana. Which of course they never eat but it’s just for looks so I don’t get any nasty letters home. *wink*
3. Have kids pick outfits at the beginning of the week. My sister-in-law does this, and it works wonders if you have kids who are opinionated about their outfits. On Sunday, have them pick their outfits for the week, and then, hang them at the front of the closet. Those 30 minutes will save you 1 to 2 hours through the course of the week.
4. Take the good chips away for bad behavior. I’m laughing as I write this because I know it sounds ridiculous, but this has been working wonders in my house! For a while, when my 5-year-old would get mouthy or start being disobedient, I’d started running out of things to take from him. His favorite toy, timeouts, no TV… nothing seemed to really deter the behavior. Until I threatened to take the good chips out of his lunch for the next day. LOL. DONE. Sorry timeouts, but this is a job for Cheetos. #micdrop Never underestimate the power of taking the good chips.
5. Put all sports uniforms in 1 laundry basket. Because who wants to be searching for that one lonely baseball sock, or that missing soccer cleat at 7:20am on a Saturday? When you get home, all the clothes and gear go in the basket, they get washed (by you, in case you didn’t know *wink*), and all back in the same basket. Ready for next weekend, and drama-free.
6. Offer special after-school snacks with homework. My sis-in-law has a basket in her pantry with after-school snacks, and as soon as the kids get home, they know they can grab a snack and then head to their desks in their rooms to get homework done. (She used to let them do homework on the kitchen table, but it got too distracting for them, so now they go to their rooms.) If they don’t fight her on homework, they also get a small Gatorade when they’re done.
7. Start a babysitting co-op for the kids who aren’t in school. This is amazing, and I do it every week. Find one friend, and switch kids once a week. Now that school’s started, my friend and I meet at one of the kids’ schools to take the littles for the morning. It’s amazing. And free. (Read this post to learn more about how it works.)
Any more to add? Share them in the comments section below!