Clean out ClosetsI do this every summer for not only the kids, but myself as well. It is so much easier and less stressful to stand in a closet choosing from clothes you like and wear regularly, so do not feel guilty when you toss clothes that have not been worn in a year (or more!). For me: My favorite way of being able to tell if something should be packed up and donated is the hanger method. This is just simply turning all of your hangers one way, and then, as you wear an item and it is returned to your closet, switch the direction of the hanger. When you get through an entire year, gather the items still facing out and, unless there is a reason to keep (if you have sentimental reasons, at least pack them away or keep them for your kids), place it in a donation bag. Keep in mind, if you are getting rid of a basic (jeans/white t-shirt/black heels), you’ll want to make note of it so you can be sure to pick up a new version of the item. I like to keep a running list of shopping items on my phone, so I always have it with me. For the kids: I turn it into something fun, and call it a fashion show! There are some items where you can tell right away if they fit or not, others are a bit trickier. If you are short on space, consider packing away seasonal clothes during the times of year when they won’t get much wear. Anything that has clearly been outgrown or looks really worn out, make a note of so that back to school shopping is much more efficient! If only my oldest would keep her drawers as neat as they are once mom has refolded everything…sigh…
Pre-Pack the Lunches
I adore all of those Pinterest lunches with the cute sandwich cut outs and what not. Do I have time for them? Heck no. At the beginning of each month, I print out the school lunch calendar and go through it quickly with my daughter. Any day she decides to buy, I highlight to easily see at a glance how many days of packing I have ahead of me. I typically start prepping on Sundays for the week ahead. I don’t prep sandwiches until the night before she is going to eat it, but everything else is a must. I use tupperware when possible, but they no longer sell the set I bought. THIS similar set is amazing and on sale! For big kids, check out THIS set from Rubbermaid, super durable and reasonably priced! After 8 years of marriage, we purchased a second set, we use them so much!).
I pre-pack chips/pretzels/popcorn and set it in the corner of our countertop. I typically give McKenna a kool-aid jammer (she drinks milk or water at home, so no big deal to me) as her drink, and then, depending on what we bought fruit-wise, I wash and cut up fruit and store. It’s so much easier to dump a cup of strawberries into a container each night instead of cutting them up each night! Another option are THESE applesauce squeezables that my kids adore, found HERE online, or any basic grocery store or Target.Doing prep for the week means that the night before only requires me to make a lunch or a wrap. Often times I will be so tired and think to myself, I’ll just do it in the morning. No, what will happen is I will have a panic attack, because I’m late (again. Side note: Can you really be late when you are late EVERYDAY and this is really the typical time you leave?). Trust me, the feeling you get when you are late but walk into the kitchen and know you only need to grab your lunch and leave, it’s life changing!
Carry a Planner
I love writing out my to-do’s. I think it makes me feel like my day has been more productive, but it also keeps me organized. With not only my dr. and school appointments to track, but also kids sports, piano lessons, teacher conferences and more, this keeps me where I need to be. THESE are my personal favorite and are typically on sale if you visit Michaels or Hobby Lobby with a coupon. If you want to get really fancy, Erin Condren’s are my spirit animal. They are pricey, but worth it for something you use everyday. I usually splurge on her brand for my teacher yearly lesson planner. For those that shun the written option and prefer to have theirs on their phones (my husband insists), try google calendar!