an experiment in becoming more morning-efficient

This weekend we visited the Christian bookstore to get these:

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Which means we are entering homeschooling season in the next couple of weeks! And a new curriculum and a change in routine are coming right along with it.

I’ve decided I really need to work on becoming more scheduled and more disciplined with our daily routine this year. I’m thinking that one way I can improve my routine is by becoming more proactive with our everyday activities- especially morning ones.

Now I’m not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. My parents and my husband would vouch for that, I’m sure! :)  I’m more of the don’t talk to me, don’t ask me anything, in fact can you please leave me alone until I’ve had two cups of coffee type of person. {and can I say, coffee has been amazing for me- a lifesaver even! I just can’t believe it took me 27 years to like it!}

It’s really hard to be this type of non-morning person with four little kids waking you up every day telling you they are hungry and the littlest one needs a diaper change. :)

So in an effort to make my mornings go a little more smoothly, my experiment this week is to get as much prep work done for the next day as I can.  I’m not sure how much it will help, but hey, I figure it’s worth a shot! :)

Here’s what I’ve done for today:

1. Lunches are made and ready to go, packed in reusable bags and labeled in the fridge. We aren’t going anywhere, but I think not having to pull all the food out will make lunch cleanup a lot easier.

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2. Extra sandwiches are made for tomorrow night’s prep since all the ingredients were out. I figured out I can make 12 sandwiches from a loaf of bread and one package of turkey. That’s a pretty good deal for $4 total! The kids and the hubs eat from 7-9 per meal, so we go through a ton of bread around here! It’s like feeding an army! {which makes me so, so thankful for bakery outlets!!}

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3. Breakfast is started in the breadmaker, set on time delay so we can wake up first thing to warm bread with homemade jelly for breakfast.

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4. Eggs are boiling in the Egg-Genie to go with the bread and jelly in the morning.
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5. Dinner’s pulled from the freezer, to start in the crock-pot first thing in the morning.  {I’m pulling out all of the kitchen appliances! :)}

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6. Clothes are out and ready for the children to wear. They like to put their clothes on first thing when they get up in the morning.
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7. And most importantly- the coffeemaker is programmed and ready! And yes, it is really 11:27. I’m hoping my night prep will start a little earlier than this tomorrow. :)

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We’ll see how it goes!! I’m hoping a little extra preparation will make our daily routine easier as we try to get back into the homeschooling groove.

So how do you get ready for the next day? I’d love to hear any tips or tricks you have for making mornings a little easier! :)

19 comments

Jen said...

Great ideas! A couple questions, what do you think of the eggies? I've been on the fence, they look like they would be awesome! 2~ What brand breadmaker do you have, do you like it?
I love your blog! Thank you for the encouragement to get my family more organized.
jksays.blogspot.com

mandyBH said...

I like your plan! I feel better when my house is straightened when I wake up- those are great ideas! I love the morning chore that you decide too! I'm going to use these! :)

mandyBH said...

We love them! We'd always overcook our eggs accidentally and the EggGenie helps so much, they are perfect! It was well worth the cost of buying it- no dishes is even better! :) I have a cuisinart breadmaker I got at Goodwill, I do really like it. I've also had a breadman ultimate, and a sunbeam over the years and I like all those too! The cuisinart has the most settings and a cool feature where it beeps to remove the paddle. It's pretty too! :) Goodwill is the best place to buy those things, they are rarely used looking and they are almost always 10% of the original price!

Thank you for reading along! :)

Jen N said...

New to your blog. Great ideas! Could you share more about the books? I am starting homeschooling in a few weeks for the first time.

Valerie said...

We, or should I say I, already make the lunches and set out the clothes, but now I'm thinking I have an even better reason to go out and buy a bread maker. What a wonderful idea, and w all know that homemade bread tastes better than the store anyway =) I also am going to try and get back into the menu thing. We used to do it, and with moving in the last month, its thrown us all way off. Thank you for being a wonderful Godly woman that I can read and learn fro. Have an absolutely wonderful day!

mandyBH said...

LOL, definitely working on that too. :) Rob and I burn the midnight oil together! :P BTW I used Live Writer on his pc and it was amazing. FAR better than blogger.

Abbie (Five days... 5 ways) said...

I'm going to have to start doing more of this myself. Yikes! Great ideas, though. Oh, and I don't find the 11:27 coffee time nearly as daunting your 2:07 AM posting time. : )

Tamianderson said...

One of the most helpful things for me has been waking up to a clean kitchen and house that has been straightened the night before. My routine for the children is simple, just three main things. Make bed each morning, see me for morning chore and then we have a nine pm deadline for making sure rooms are clean,(this way they wake up make bed and rooms are already clean). They also understand (and have been trained to obey cheerfully) that there may be afternoon chores or a once a week deep cleaning day. This seems to work in our home. I always tell them it takes us all working together to make our family work. :)

mandyBH said...

I have that book in my Amazon cart waiting! How funny! I've heard it's good from others too! I'll have to read it for sure!

mandyBH said...

Oh, that's a great idea! So glad there are others that aren't morning people! :P Coffee is our friend! heehee

mandyBH said...

Oh that's great! I love it!! So glad it worked for you! :)

Skydenlee'sMom said...

Awesome Mandy. I am currently doing the same thing as you. I am reading this book called Large Family Logistics. It is amazing and I highly recommend it.

Sherri herring said...

I want to thank you for your tailor clothing post. Your post encouraged me cut down a shirt someone had given me. I was able to cut down the shirt using one of my shirts. Next, I took out my sewing machine and sewed up the sides. I was really surprised with the results. Thank you so much!

Sherri

Valerie said...

I have been reading a couple of blogs today regarding homeschooling, and something that you might want to look into later or even now is called Work Boxes, just google it. They seem like a great idea and something that I think we are gonig to start using too

mandyBH said...

Oh, here's the link: http://www.aophomeschooling.com/horizons/overview.php

mommommommom said...

I have sworn to be more organized this year...since I have to homeschool 3 instead of 2. I'm not a morning person either. Good luck to the both of us! I plan out my week on Sunday evenings- menus, trips, schoolwork, everything.

www.mommysaidno.blogspot.com

mandyBH said...

Oh awesome! That's exciting! We're using Horizons for the first time this year for phonics/reading and math. It's workbook based- and it's supposed to be a pretty strong curriculum. The other books are Handwriting Without Tears. We're supplementing with science and Bible on our own- we do research on an animal they pick then color pictures and draw it's habitat and write a story, and for Bible we are learning the A to Z verses and doing the same thing with Bible stories. My goal for now to keep it simple and somewhat fun while they are little!

mandyBH said...

Aww, thank you! You are so sweet! Oh, you will love the breadmaker- I love throwing everything in there and forgetting about it! :) I would check Goodwill before I buy one I were you- every time I've been there are at least 2 on the shelf if not more for only $5-10. Craigslist is good too, they are one of those things you can find barely used for a great price! Let me know how it goes! :)

Stephanie Ramey said...

I just ran across this post and I love it! I have been trying to find a way to make our days go somewhat smoother and this just may be it! I can't wait to try it tonight (for tomorrow)! Thank you for this, and I am addicted to your blog!