Picture this scenario:
You and your beloved children are about to be late for the day’s events. You are trying desperately to get everyone in shoes, coats, and with everything that they need for the day. It is becoming increasingly obvious that you are all about to be seriously late and at the same time your children will now be shoeless and without anything that they might need. Now you are feeling the stress all the way to your eyelashes and you are quickly on your way to becoming a wild screaming mess! The answer does not lie in this morning.
We all lose our cool some mornings (or afternoons, or evenings!) especially when other difficulties arise. So the goal is to prevent as many fires as we can so we have less to put out when we are already under stress. My family has been successfully using a system that keeps some of those pesky troubles at bay.
We instituted a family “launch pad”.
This concept can be instituted in different ways but they all have the same approach. We have a shelf where all the shoes, hats, gloves, mittens, and backpacks go and the coats are kept right next to this. In our house this is located in the garage. We have a simple plastic storage shelf in the garage by the door to the house. The bottom shelf is for all the kids shoes, except the baby’s. His go in the hall closet by mine so I can help him while I put mine on.
The second shelf up is the middle boys’ launch pad. On it stays their backpacks and anything they will need the next time they go out of the house. The third shelf up is the oldest two’s launch pad. Again, the backpacks stay there and anything that they need to remember to take with them. The top shelf is my launch pad. I actually keep my keys, sunglasses, and such in a basket by the coat closet by my launch pad is used a bit differently.
I keep things that I know will need to go with me on near-future errands. If I need to make sure that I take a book back to return to a friend – it goes there. A small box that is ready for drop off at Goodwill – it can go there too. All these things I could include on my launch pad as well as things that might need to stay there for repeat use such as a box of wipes so that I can clean off the littles as we are about to come inside.
This system is super helpful when combined with pre-prepping for your day the night before.
When your children gather their things and load their backpacks for the next day they can take them straight out to the launch pad. Also going out are any extra things that need to go with them: sports equipment, toys for show-and-tell, etc. Now when you are ready to go, all shoes, belongings, and coats are ready in one place!
Now the only trouble will be to get our little cuties to get everything on quickly!
I know it is tricky to put in place systems that decrease wasted time and frustration in our daily lives so why not take advantage of everything that can help? I hope some of you might find this idea new and useful but if you are already using something similar, I would love to hear about how it works for you. I love to have more tips to tweak my systems. 🙂
Have a great weekend!
Peace and health,