7 Steps to Streamlining a Back-to-School Morning Routine
By: Haeley Biambalvo at Design Improvised for the Chinet® brand
Sponsored content courtesy of the Chinet® brand.
After a long summer of slow mornings and leisurely days, it can be tough to transition back to the mad rush of the morning school routine. Getting my seven- and nine-year-old daughters to a 6:45am bus pick-up each morning and my husband off to work with coffee and breakfast in hand can be a real challenge! Thankfully we've come up with a routine that helps make our school mornings run smoothly.
I'm sharing my top 7 tips for streamlining your school morning routine, including my favorite — a designated coffee station stocked with Chinet® Comfort Cup® insulated hot cups!
1. Plan for the week ahead
The calendar fills up quickly once school starts. Download this school weekly planner printable to keep a handle on the week ahead. It can help you plan school lunches, keep track of important school events, and remember after-school activities and appointments.
2. Get a head start by prepping the night before
Getting out the door quickly in the morning requires starting the night before. Here are a few simple things you can do before going to bed that will have a big impact on your morning:
- Look over your school checklist to make sure you’re set for the next day.
- Check backpacks and take-home folders and then set them by the door along with shoes and socks.
- Wash any dishes in the sink, wipe down the kitchen counters, and refill the coffee pot. You'll feel so much better waking up to a clean kitchen in the morning!
3. Wake up 15 minutes before the kids
If possible, give yourself a head start and a few minutes of precious quiet time before the rest of the house wakes up. Power up the coffee pot, take a few minutes for yourself, and mentally prep for the day ahead!
4. Make the coffee routine enjoyable
If you are a coffee or a hot tea lover, this is a must! Carving out a special space on your kitchen counter for your coffee pot or single-serve machine, sugar bowl, cups, and spoons makes the morning ritual extra special. It also keeps everything in one spot, so you aren't racing around the kitchen in the morning. I use the drawer below my coffee station to hold my single-serve coffee pods and keep a tray with Chinet® Comfort Cup® insulated hot cups nearby for a quick coffee on the go. I absolutely love the contemporary new design on the 16 oz. cups—and they look perfect displayed on my counter along with my "But first, coffee" art!
5. Create a school lunch and snack command center
Directly below my coffee station, I cleared out a cabinet to dedicate purely to getting out of the door in the morning. It includes lunch boxes and baskets with water bottles, reusable containers, and prepackaged snack and lunch items. I also keep a basket of Chinet® brand products including Chinet®Classic White™ napkins and Chinet® Cut Crystal® cutlery to add to a lunch box or on-the-go breakfast as needed. Designating a bottom cabinet as a school command center keeps everything in reach for the kids, so they can fill their own water bottles, grab their own snacks, and prep their own lunches!
6. Keep the kids on task
Two steps have made a big difference in our morning routine. The first is requiring our kids to not leave their rooms until they are dressed (and have hopefully made their beds!), and second, they aren't allowed to turn on the TV in the morning, at least not until they are completely ready for school. I have found when they start their day by coming down in their pajamas and turning on the TV, it can be a recipe for disaster.
7. Pack simple, on-the-go breakfasts
School mornings are too hectic to be making pancakes and eggs (at least for me). When preparing something for my kids and husband to eat before heading out the door, I stick with simple items like yogurt and fruit, oatmeal or toast. Often, my husband has to take his breakfast with him on the commute to work, and Chinet Comfort Cup to-go cups are the perfect vessel not only for his coffee, but also for a yogurt parfait or fruit smoothie. The double-layer insulation keeps drinks or oatmeal warm and the outside of the cup cool to the touch, while the easy-fit lid prevents car ride coffee spills.