People who know me, know I don’t like to be late! A long time ago someone told me that if you are late you value your own time more than the other person’s. That really stuck with me and I have made an effort to be on time ever since.
When you have kids it is much harder to be on time, because you have lots of other people who can mess up the process. Someone once said having kids is like herding cats and I agree. Here are 5 simple ways to increase the chances you are on time, even if you have a houseful of kids.
Lay out clothes, lunches, shoes, socks, and bags the night before.
I am amazed at how much longer it takes a child to get dressed when I don’t do this. In our house if we don’t lay out shoes and socks my kids can’t seem to find any before we leave. We end up racing around the house over turning couches and chairs looking for that lost shoe. On a side note, since we are still carrying a diaper bag for Cora the bag is usually packed and hanging on a hook ready to go all the time. When we need to leave we add a sippy cup or bottle and head out the door.
Give yourself a 15 minute buffer.
Something is always going to come up that will delay you leaving the house. It might be a messy diaper, argument, or phone call but it will be something. Giving yourself a little extra time helps plan for the unexpected.
Get a shoe basket.
We have a basket by the front door for shoes. We don’t wear shoes in our house so when the kids come in they put their shoes in the basket, when we leave they get the shoes out of the basket. I am amazed at how this simple idea has saved us so much time getting out the door.
Keep your keys, purse and phone in a central location.
I have a table in my home with a small drawer that holds keys and sunglasses. My purse sits on top of the table. When it is time to leave I grab my purse, keys and glasses and we are out the door. Having a central location for all things travel related really speeds up the process and lessens the times we have lost the keys. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a table either. We got our table off Craig’s List for a few dollars.
Skip pajamas, let the kids sleep in their clothes.
I’ve been doing this for years, much to my mother-in-law’s horror. She has a thing for unwrinkled clothes, and I have a thing for being on time. You can’t agree on everything I guess. Whenever we need to be somewhere really early, my kids get dressed before bed. In the morning I wake them up and they get in the car with a drink and a bag of cereal. It really simplifies those mornings! And honestly, if my kids went to school, they would be doing this every day!
What about you? Are you usually on time, early or late?