Next Friday will be Norrin’s last day of school and our summer officially begins. Having a kid with autism, he goes to school 12 months a year. But the summer school months are pretty laid back. It’s September when the real back to school hustle begins. And I’m excited to partner with Wayfair on this sponsored post to share some our tips and tricks to make mornings manageable for back to school!
If Norrin were a “typical” kid, he’d be starting the 5th grade. While he still struggles and needs help with many things, I want to give him more responsibility and teach him to be more independent. Part of that independence begins with his morning routine.
- No More Wake Up Calls. I don’t know how it goes down in your house, but in ours – I’m the alarm clock for everyone. I’m over it. This September, Norrin will be getting his own alarm clock. Not only will this help him learn the concept of time but he’ll learn to wake up independently to get ready for school. (That is on the days, he doesn’t wake up at 4am.)
- Create a Schedule Board. Norrin thrives when given a schedule and/or routine. Teaching kids with autism to be morning independent will probably require some sort of schedule board or to-do list. It doesn’t need to be fancy – a cork, chalk or white erase board will do. Having something to reference will help make mornings manageable for kids with autism.
- Prep clothes for the week. Sundays are laundry day and while I’m folding Norrin’s clothes, I put together outfits for the entire week. It’s just one less thing for me to worry about in the morning. Putting together outfits and storing them in a closet organizer makes getting dressed super easy!
- Cubes, Cubbies & a Place for ALL THE THINGS. I am obsessed with cube organization. I like things out of sight and out of mind especially in Norrin’s room. It makes things easier for quick morning cleanups.
Being a mom who works outside the home, breakfast is kept to the bare minimum. My husband and I usually survive on coffee and a piece of fruit until we get to work. Norrin has cereal, milk and a piece of fruit. And there’s still lunches and snacks to pack.
I keep my mornings manageable by simply planning ahead and creating self-serve options.
- Meal Prep. On the weekends, or in the evenings before bed, I prep lunches and snacks. I’m a mom all about my food storage containers.
- Self-serve breakfast. Norrin is able to serve himself cereal and pour a cup of milk. I love cereal containers to keep it fresh and contain the mess. I also leave fruit out on the table – like bananas or apples. Keep breakfast options easy and accessible for the kids.
- Coffee on the Go. Because let’s face it, mornings are hectic and I rarely get to finish my coffee. To go coffee cups save money and keep me happy.
Nothing stresses me out in the mornings more than scrambling to find ALL THE THINGS seconds before running out the door. Living in a New York City apartment, we don’t have a ton of space – so home organization is critical. Mornings are so much easier when everything has a place. That’s why I’m all about the “landing zone.” Because when I’m ready to go, I want to grab what I need and walk out the door without running back.
Create a Landing Zone to Make Mornings Manageable
Even in our tiny apartment, we’ve managed to create some of entry way, landing zone. It doesn’t need to be fancy – just a few hooks, some shelves/cube storage and a place for shoes. Wayfair has lots to choose from and at every price point. Creating a space will help avoid the “Where are my [fill in the blank]?” rush around.
- If it can hang, hook it. I am all about hooks – especially for things like keys, coats and bags. Right next to our door, we have a Keys hook only.
- Set up a charging station. In this digital age, I never want to walk out the house without a full charge. At night, put all the devices to charge.
- Shoe rack/Boot tray. We take off our shoes at the door. For the most part, my son wears the same sneakers every day. If your kids have a place where they put their shoes at night, they’ll know exactly where they are in the morning.
- More cube storage. I love cube storage. I know I mentioned that. What can I say? I just like things compartmentalized. Assign every family member a landing zone cube. It’s usually where our bags go or just extra stuff go.
- Corkboard/Calendar. If you have a hectic schedule, keeping track with family responsibilities is easier when it’s written down for all to see.