First, we chatted about using colorful towels in the bathroom to simplify laundry.
Then, I shared a nightly trick to reduce the mountains of laundry that can pile up each week.
And a few weeks ago, we conquered grease stains.
Clearly, I love an awesome laundry hack.
Wait, wait! Isn’t this a food and “natural living” blog?
Trust me, I hear ya! This doubtful question comes to mind every time I think about sharing one of these lifestyle hacks, and then I’m reminded of one important truth…
Sometimes the difference between enjoying a real food, home-prepped breakfast (or insert any meal here), or pulling thru the drive-thru, is a matter of having an extra fifteen minutes in a day. This means finding an extra fifteen minutes in a day is essential to making real food, and natural living, work. I think we’d all agree that we can’t just “find” time; instead, we must strategically “create” the time and prioritize how we use that time. For me, this means finding “hacks” to simplify every day tasks, like laundry and making breakfast.
A few weeks ago, I began thinking about the school year, and how to simplify our morning routine and maximize the early hours. A morning in our house consists of getting up early, making breakfast (or at least assembling breakfast if it’s been prepped in advance), brushing teeth, making sure the kids actually have socks and shoes on before walking out the door, and getting to school on time. Every single minute is precious.
To help our weekdays run smoothly, I’ve learned to prep as many breakfast foods as possible in advance: hardboiled eggs, oatmeal, muffins, pancakes/waffles, cut-up fruit, and smoothie packs. That’s my breakfast hack: prep ahead. It’s simple and effective!
This year, in an attempt to simplify our mornings and “create” more time to enjoy that real food breakfast (and just get out the door on time), I’ve added one more prep activity to our morning routine. Friend, let me introduce you to the prep-ahead laundry box hack that’s currently giving us fifteen more minutes in the morning. And we all know just how valuable an extra fifteen minutes can be!
The Laundry Box Hack: How to Simplify School Mornings
The Laundry Box Hack: How to Simplify School Mornings
What You’ll Need
First, you’ll need a week’s worth of clothes for each child. For my kids, this consists of shorts, shirts, skirts or dresses (Londyn), socks, and undies. If your kids wear uniforms to school, then you’ll need a week’s worth of uniforms and personal items (undies, socks).
Next, you’ll need a box. The box doesn’t need to be fancy, just make sure it’s big enough to fit five days worth of folded clothes inside. My kids share a box, so if you have one or two kids, you may only need one box. If you have more than two kids, you’ll need a couple of boxes. Of course, you can also create a box for each child.
Since my kids share a box, I use two clothespins to divide the box: one side for Piper’s clothes and the other side for Londyn’s clothes. Labeling each child’s side of the box, if your kids share a box, isn’t necessary, but it was helpful for my kids.
On a Saturday or Sunday (think: prep ahead), lay out a shirt or dress, then add the necessary items inside the shirt/dress: shorts, undies, socks, and even a hair bow. Add anything your child will need to get dressed in the morning, except shoes. If your kids want to choose their clothes, then ask them to help you with this activity. If your kids are older, then they can prep their clothes on their own. Now, fold the shirt/dress in half. Then continue folding the shirt/dress into a compact square. Place the folded outfit so it’s standing up inside the box.
Continue to fold enough outfits for each day of school. For my kids this means five outfits for each child.
In the morning, your kids can easily choose which outfit selection they want to wear, and then unwrap the contents.
With every item neatly packaged and ready to wear, you don’t have to worry about wasting valuable time in the morning while you search for a missing or dirty sock (oops!). This also means there is more time in the morning to enjoy a good breakfast, talk as a family, and even get to school on time! That’s a major win in our home.
Do you have a favorite morning, or evening, hack that helps simplify your life?
I don’t have kids, but this is an AWESOME idea! As a teacher, I’m going to try something similar for myself.
Thanks for the fantastic idea!!
That’s awesome, Allyson! I’m so glad it’s helpful.
We have laid out clothes for the week for the past few years and it is a life saver! I have never tried folding them this way, but I Ann going to do that this year! Makes it easier and nearer to put away! Mine were always stacked on top of each other in a messy tower! This is much better!
This is awesome Kristin! My daughter isn’t quite 1 yet but I will definitely be keeping this in mind for the future! Thank you for sharing!
I use this idea for myself too but with gym clothes. I’m very tempted to flop back in to bed if there are any obsticles in the way of getting to the gym so having an out fit ready for each morning workout (Including socks!) Means I have one less excuse!!
I love this idea for adults LOL Even as adults we have crazy busy lives during the week. Thank you for the idea, I will have to give it a try! This could easily add an extra 5 to 10 minutes of precious sleep time 🙂
Love this idea. We do something similar in my home but we use a 5 drawer cart instead of a box and my daughter puts everything she needs for each outfit in the appropriate drawer right down to the shoes and jacket.
Hey Kerri, That’s a great idea–love it!!
I do the same but use a hanging shoe organizer. It has 10 cubbies (5 for each of my kids). Works great! Clothes are organized in advance for each school day. They always know to work their way from the bottom up. Some days have specific outfits (i.e.: spirit wear Friday’s). The younger son gets the bottom 5 cubbies. Older son gets the top. It’s nice because they can participate in the picking out of the outfits and I can verify that they look somewhat ok:) It definitely saves time and helps for less stressful mornings.
That’s awesome, April! Love it!!
This is awsome!!!! I’ve started doing it and it really helps a lot with kids not running around asking for their stuff. Thankbyou!!
I’m so glad this hack is working for you, Jisela!!
Great Idea! My daughter will only wear dresses so it’s super easy to get her dressed!
Thank you, Gwenn!
This is fantastic! We do not have children at home, but I am young enough yet to recall school mornings and know this ‘hack’ would come in very handy! Thank you for sharing with us! :0)
Thank you, Chrissy! Lol, the famous, crazy school morning ;).