Do the words “back-to-school season” fill you with dread and anxiety? If so, you’re not alone because other moms and dads are not feeling ready or prepared for their kiddos’ upcoming school year. And that’s where Shannon Doherty (not THAT Shannon Doherty!), a busy mom of four, can help. She’s all about setting things up to help mornings be as organized and efficient as possible when getting the kids out the door and she shares these hacks for saving time and money while doing it.
- Reuse what you already have - Save on school supplies by shopping what you already have at home first. Reuse and repurpose what you can before you even hit the store.
- Make a breakfast station - If you have older kids who get up early, this can help them easily DIY their breakfast. Doherty’s includes cereal and yogurt and she puts milk in mess-free squirt bottles so her kids can easily manage it themselves.
- Create a self-serve lunch system - She also uses that formula for packing lunches. She meal preps on Sundays, putting different prepared foods in different bins and then each kid can go through and choose a protein, a dairy, a fruit, a veggie and a treat and it’s a lot quicker than if you were cutting, wrapping and making the lunches right then.
- Try the outfit burrito hack - Doherty picks out her kids’ outfits for the week and separates them into a shoe organizer or labeled bins. She rolls a clean shirt, shorts, undies and socks into a little burrito and sticks it in the shoe organizer or bin and her child can pull the whole outfit out and easily get dressed. And she recommends doing the same thing for sports gear and outfits for extracurricular activities.
- Set up a catch-all tray - To keep all those school-related forms organized, Doherty created a “Mommy’s Mail” station next to her front door. Kids put papers she needs to fill out there and she can easily see if there’s something to sign and give back to them before school the next day.
- To corral the dirty gear - All four of her kids are involved in sports, so this clever mama has started keeping a shower caddy in the car to collect all the soiled stuff. When they get in the car, their muddy cleats and shoes go right in there so they don’t get the car filthy. And she can take it out and wash it before sticking it back in the next day.