Morning has broken

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The ‘habit of schooling’ our society has developed over the last 150 years means that we send nearly all our children to school for 190 days a year. This brings with it a degree of domestic mayhem every morning, and this post is designed to help you conquer this disorder. In terms of time management, allow yourself about at the very least 30-60 minutes in total for all the jobs listed below, depending on family size, age of children, and how well everyone is trained to assist. So just to reiterate, if you work outside the home, you will need to plan for at least an hour in total of bustling activity to get everybody up, dressed and out, on condition that school bags, uniforms, briefcases and packed lunches have been prepared the night before. Therefore for most people, if they get up around 7-7.30am, that will fit in with most day to day commitments during the week, whilst allowing time for a well planned start to the day. Therefore that may be something to aim for in the first instance, while you are getting used to an organised regime. (I’d be interested to know how long you spend getting out the house in the mornings – look in the Polls category on the right hand side of the screen to vote on how much time you spend on this).

  • Make sure family members open their bedroom windows when they get up, and throw back the bedclothes to air. (10 seconds)
  • Once you are washed and dressed, go straight downstairs to set the table very simply and make breakfast (porridge and toast is best if you are on a budget, along with juice or milk for the children and tea/coffee for adults). This job could also be done the night before. Bread rolls and spreadable butter are probably the laziest option if you really aren’t a morning person. (5-10 minutes plus eating time)
  • After breakfast, clear the dishes (use a tray to speed this process up, and also at the same time send someone around the house to collect waif and stray mugs and so on from the previous evening ), stack dishes ready for loading into dishwasher, wipe table and sweep under table if necessary. (5-10 minutes)
  • Next load or unload dishwasher as necessary, or do washing up and put away most or all dishes (if you are going to be out at work all day and only coming back just before supper, you might want to recycle some of the clean dishes immediately so you can leave the table set ready for the next meal, as they do in hotels and restaurants). (5-10 minutes)
  • Wipe kitchen sink or kitchen worktop as necessary. (1 minute)
  • Next empty kitchen bin if necessary, and put in new bin bag, wipe bin if it needs it. (3-5 minutes depending on the state of bin, but probably not every day)
  • Make children’s beds (preferably with their help). (5-10 minutes if it’s just duvets)
  • Make own bed and hang up errant clothes. (5-10 minutes)
  • Clean and tidy bathroom as necessary (eg hang up towels, check there is enough toilet roll and soap). (2 minutes)
  • Close bedroom windows, finally remember to lock up everything if you are going out – OK, I know I’m sounding like a mother of four now. (5 minutes)

Image: healingdream /


4 thoughts on “Morning has broken

    ladyblahblahs said:
    13 July, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    We’re just moving into a new morning routine as DD has been going to nursery in the afternoon but starts school in September. I’m going to give this a go in the morning. We are very, very slow in the morning. Any tips for slow eaters 😉

      Sandra Bradley responded:
      14 July, 2011 at 9:48 pm

      Always a difficult one. I think the answer has got to be smoothies. Try my special “Ohmygodthealarmclockdidn’tgoff” milkshake recipe. Get one banana, preferably ripe, and blend it up with half a pint of milk, two dessert spoons of full fat yoghurt, a teaspoon of wheatgerm, a squirt of honey and an ice cube or two if you have them to hand. Once it’s all frothy and the banana is properly blended in, decant into a glass and serve with a straw and a sprinkle of cocoa over the top if you like. It’s got all the nutrition you need to get going for the day and can be drunk quickly, or even in the car. Another nifty trick for when the mornings get darker and the days get colder is to put a Weetabix into a bowl, pour some milk on top, and then microwave just enough so it’s warm but not so hot you have to blow on it to cool it down. It swells up and acts as a kind of instant porridge, and once again, is quick and easy to eat. My Birchermuesli is another easy recipe, acting as an instant healthy cereal than can just be spooned out of a tub in the fridge, if you have made it ahead of time.

        Sandra Bradley responded:
        14 September, 2012 at 11:17 am

        We have recently discovered Belvita breakfast biscuits which can be eaten on the way to school in time management emergencies, accompanied by milk in a sports bottle. Not as healthy as a home made milk shake, but at least it gets something inside the kids in the morning.

    Joanne said:
    6 September, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    It would be absolute luxury to get up at 7! I leave the house then. Luckily only me to get out the door so I get up at 5 30 and have time for a quick workout or to meditate as well as getting ready.

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