Lay out your kids' clothes a week ahead of time, so that there's more time for fun.
Getting your toddler or preschooler dressed and ready to go is more than a notion. It requires speed, agility -- and impenetrable calm. It also requires a back-up outfit for the inevitable spills, and an emergency pair of look-alike shoes to replace the one that's gone missing -- again. Make your life a little easier by laying out your kids' clothes a week in advance. Use the few extra minutes in the morning to meditate and ready your mind for another kid-crazy day.
1Check the weather report for the week. Keep it in mind while planning the kids’ outfits for the week, because you don’t want them under or over dressed. Also, pay attention to appropriate colors for the season. Is it spring? Green, pink and other pastels bring to mind new grass, buds on trees and crocus. Summer means beach colors of baby blue, baby yellow and white. Near Halloween and Thanksgiving, you can’t go wrong with orange, red and brown. For the winter holiday season, red, silver and black are classic choices. Also coordinate your kids’ outfits with their activities. If your son has a play date Thursday after school, make sure he’s wearing pants he can get nice and dirty in. If Friday is school picture day, select an outfit you’ll want to memorialize forever.
2Give picky kids the illusion that they've got the power of choice. If she wants pink every day of the week and she's only got one pink outfit, then have a few back up outfits ready to go that aren’t already assigned to any particular day. This way, the wardrobe is still planned a week in advance, but little ones with independent minds can still make the final decision. Polka dotted shirt and striped pants? Really, there are worse problems. Having alternate outfits laid out also saves time in case of last minute wardrobe changes following messy mishaps. You know how they'll happen, despite your best efforts.
3Organize the clothes so they're easily accessible. You can use a hanging closet organizer with at least five cubbies, or a set of free-standing shelves labeled for each day of the week. Alternatively, you can hang each set of clothing on grouped hangers. No matter how you store the clothes, what matters is that they're clean, neat, and easy to reach (for kids who dress independently). You should also lay out the day’s underwear, socks and t-shirt with the rest of the clothes, so everything your kid needs to get dressed is in one spot.
4Iron your kids’ clothes before laying them out for the week, to save time. Getting kids ready in the morning can be hectic, especially if you have to press their clothes every day. Once you’ve decided what your kids are wearing, go the extra step and iron it all. Whether you iron leisurely during the weekend or in a frantic rush on Monday morning, you’ll still going to have spend the same amount of time. Iron in advance so you can do it at your own pace -- totally relaxed and stress free. If you're not the ironing type or the clothes are completely wrinkle free, do something for yourself -- watch a DVD, read a book -- or eat that bucket of French vanilla.
Things You'll Need
- Closet organizer
- Ironing board