What do you do when you’re preparing to leave the house with kids in tow? How do you ensure you don’t forget anything?
We have a staging area. It’s really nothing spectacular, just the spot where we happen to place our collection of items that will go along with us.
Our area is at the top of our stairs – we live in a raised ranch style home, so the top of the stairs is actually the main living area of our house. This is an area where everyone must pass in order to leave the house and it aids us all in grabbing something to carry down to the van.
As we’re preparing to leave the house, I have each child gather whatever items they will need for where we are going and place them in our holding area. I also add any items I will need, or anything that needs to come along with us or be restocked into the van.
Some days we might have a large collection of items, especially if we have multiple appointments in one day, and other times, it might simply be a water bottle and a book to read for each kid.
My reasons for compiling our things in this manner?
- Each person can see what is prepared and easily figure out they have missed anything.
- We don’t have a mud room or any extra space in our entry way to have a hanging rack for each child’s belongings and this helps keep things somewhat organized.
- Each person can grab all of their things at one time and head downstairs to the garage, where shoes and winter/rain gear are kept, thus reducing any extra in and out of the house or last second rushing around.
- I am teaching my children to prepare ahead and not wait until the last minute to figure out if they have everything they need.
- I can also give a quick once over to the collection and help someone if they’ve forgotten anything. I don’t always remind them, since I think they need to learn to be responsible for themselves, and forgetting something like a lunch isn’t really going to hurt them, but it should teach a pretty valuable lesson. I do help them when it’s something like piano books or another important item.
- I am not frazzled as we leave the house!
What kind of system do you have?