Where did the Summer go?! Or rather, where did the last 13 years go?! I blinked and suddenly we have an 8th and 3rd grader!!

Monday marked the first day of school around here, so it's been a crazy few days trying to find our new rhythm. We all leave for school or work at 7:30 each day, so having an organized morning routine is imperative to getting out the door on time. Preferably with smiles on our faces.

We've worked hard over the years to organize the key spaces, and they have been life-saving. My kids share a single-vanity bathroom, so they take turns using the mirror and sink in the morning. Having their drawers and cabinets well-stocked and organized cuts down on the time.

Once everyone is dressed, they head to the kitchen for breakfast, and grab a snack for their backpack. I make sure the fridge and pantry have easy-to-find healthy options.

I quickly realized there wasn't enough time in the mornings, so now I pack lunches the night before. Is this chore a nemesis for anyone else?! Dang, do I loathe packing lunches! I finally narrowed down some winning combinations, and that's helped the process be a little less painful.

Last stop out, and first stop upon coming home, is the hallway turned Mudroom...having a designated spot to drop bags, backpacks, jackets and keys keeps us from spending precious moments searching. Not to mention, I don't have to trip over bags strewn all over the house!

Once bags are hung up, I'm easily able to pull out necessary papers and file away in the Family Command Center.

These systems have been working for us for a few years, but I'm always watching to see if they need updating as our needs change. I'm sure a few tweaks will be necessary in the coming months. In the meantime, I can't wait to start spoiling our new teachers. Here are a few of the simple gift ideas we've created in the past.

Is it back-to-school week in your house, too? What are you doing to prepare? I hope some of this comes in handy for you...have a great day, lovebugs! And thanks so much for your kind response to our new Entrance Hall reveal!


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