GETTING the kids ready for school each day is a challenge for most, and not even Youtube stars Jonathan and Anna Saccone Joly are immune.
The Irish parents have amassed over 1.8 million followers on their family Youtube channel where they share details about life with their four kids – Emilia, seven, Eduardo, five, Alessia, three, and Andrea, one.
Anna, 32,spoke to Daily Star Online and shared some handy organisation tips that help speed up busy morning and maintain order – and they're so easy so you can do them too.
Use a diary
With kids at school you often find yourself with so many dates, meetings, and special days to remember – so keep track of it all using a diary.
Anna said: "As soon as you get any communication from the school about uniform/games kits, electives, after school activities etc, write it down and put it in the diary no matter how small the detail, otherwise you will probably forget about it."
But why just stop at one, with Anna revealing they have "so many".
"There’s a family calendar in the kitchen which is colour coded for each of us which really helps because it encourages the kids to get involved.
"They can easily see what mum and dad are up to and all it takes is a quick glance for me to know what everyone’s doing."
Plan your time
In the evening, Anna said she plans out the following day in the notes app on her phone.
She suggests breaking your day up into half hour slots if you're struggling to fit everything in, which she says has "completely transformed my life!"
She said: "If you’re struggling to fit everything in and feel that there simply aren’t enough hours, try this as an experiment; break up the day into half hour slots from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep.
"Then, throughout the day, write out what you did in those half-hour slots."
She added: "You need to be really regimented and honest with yourself, but I promise it is super illuminating and allows you to see where you could be using your time more effectively."
Meal plan for the entire week
Anna said she does this all year round, but particularly during school term.
"It helps me to get organised and I save money as I avoid ‘shopping blind’ and grabbing last-minute takeaways," she said.
"I plan the family’s meals for the week ahead on Sunday, and this acts as a guide for when I do my big online shop.
"I find shopping online really useful and schedule my deliveries for Monday mornings."
Anna said that she'll plan out meals for lunch and dinner, but breakfast is simple and usually consists of cereal, porridge or wholemeal toast, which they always have in the house.
She said: "I do try to make sure that our family meals don’t clash with the children’s school canteen lunches.
"I recommend asking the school if they can provide you with a copy of what they’re serving if possible, so you can plan around it."
Prepare dinner early
Anna likes to have dinner prepared BEFORE the afternoon school pick up, to avoid trying to cook during the "afternoon chaos".
She said: "As soon as everyone gets home, it’s often complete chaos, so having to cook on top of that is just madness!
"I feel so much calmer and on top of things when I get it done earlier in the day, then I just heat it up when we’re ready to eat."
Pack the night before
Anna also suggested laying everything out the night before so that it's ready to go in the morning – she's even taught her kids to do it too.
She said: "Set out their uniform/kit, school bags, snack/lunch boxes if needed etc.
"Check the calendar to make sure they have everything they need for the following day and check the weather for rain gear/sun cream."
The busy mum insists it really helps ease the morning rush and it makes the kids feel more prepared and organised too.
Shop ahead of time
The Youtube star said she does all of her uniform and school shoe shopping in the beginning of the summer holidays – to avoid last minute stresses.
That way, she said, "I’m not stressed before term starts and I miss the big rush."
We also shared how savvy mums swear by back-to-school stations to speed up busy mornings, and they are dirt cheap to sort yourself.
Plus a mum-of-two shares her extremely detailed weekly house organiser – and busy parents love the idea.
And we shared how organised mums have breezed through back-to-school panic with labelling and lunchbox prep.
Meanwhile,busy mums share the easy ways they get the housework done in half the time… & how to trick the kids into helping.
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