A Checklist Can Save Your Sanity!

Trying to get out of the house can feel overwhelming, especially in the morning. Packing up the family’s supplies can really make you frantic because it’s so easy to forget something. You try to chant a mantra in your head to remind you what to pack (“Diaper bag, water bottle, baby blanket”), which distracts you from the tasks at hand and is often incomplete—as you discover when you rush back to the house to grab what you forgot.

Believe it or not, you can get out of the house without running around like a headless chicken! A simple tool can streamline the departure process and lower your stress level: the checklist.

It really is that easy. Create a list, either electronically or on good old-fashioned paper, of everything you need to take with you when you leave home. Be sure to include things you’ve been known to forget (car phone charger, anyone?).

Then train yourself to use your checklist. Run through it item by item before you step out the door and you’ll be all packed and ready to go!

Using a checklist has many advantages you’ll appreciate: 

  • A checklist lets you relax.  
    Once you make a list you can trust, you don’t have to keep going over things in your mind.
  • A checklist saves time.
    Having everything detailed in one place saves you from rushing back and forth to see what you might have overlooked.
  • It’s easy to update.
    As your baby grows, the seasons change, and your family does different activities, adjust the checklist to remove items you don’t need and add what you do.
  • A checklist makes it less likely you’ll do something dangerous.
    Being disorganized and late makes for bad decisions. Speeding home to pick up a forgotten item, leaving the kids in the car while you rush inside to get it, and using the phone while driving to say you’ll be late are all dangerous behaviors. Your checklist will make it easier to pack what you need so you don’t have to take those kinds of unnecessary risks.
  • It sets a good example for your kids and gives them a way to help.     Once your children are old enough, let them help you run through the checklist. Read it off and they can make sure each item is packed. It’s a great way to have them share the responsibility of preparing to go out.

Making and using a checklist can simplify your morning routine and calm the chaos. And giving your children the gift of basic organizational skills will serve them well throughout their lives.

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*Photo Credit to @glenncarstenspeters (Unsplash)