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Calming the Chaos: 5 ways your home can help (or hurt) your morning commute

Whether you are heading to the office, getting the kids to school or scooting up to your home computer, if you’ve got kids chances are you’ve just made it through a war. (Whether you were victorious or not is another story.)

Do a google search on Morning Routine and you’ll get a gazillion hits on how to “Calm the Morning Chaos” and “How to make mornings less chaotic and more productive”.

It’s draining and no one is happy. You (and your family) start the day ready for combat. Getting the kids up and out of the house is top of the list when it comes to familial conflict.

So how can you side step the turmoil altogether? Some ideas are more obvious then others. So let’s start with the obvious and move onto the more unique. Morning checklist

1. Self Directed Morning Check List – this is not a new idea, but fellow reader of  The Secrets of Happy Families (page 20), took it a step further and created the list for you! Amazing.

The key? Post this in an obvious spot and tell the kids they are responsible for their mornings (obviously the little ones will need more guidance).

When they walk around aimlessly asking “What am I suppose to do again?” direct them to the list. “Check the list” became the broken record in our house quickly. In a few weeks, they’ll start checking it themselves.


2. Create a “Launch Pad” – each night  put everything you (and the kids) need for school/work next to the door, packed. This eliminates last minute “Can you sign this permission slip” and “I volunteered you to bring brownies to school today”. At least you’ll get a bit of warning.

flip flop bucket3. Put shoes and coats in one spot – I don’t know about you, but I find myself sweeping my arm under the couch when I should be driving down the street. Missing shoes are our #1 reason for being late.

Google “shoe storage” and your find more then your fair share of benches, holders and lockers. Some ideas will work better then others depending on your family. Choose one that you think will work for you and tweak when necessary.

I discovered something that works in the spring, won’t work anymore in 6 months, so be willing to adjust as needed.

Kellygreen kitchen

4. Change color and lighting – According to Sally Augustin, applied environmental psychologist, you should consider the colors you put on your walls, furniture, and floors.

Colors that aren’t very saturated but are pretty bright will put you and your family in a positive mood – and when we’re in good moods, we’re more likely to get along with others. We’re also better at problem solving and more creative. Brightness is just what it sounds like–baby blue is brighter than navy blue.

And don’t forget to let some light in! Daylight boosts our mood and helps us think great thoughts, so when possible, open the drapes and let nature do her thing!

When you need a bit of man-made help remember that light is colored, just as surfaces are, and most light bulb packages tell you what color of light they produce. Head towards warm white light (or around 3000K).


5.  Make yourself happy and design your home according to your families aesthetics – Do you really cares if your taste matches what’s being displayed in the high-end furniture stores? If sitting on a neon orange wicker chair makes you happy, then bring in on!

You live in your home, so please yourself. Make sure that the place where you live says the things about your life that you want other people to know. While you’re sending messages to others, you’ll be reminding yourself what’s important to you, and that helps you keep your life on an even keel.

If you are family centered, make sure you have pictures of your family on the wall. If you love the beach, add some shells and beach scenes to your home.

Make sure to include the kids as well! A place that tells your family story is a place that will make everyone’s life better.


This entry was published on June 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm. It’s filed under Residential Design, Theory and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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