Having trouble getting places on time? You need to check out these tips for how to get out of the house on time!
As a kid, my dad was late to everything. I mean ev.er.y.thing. It’s a family curse – so much so that my Grandma always tells my dad and uncles (my dad is one of 5 boys, all of whom are chronically late) to show up a half hour early. That way, they’re usually ‘on time’ and the latest of my uncles is only 30 minutes late.
Years of waiting outside school well past when the other kids had been picked up has left me with a compulsive need to be on time or early to things. I almost always sit in my car for at least 15 minutes when meeting someone somewhere, from a friend for coffee to every job interview I’ve ever been on.
And then I had 2 children in less than 2 years who now laugh at any semblance of being on time. More often than not, I’m running in circles trying to get everything together so that I can get where I need to go on time. There is nothing that stresses me out more than feeling like I’m in a rush to get ready. And, of course, my being stressed inevitably makes everyone else stressed, building into a giant stress fest that eventually erupts in tears, meltdowns, and/or yelling. Fun, right?
To help offset the craziness, I have set up some rules for myself to make it easier and to ensure I get out of the house on time.
Rules to Get Out of the House on Time
A place for everything.
The main culprit of my dad’s lateness is constantly losing his keys. You guys, we would spend a solid 15 minutes every morning looking for my dad’s keys. Every. Single. Morning. Sadly, I inherited this obnoxious trait and I constantly misplace things. A few months ago we bought a cheap hook (like this) for our keys that Alex installed in a central place in our kitchen. Now (for the most part, I’m still not the best, ha!) I put my keys there after I get home so I never have to go searching.
But if all else fails and you’re just one of those people who misplaces everything, I can’t recommend Tile more. My dad got my brother and me one for Christmas last year and it’s changed my life. It hooks to your phone’s bluetooth so you can go to the app and literally make your keys RING if they’re within 100 feet and if they’re further, your phone can tell you where they last were. And it works in reverse, so if you tend to put your phone on silent and then misplace it (guilty, always) just press the button on your Tile and it will make your phone ring, even if it’s on silent.
Moms – take note! Pack whatever you will need ahead of time so that you’re not scrambling last minute trying to remember everything. This means diaper bags, car bags, night bags – whatever. If possible, set out clothes for you and the kids as well. Double check that your bag is packed with diapers or wipes or extra clothes or whatever you normally run out of. This may seem like overkill, but when you’re calmly strolling out of your house exactly when you intended to, you’ll be thankful.
This has been a BIG one for getting out of the house and to the splash pad in a reasonable amount of time this summer. During Owen’s morning, I lay out clothes, pack the bag, make and pack lunch, and clean up the house. Then with whatever time is leftover, I get myself and Ryan ready so that when Owen wakes up I just need to give them a quick snack and get Owen ready to go. It’s helped SO much since I try and get there before the big crowds come/before the sun gets too strong/before the boys need a nap.
Know how much time you need.
The boys need at least 30 minutes from start to finish to get ready and leave, and this isn’t including getting myself ready or cleaning up the house before I leave. (Another pet peeve of mine.) Unless we’re making a quick grocery store run where I go in yoga pants and occasionally let Ryan stay in PJ’s, I build in an hour for getting ready to leave. That way I have more than enough time to get myself ready, clean up the house a bit, change diapers, dole out snacks, and get everyone dressed. Adding that buffer removes so much anxiety!
Start getting ready 15 minutes early.
To go with the above tip, build in an extra 15 minutes. Inevitably, someone will have a diaper blow out or a tantrum or need a snack or the dog will have to go out – it’s just a fact of life. I used to give myself 45 minutes to get ready, but while about 70% of the time that was fine (though rushed), the rest of the time I was 15 minutes late. Giving yourself that extra 15 minutes, needed or not, allows for the inevitable mishaps. Worst case scenario, you’re sitting on your couch scanning Instagram for 15 minutes and best case scenario, you’re not stressed about being 15 minutes late.
Be easy on yourself.
Look, you can prepare all you want, but life happens. You stub your toe, your dog knocks over his water, your toddler rolls around in it, the cat starts coughing up fur balls, your infant decides he needs to eat thisveryminute – life happens. You probably won’t bat 100 on leaving the house on time –and that’s okay. The world will not end. (unless you’re some kind of Jack Bauer type and then yes, the world might actually end. But I mean, you have bigger fish, my friend.) Your friend/mom/boss/teacher will understand – just don’t let it happen every day, will ya?
So tell me – are you always late? Does being late drive you nuts? Were your parents late when you were a kid? Let me know in the comments!
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