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A Curious Case of Multiple Hat Disorder

Our Morning List….A Before School Routine

Our Morning List….A Before School Routine

First of all, Let me give credit where credit is due, I watched a video from “A Farmhouse Full” and got the idea of a wearable to do list. She calls it a chore pack; we call it the Morning List. My girls know that they have to do this before school can start.

Yes, ideally it would be laminated and I would have a fancy lanyard for them however, if I waited till I had a laminating machine or found a place near my house that laminates or if I waited till I actually had lanyards, we would be about 6 weeks into the school year and it still wouldn’t have happened. Instead I jumped in and got started with what I had and made it work.

Here is how it works. Each kiddo has their morning list printed on card stock. The pictures make it fun for AB but are necessary for Lyds. I punched a hole in the bottom, tied a string around it and hung it on their neck. (It looks upside down but it makes it easier for the kiddo to follow along.) I then attached a clothespin to it. They start at the top of their list and work their way down, moving the clothespin down as they go. The clothespin helps them to know exactly where they left off if they happened to get distracted (I’m sure that never happens in your house).

They each have to get dressed, make their bed, put away any clean clothes (that I have set in a designated spot and they can look there without asking me), tidy their room, and brush their teeth and hair. AB (8) has to take the dog out and give him food and water and then empty and load the dishwasher. Lyds (5) has to tidy or put away any shoes that might have been (who am I kidding….that have always been) left in the middle of the foyer or kitchen floor and she is also responsible for putting a new trash bag in the trash can.

The beauty of telling them that they have to start at the top and work their way down is that the first 4 tasks do not require them to leave their room and that will buy a few extra minutes of sleep time for Mr., the 17mo old. This system also keeps me on my toes because it means that I need to stay on top of laundry and do it in such a way that keeps us true to that list. This is when they know to expect it. Not mid-math lesson, or mid free time after school is out. No surprises. Also, it means that I have to empty the trash the night before or first thing that morning so it is ready for Lyds.

When they are finished, they tell me so I can spot check their work and then they are instructed to hang them up on their bedroom doorknob so they can start again the very next day.

Our first thoughts:
I overheard Lyds, with a grumpy voice 3 minutes into the first task, telling AB: I do not like this, I would rather throw this thing in the trash than put it on my neck.

Later, I overheard AB, who was on her last task, tell Lyds: I know you don’t like this but I think it is kinda fun.

My first thoughts: Holy Moly where have you been my whole life. I do not have to ask a million questions a million times! Did you feed the dog? Did you brush your teeth? Go make your bed!! Argh!!!!!!

School starts for us in 12 days. We started this yesterday to get into practice and get good habits started. I can see summer break fading away. I am just thankful we will have had 13 days of this system under our belt before we throw school into the mix too!


I had to add picture of brushing your hair and squeezed to beside brushing your teeth. Forgot about it, and what you see here is my 3rd draft. I was not going to draw these all over again. If I ever do laminate them or make them fancier, then I will give brushing hair its own line.



Yep, she is not a fan but complied! She will warm up to it I’m sure, she always does.



She really loves this. I didn’t even have to ask her to smile.


  1. Instead of laminating, might you try putting the list in a a zip-loc bag? Fast and cheap! Then, as your list changes, you just slip it out of the bag with no new laminating needed. Best wishes for a wonderful school year!

    • Ooo, great idea. I might try the packing tape trick too. 🙂

  2. Here is the link to the printable spreadsheet…/

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