Out the door without stress!
As I go to sleep at night I often design mud rooms in my mind. Sometimes these mud rooms come with built in maids who are also stellar Math tutors, but I digress. I do want a mud room, and having a contractor as a husband one would imagine at some point I will get one. On the optimistic side the lack of entry way space does teach stuff management skills. I am guessing that is not a correct term, but it is a thing! Being able to organize, keep track of and locate an assignment, a toy or a library book is a real life time skill. Having 10 people share a small entry way creates the need for "stuff management".
The more organized any area of our lives are, the less stress seems to happen in that area. For example, we have shoe cubbies in our entry way closet. Each of the 8 has a spot. Shoes, a basketball, a favorite hat go into the cubby. We then have a container for shared hats, gloves and mittens. When kids come in the door they line backpacks up under coat hooks, put homework on the kitchen table and notes or folders to me on the counter. Coats and snow pants have to be off the floor on a hook or hanger.
This "stuff management" usually takes about 5 minutes but it save me hours of catch up if all 7 kids do it. If shoes are left or coats piled up you can't actually walk from the front door to the kitchen so it is also a basic necessity for order:) Getting out the door to school, church or practice needs to be fast and prepared. Having the kids learn to do it quickly and efficiently I really think is a life skill.
The last piece is holy water by the front door. As kids barrel out into the new day I bless each one wishing them a personalized blessing such as "Good luck on spelling and let God help you make good choices on the playground" or "Try the double digit math problems before you get frustrated and sit by someone new at lunch today". Hopefully sending them out organized and blessed will lead to good days. That said I should fess up I brought missing shoes to school 2 times this week so I may need to hold a refresher course in the Otis entryway:)
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