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By now you’re probably far enough into the school year to get used to the same old morning routine.

Nobody wants to wake up on time, clothes and jackets need to be found, and it’s kind of a rough way for everyone to start their day. All is not lost, though—you just need a better system!

With an established routine and a better method of finding things like backpacks and shoes, everyone in your house can get out the door faster and get where they’re going on time. Here’s a few ideas we have for organizing your morning routine and getting everyone to school faster:

 

Make sure you’re waking up on time

Even above and beyond making sure you wake up for your alarm at the right time, you need to figure out exactly how much time you need for your morning tasks. Take notes about the time you typically wake up and the time you get out the door, and see if you need to start buying yourself more time to get ready in the morning, particularly on the rough days when nobody can get started. Are there frequent hangups you encounter that slows your time down, like getting distracted by video games or not being sure what you’re wearing? Is something like keys or a phone constantly lost? Start seeing how your time is frequently spent in the morning and make adjustments where needed.

 

Create a designated “landing zone”

No matter what time of year it is or what grade your kids are in, there’s some things that they’ll always need, like backpacks and jackets. As finding these items tends to be the most common cause of tardiness in the morning, a good strategy is to provide areas where these items can be kept every night when everyone gets home. Set up some coat hooks in the front room for jackets and backpacks to go, or if you want to give your kids a sense of ownership over the whole thing you can get them some kid sized lockers to help them put everything together in a way they like. (For the parents, some mail organizers can help everyone find their keys much more quickly, which, admit it, has been a problem in the past. It happens to everyone.)

 

Get everyone on the same calendar

Anyone with young kids in school knows that the schedule can change on a dime—sports/band practice, field trips, half-days, and the like can affect what time you need to be to school on time. Either get a physical calendar (such as a whiteboard with the dates squared off) or a calendar app that can sync to everyone’s phones to make sure there’s no unfortunate surprises when it comes to leaving on time.

 

Work everything out the night before

It’s an old tip, but it’s still good advice. When it comes to things like planning meals and picking outfits, try to do as much as you can the night before. If everything is out and ready to go in the morning, you can shave precious seconds from your routine and keep everyone on the same schedule.

 

Leave a checklist

Finally, some people just respond better to visual reminders, and to that end you can start leaving one right by the door. Fill out a checklist of everything you usually leave the house with when you go to school and/or work (backpacks, purses, etc) and take the time to make sure everyone has everything on the list. It will help prevent any panicked return trips home after you’ve already left. This can also help everyone get in the habit of remembering things before you even have to check the list, which will shave off even more time.

 

Do you have a morning routine that helps your kids get going faster? Leave a comment below!

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