The easiest way to simplify your morning routine is to do as much as you can the night before. For little ones, lay out their clothes, complete with underwear, shoes, socks and hair accessories, so everything is in one place. Encourage older children to pick out their own clothes the night before as well. Lead by example by selecting your workday outfit in the evening too. This way, you'll be able to do any ironing or mending necessary without running late in the morning.
Clothes aren't the only thing that should be prepped the night before. If you pack lunches, do it the night before and keep them in the refrigerator overnight. Get a headstart on breakfast by setting the table in the evening as well.
Check your child's homework, ask if they need anything signed and get them as prepared as possible for school the next day. If your children have trouble getting up in the morning, set the clock in their room ahead by 15 minutes to create extra time. If they finally get out of bed at 7:15 a.m., it will really only be 7 o'clock.
Keep your entryway or mudroom organized with hooks for hanging coats, bins for backpacks and other storage units. If you keep everything that you need right by the door, you'll be much less apt to forget something.
You can also set up family cubbies in your mudroom or other area near the door. Each family member can have a personal cubby or canvas bin where they can place their hats, scarves, gloves, purses, backbacks and other essentials.
If you're always running late in the morning, maybe it's not all your kids' fault -- maybe it's you, too. Simplify your mornings by simplifying your beauty routine. It shouldn't take 30 minutes to do your makeup or your hair. Check out our 5-minute makeup tips for moms and these quick and easy hairstyles to look fabulous in a flash.
It would be great if we had time to cook every morning for our kids before they go off to school -- but sometimes we don't. A quick breakfast should still be nutritious. Stock your kitchen with healthy cereal, fresh fruit, yogurt and cereal bars. Also, consider these fast and healthy breakfast recipes for the whole family. Your kids will love the breakfast cookies, which are nutritious and delicious.
If you spend a lot of time in your car, it's probably a mess. A lot of the chaos in the morning can be due to getting the kids (and all their belongings) into the car in a timely, orderly manner. Keep your car as clean as possible. Make a "no eating" rule to reduce the amount of crumbs and trash in your vehicle. Also, attach fabric or netting pockets to the back of the front seat (if your car doesn't already have them) so your kids can slip toys, notebooks and other items in front of them. If you can't bring yourself to clean out the car yourself once a week, splurge on the car wash -- it's worth every cent.
Plan a carpool in your neighborhood with other moms. You'll save gas and money, while reducing your driving to just a day or two a week, rather than every day.
If you have a career, a partner, kids and multiple other obligations, things are going to get hectic sometimes. Some issues you just can't avoid, so you need to learn to roll with the punches. Having a good attitude is half the battle. If you take time to breathe and relax for a moment before reacting to problems that arise in the morning, you'll have a better gameplan for how to handle them. You'll also find that the calmer you are, the calmer your kids will be too.
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