If you work outside the home, getting yourself — and your kids — ready in the morning can be the most hectic time of day.

Make mornings less hectic for your family

Follow these tips for calming the chaos of mornings and get everyone out the door to work and school with a smile.

Manage your time with a timer

Mom Jen Austin suggests setting a timer to remind the kids when it's time to get out the door. "Five minutes before everyone must be in the car or else, announces the timer to the entire family," she says. "When that bell dings, the children better be out the door with their shoes on and backpacks in hand. That one works really well for us."

Try a unique way to get your kids' school clothes ready

"I create outfits, including socks and underwear."

Mom Renee Thompson takes the tried-and-true tip of getting kids' clothes ready the night before a step further. She says, "As laundry is finished, I don't put it in baskets or drawers. Instead, I create outfits, including socks and underwear. Then I place each full set of clothing in a separate gallon-sized zipper top bag. During our hectic mornings, the kids pick the outfit they want by choosing a bag and I know that they have all that they need. At the end of the week, the bags are returned to the laundry room and we start all over. The few minutes I spend on the weekend filling the bags saves me tons of time and stress during the week."

Have a family meeting before the school and work week starts again

Barbara Reich, organization expert and author of Secrets of an Organized Mom, says, "Establish Sunday night family meeting time. This is an opportunity for everyone to talk about what’s happening in the upcoming week, especially with respect to homework and projects that may be due, sports practices and games, and logistics."

How to prepare your kids for the back-to-school routine>>

Take charge of charging the family's electronics

Have you ever started an all-day work meeting only to discover your cell phone battery is dead? You're not alone. Make a habit of charging your phones, laptops and tablets when you get home from work. I was never good at following this tip until I bought an alarm clock with an iPhone charger. Now, when I set my alarm before bed and don't see my phone there, it's an automatic reminder to dig it out of my purse and charge it overnight.

Get yourself ready first

The thought of getting up earlier than the kids may make you cringe, but it's worth it. Shower, dress, and put your makeup on before you get the kids ready — it will make you less stressed and set the tone for the kids, too.

More about working moms and stress>>

Read more

Time management skills for kids
The many faces of a working mom
Secrets of smooth school mornings


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Comments on "Working moms guide to busy mornings"

Julie September 14, 2012 | 3:03 PM

I really like the idea of having a family meeting before each week starts. This gets everyone on task and prepared mentally for the week. Plus, it allows everyone to come together as a family and focus on the weeks' goals.

Donna September 14, 2012 | 3:01 PM

I totallyyy agree with getting yourself ready first. I used to get my kids up and ready first, and I'd always end up totally rushed and only with 5 minutes to shower, dress, and do my makeup. Now, I get up first and get ready and then run after them. It works MUCH better.

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