With summer coming to a close and kids going back to school, most parents are looking forward to some sense of routine. Getting the kids off to school can make mornings feel like a marathon of chaos rather than an effortless sprint.

Here are some helpful morning hacks to make getting your kids off to school a breeze:

  1. Give Clothes or Uniforms Their Own Space – Laying out clothes the night before or keeping uniforms in a designated space (such as a closet or drawer) saves time in the morning so your child knows what they are wearing and where it is.
  2. Set the Table for the Next Day – Setting the table the night before with bowls, plates and silverware reduces prep time in the morning and still allows you to maintain family time around the meal table. Recruit the kids to help after you’ve cleared the table for dinner the night before.
  3. Basic Breakfast – Plan a simple and healthy breakfast for school days and save the waffles and pancakes for the weekend.
  4. Pack Lunches Ahead of Time – This is a huge timesaver for those mornings when you’re rushing out the door. Try freezing drinks ahead of time before putting them in your child’s lunchbox. The drink will double as an ice pack to keep their food cold until lunchtime. Pack plastic bags of snacks for the whole week and store them in a bin in your pantry, so they are ready to grab when you’re making lunches. Make a whole batch of tuna or chicken salad for the week, so all you have to do is assemble the sandwich.
  5. Organize Your Pantry – Assign one shelf for school snacks and other necessities. Try using small bins or boxes to keep different snacks organized. This will make lunchbox prep a snap since you’ll know where everything is. Doing this can also help you keep an ongoing inventory to check when you’re running low.
  6. Have Backpacks Ready – Establish a nightly routine with your child to go over homework and ask if there are any papers to be signed or money to be sent in. Having their school bag packed the night before will save you time in the morning and eliminate any last minute tasks to take care of when you’re running out the door. Also, keep backpacks in a designated place in your home, so your child is never frantically searching for it in the morning.
  7. Handy Hair Organizers – Parents of young girls know all-too-well the challenge of getting your daughter’s hair brushed and styled in the middle of the morning sprint. Keeping hair brushes, hair bands, detangling spray and any other hair accessories in one place allows styling to be done quickly and stress-free. Try keeping a separate caddy with compartments handy so you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips.
  8. Two Sets of Toothbrushes – As unusual as this sounds, it’s actually a great idea. Keep an extra set of toothbrushes and toothpaste in a flatware tray in a downstairs drawer or an area other than their bathroom. This is a convenient way to make sure your child has brushed his/her teeth, and eliminates any wasted time in reminding them to do so.
  9. Homework Station – Set up a homework station in your home where your child can do their homework. Store supplies like pencils, pens, markers, crayons, erasers and sharpeners so your child has everything he/she needs to complete their assignments. Set up a reward system for completing homework in a timely fashion each night.

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