I like to think of myself as an organized person and I believe I do a few things well to get us all out the door on school and work days.  But there’s always room for improvement.  As I get ready for the new school year of morning rush, rush, rush, I’m sharing some of my time saving tips as well as some revelations on how I can improve on what I’m already doing.

Maybe I can shave off another 15 minutes in the morning!

1. Pre-prepare Lunches: I’ve done this the night before and set everything on a shelf in the fridge because some mornings, I’m on my second cup of coffee before my brain can focus.  (I’ve poured pancake syrup in my coffee instead of creamer a few times).  But, I could take it a step further and pre-pack a week’s worth of lunches on Sunday.  I can place the week’s worth of the carrots I bag, the yogurts, and even the non-perishables on my fridge shelf and toss each in the lunch box the night before when I make the sandwich & fill the thermos.  In the morning, it’s all ready to go.  And, now that I think about it, my Son is old enough to help me now.  Score!

2. Shower at night: We’ve always bathed the kids at night and now that they shower on their own, it’s still done before bed.  Not only is it a time-saver, they go into their cozy bed clean and relaxed.  Even I’ve started to prefer nightly showers instead of the morning.  The extra morning time allows for quick tasks like checking my online accounts, catching some news, or double checking that I’ve signed all the right forms in my kids’ backpacks before the morning rush starts.  Or, at least time for that second cup of coffee.

3. Pack school bags in the evening: As soon as we get home from school/work, we dump out my son’s backpack.  I file, sign, and complete anything that needs taken care of for the next day.  He does his homework and we pack it with all he needs for the next day so it’s ready in the morning.  The bag never leaves our designated area so it’s always ready in the morning.  It’s a huge time saver!

4. Pick Out Clothes on Sunday:   Here’s where I need to improve because I admit, my kids stay in their jammies too long and it’s a bit of a debate when it’s time to dress.  When my Husband and I took a kid free week long trip years ago, I put together the kids’ outfits for each day we were gone and placed each outfit on a hanger.  It made it easy for my Mom to dress the kids while we were away.  When I knew I’d be in the hospital a few days after the birth of my Daughter, I used a hanging sweater container and placed a different ensemble (socks and all) in each cubby for each day of the week so my Husband could dress our son quickly.   Both of these systems could be implemented on Sunday evenings and the kids could help.  And, I could ask them to get dressed before coming out their room to save even more time!

5. Give your kids what they want for breakfast: Well, not really.  What I mean is, if your child is a creature of habit and always wants cereal; let him have cereal every day.  I used to think I had to vary it up and prepare variety throughout the week.  For a year, all my Daughter would eat was a banana and now, she only wants one of my granola bars. So, I don’t fight it.  They’re getting something in their bellies and we have fun & variety with breakfast on the weekends.

Bonus Tip:  Complete your personal organization items – as many as possible – before bed: I used to procrastinate but now I can’t sleep unless I know everything is wrapped up before I hit the sheets.  The next day’s “to-do” list must be made, the outgoing mail in the mailbox, and my personal belongings must be gathered.   I organize my work bag and any other bags (like retail items that need returned) and pack my car the night before.  This way, I reduce the chance of getting 5 minutes from home and realizing I’ve forgotten something.  Oh, it still happens sometimes – just not as often.

What is your morning routine like on school days?  Do you have any time saving tips to add?

– S.O.