Prepack Kids' Lunches
For many busy moms and dads, rush hour starts as soon as the alarm clock sounds. Between packing lunches, making breakfasts and helping with last-minute assignments, most parents don't have a moment to spare in the morning.
Instead of starting your day by chasing the school bus down the street or stressing over misplaced math homework, use these strategies to simplify your morning routine.
When it's time to pack lunches, who has time to cut the crusts off sandwiches in the morning? Save time by prepacking your kids' meals the night before.
Quicker Coffee Breaks
Have the coffee machine prepared so that all you have to do is press "on,"
or make a pitcher of iced coffee ahead of time. Keep a to-go cup handy so you
can have your morning jolt while you drive your kids to school.
What to Wear
Prearrange your family's clothes, ironing anything that needs it the night before. When possible, buy wrinkle-free.
Coordinate the bathroom schedules of the people you live with.
Speedy Breakfast Solutions
Have a lineup of several routine breakfasts, with at least one being portable.
Don't waste precious minutes helping your child look for lost school
papers. Instead, create inboxes for each family member. Have kids unload
backpacks after school and put important papers in their inbox.
Ready, set…shower: If you and your children tend to linger too long when
you eat breakfast or take a shower, set a timer.
Call Ahead for Carpool
Don't spend half the morning making last-minute transportation arrangements for kids' activities. Arrange all necessary transportation as early as possible, at least the day before.
Prepacking your briefcase and/or purse can shave minutes off your morning routine—the same goes for your children. Ask them to load their backpacks the night before. Put everything they need to take to school near the exit door.
Keep the Peace
Tempers can flare when children are still half asleep. Prevent sibling spats by making sure your house rules cover things like sharing clothes, bathroom etiquette and sharing front-seat privileges on the way to school.
Morning is no time to be industrious. If you're hit by the urge to wash a few dishes, pay a few bills or clean up old e-mail and mail—fight it! If you can't resist, divvy out household chores to your children.
Have a rule at your house that
kids do not get their privileges—watching TV, playing video games, talking on
the phone—until they fulfill their responsibilities. Stand firm.