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10 tips for eliminating school morning madness

The kids are back to school. No more sleeping late. No more casual breakfasts. The chaos of early-rising school mornings has begun!

Transitions are often difficult, and the dramatic schedule change between the lazy days of summer to early-rising mornings ranks up there at the top.

The 10 tips can help tame morning madness and help everyone get to school (usually) on time.

1. ease in to school mornings.

Ease into the school schedule by sending the kids to bed early for at least a week before school starts. 

2. shower the night before.

Assign everyone 15 minutes morning time in the bathroom to avoid gridlock.

3. make school mornings easier with no-choice breakfasts.

If it's Monday, we're having cereal. If it's Tuesday, we're having yogurt. There's no time for short order cooks on school days.

4. plan outfits in advance.

This is especially important if your kids don't wear school uniforms. 

On Sunday, get the kids to lay out their clothes for the week ahead. Make sure there are no rips or tears in any of the chosen clothes, and that everything (including gym clothes and soccer jerseys) is clean.

5. sundays are key to your week.

Dole out lunch money, etc. on Sunday nights. Work out carpools in advance of the week ahead. To plan efficiently, make a family calendar listing everyone's activities in one spot. No one in the family can commit to anything before they check the calendar and clear it with the chauffeur (mom).

6. make to-go lists for each family member.

Post them on the fridge for quick reference each morning. Brian has gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays and band practice on Tuesdays.

So his basic "to go" list for Tuesday would always be topped with gym clothes and trumpet.

Help the kids update the lists each Sunday night. That way you don't get distress calls about forgotten piano books.

7. do as much as humanly possible the night before.

Get the children to assemble everything they need the night before: backpacks, lunches, stuff for after-school activities (swimsuits, cleats, etc.). If there's a lot of stuff, you can even load the car the night before.

8. create an in/out box for papers and permission slips.

Lunch money could go here, too.

9. keep your keys on a hook by the door.

Too many buses have been missed because of frantic last-minute key searches.

10. consider investing in a second set of schoolbooks.

I know this sounds expensive - but it really helps. My friend's daughter would up at the doctor's office with back strain from her heavy backpack - and she was only in the fourth grade.

Just buy extra copies of texts at the beginning of the year and keep one set at home and one at school. No more heavy backpacks. No more forgotten books! And no more excuses for not doing homework.

Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for the organizing products and tools you need to streamline school mornings - and more!



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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.