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How to Get Your Family Out the Door On Time!

One of the biggest challenges I personally face is tardiness.  I am almost always about four to eight minutes late.  To everything.  Even when we are ready to walk out the door, someone {me} usually forgets something {my keys}, and bam! we are late again.  And it seems that no matter what, the last 10 minutes of trying to get my family out the door is pure chaos and stress.  Not a great way to start the day.Tips from a Mom on how to get your family out the door on timeBut, we are doing a bit better lately.  We’ve perfected a few little tricks to prep for our mornings to help us get out the door on time.

Wake up purposefully.

This goes for me, as well as the kids.  I usually get up about 15 minutes before the older kids, allowing just enough time for me to grab a shower, start the coffee and get myself composed before going in to help them wake up.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not a morning person.  Neither are two out of three of my kids.  But allowing a slow, lazy, wake-up routine keeps the kids drowsy all morning and sets us behind almost immediately.   I’ve found that by getting them out of bed and into the bright bathroom immediately to brush teeth and whatnot, helps speed up the waking up process.Tips on how to get your family out the door on time: Wake up with a purpose....get moving right away

Prep as much as you can the night before.

For me, this means restocking the baby bag, having backpacks zipped up with homework and projects already ready to go.  Having a designated spot for school supplies or sports equipment really helps to keep things corralled.  Having outfits already picked and laid out helps my school-aged girls have independence in getting dressed {as well as letting having a say in what they wear, but we can argue talk about appropriateness the night before, rather than in the morning!}

Tips for getting your family out the door on time: Have designated spots for school/sports stuff so it all stays in one place.

The Organised Housewife has some fantastic ideas for corralling kids’ school stuff. This was my favorite!

And speaking of picking out appropriate outfits, the “three outfit” system works for us.

The girls and I pick out three complete outfits {including socks and underwear} that match, are school/activity appropriate, and are separate from the rest of their clothes.  We have a spare drawer under each of their beds in which we keep these three outfits.  And when they are choosing their outfit for each day, they are allowed to choose any of those three.  It gives them some say in what they wear day to day, but I can make sure they match and are dressed for the weather ahead of time.  That way I’m not having to supervise every minute of the dressing routine.  And it’s nice to have those few extra minutes in the morning to actually throw on some mascara or straighten my hair drink some coffee while they are doing their thing.

Tips to get out the door on time:designate a spot for pre-determined outfits. Less options means more time!

Dave made the girls custom beds with storage underneath…perfect for ready-made outfits! Click here to see the rest of the room.

Make lunches ahead of time!

I’m not talking about soggy sandwiches, I’m thinking out of the box.  Like macaroni and cheese bites, mini muffin pizzas and little pot pies.  Things you can make in bigger batches and then freeze…they’ll thaw out in their lunchbox!  If you can’t pack the kids’ lunches ahead of time, do it while multitasking in the morning.  In our house we get completely ready before coming to the breakfast table.  I figure I can send a granola bar to school if we run out of time to eat, but they can’t get dressed in the car!

Tips for getting your family out the door on time: Think outside the box she making lunches...these ideas you can make in batches and freeze

This school lunch roundup post I did a couple of years ago is my MOST POPULAR post…check out some of the ideas!

So while I am fixing their breakfast, they are picking out items for their lunches {fruit, chips, etc.}.  I keep everything accessible to them so they can get it themselves.  One of our crisper drawers in the fridge has a constant stash of pre-bagged baby carrots, grapes, peppers, etc.  And I either buy individually bagged dry snacks, or I pre-bag every fishie and pretzel stick that comes into the house into snack bags.  In fact, we specifically rearranged our pantry to accommodate for little ones helping themselves!  Then, while they are eating breakfast, I’m double checking lunch boxes and backpacks.

Go check out this post by Sweet Tea & Stilettos…they have a TON of fantastic, healthy ideas for pre-made snacks.

Set your clocks.

Our clocks in the house are all about five minutes fast….allowing for a pleasant {and on time!} surprise when we get into the car to see the actual time!  I also set lots of alerts on my phone to keep us on track.  I have alarms for wake-up times, alarms for breakfast time, alarms for leaving time.

So, I’m not promising that we will be early, or even on time to whatever it was that you invited us to, but instead of being ten minutes behind, we’ll only be four minutes late! Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

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