If your morning routine usually turns into a scramble to get your family out of the door on time, you may want to consider a makeover to ease your morning rush. Whether you’re getting back in the school groove after a long vacation or holiday break, or need to jettison sluggish habits that are putting you and your child at risk of being marked “chronically late” at school and at work, here are some great ideas to speed up your morning routine.
1. Get a timer.
If you have a child who can easily spend fifteen minutes in a shower or take five minutes to put on one sock, try using a timer to get your dawdler on the move. Kids naturally love to make a game out of things. If you challenge him to beat the clock, he’ll be less likely to daydream and become distracted while getting ready. For more tips on how to deal with procrastinators, read "How to Handle Dawdling."
2. Stick to regular morning routines.
Whether you decide that baths before bed or showers in the morning fit better into your grade-schooler’s schedule or your child prefers to brush her teeth before getting dressed, keep the order of tasks consistent. Sticking to the same morning routine day after day will speed things up because she will be more likely do what she needs to do without any reminders.
3. Check out the weather forecast the night before.
That way, you can make sure the rain boots and coats and umbrellas are ready by the door if the forecast calls for rain or heavy jackets if the temperatures are supposed to drop.
4. Pack up beforehand.
Have your grade-schooler pack up his backpack the night before. Homework, library books -- anything that needs to be taken to school the next day should be in his bag, ready to go. Designate a spot near the door for bags, shoes and jackets.
5. Make lunches ahead of time.
Sandwiches can easily be made the night before. You can also put fruit, string cheese, box of milk or water bottle, or whatever else will be going into the lunch bag together on a shelf in the fridge. That way, you can save precious extra time by not having to look for each item in the morning. For great ideas for school lunches, read "School Lunch Ideas and Recipes."
6. Make it a team effort.
If you present the idea of making it out of the door on time as a family project, your grade-schooler is more likely to get enthusiastic about getting on board. On mornings that you make it on time, say, "We are a great team." If you end up late, avoid placing blame on your child and say, "I know we can do better tomorrow."