Tips to Make the Morning Rush More Sane

Does your morning look this calm?Does your morning look this calm?I always find it ironic that I've got my family's weekday morning routine down to a science when they only have a few months of school left. It's also comforting to know that the mornings will (hopefully) continue to run smoothly because we've established a pattern that works for all of us. Well, at least until summer break.

If you're eager to make your morning rush a little less hectic, there's still time. I've tested many tips over the past five years with my boys. What's worked so far?

-Tidy up the house each night. A clean kitchen and breakfast table makes for a smooth transition when the kids wake up and sit down for their morning eats. If you take a few minutes each night to organize your kitchen and eating area, you'll find that the next morning, you can focus on making breakfast (and lunch!) and prepping to get out the door instead of cleaning up from the previous night's mess.

-Wake up and get ready before the kids are awake. This single action, which sounds so simple and logical, has made the biggest different in my mornings. It's nice to snooze and wake up right before your kids. But there's hell to pay when everyone is getting ready for the day at once. Try waking up an hour before your kids so you can shower and eat breakfast. Remember, it's important to take care of yourself! You might even be able to enjoy a little quiet time before the crazy begins.

-Teach the kids to clean up after themselves after breakfast. Again, it's the little things. Have your kids put their dirty morning dishes straight into the dishwasher. It's one less thing for you worry about and one responsibility they can easily -- and should -- to take on.

-Have a set departure time that's 10 minutes earlier than you need to leave. Let your kids know that the Mommy or Daddy Bus leaves at the same time every single day. Set that time 10 minutes earlier than you actually need to leave because no matter how much prep you do the night before or how early you wake up, kids are dilly-dally experts. But with 10 extra minutes you have time to spare. And hopefully it doesn't involve searching for a long-lost library book or your kid's favorite shoes.

What do you do to add some calmness to the morning rush?

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