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14 Ways To Make Mornings Less Chaotic

Shave time off your morning routine and regain your sanity.

The following story, “ 14 Ways To Make Mornings Less Chaotic” by Cheryl Brody Franklin was originally published on Boomdash.

Mornings for a mom are exhausting, there’s really no better way to put it (which is unfortunate considering you just—hopefully—slept at night). Getting yourself and your family ready for the day requires so much thought and preparation, and sometimes you can’t remember it all, no matter how many lists you methodically write down. To make it a bit easier, we asked busy moms who have (somewhat) perfected their morning schedule to share their best time-savers and organization hacks. Try some or all of them to shave time off your morning routine and regain your sanity!

Make #OOTD an Easy Choice

“I get my daughter’s approval on every component of her outfit the night before so there are no wardrobe-related meltdowns in the morning.”—Brooke, mom to 1

“I'm not above dressing my son in his ‘school clothes’ at bedtime here and there. He wears sweats to school which drives me crazy, but aren't sweats basically pajamas anyway?”—Laura, mom to 2

“I have four kids, each four years apart. On Sundays everyone picks five outfits you plan to wear that week, each on a hanger.”—Yamika, mom to 4

“One of the best things I ever did was get two oversized baskets, one for my son and one for my daughter. All the essentials are dropped in these baskets: shoes, book bags, coats, gloves, afterschool bags for dance/karate/soccer. You have to go in once in a while and ‘clean out the baskets’ because they can be a catch all for everything, but it helps eliminate the, ‘I can't find my...’ dramas in the morning.”—Pam, mom to 2

Keep Breakfast Simple

“We eat the same two breakfasts every day (aka only one choice) during 'school days'. Cereal with milk, or a form of oatmeal. I love giving them overnight oats as it's super easy to make.”—Dana, mom to 2

“I make my son a smoothie every morning, so on Sundays I make single bags with everything mixed together and freeze the bags. I move one to the fridge the night before so it's defrosted and ready to go that morning. It saves me tons of time scrounging for all the ingredients, and it ensures he gets his veggies and fruit every day.”—Vanessa, mom to 1

“My boys love big breakfasts and as a working mom I didn't have time to whip up a fresh batch of pancakes every morning. So I used to make a batch and refrigerate them and then throw them in the oven for a quick reheat while we all got dressed. Kids never knew the difference.”—Karen, mom to 2

“Beyond putting the breakfast dishes out the night before, I actually load them up with whatever's on the menu that doesn't require refrigeration. I'll put the oatmeal and raisins into the bowl and cover it with saran wrap, so in the morning all I have to do is add milk and microwave. Or I'll put the cereal into bowls, so I'm not dealing with prepping that in the morning either. If eggs are on the menu, I defrost some make-ahead egg muffins, or prep omelettes the night before in the "Eggtastic" and throw them in the microwave for two minutes while the kids are getting to the table. Fresh eggs, no cleanup.”—Jessica, mom to 2

Get Creative with Multi-Tasking

“I used to buckle my kids into their car seats before putting on their shoes and brushing their teeth so they couldn't run away from me!”—Arielle, mom to 3

“My kids are allowed to watch TV in the morning, but only once they've gotten dressed and brushed their teeth and eaten, with backpacks all ready to go and bed made. It's shocking how well that works.”—Lauren, mom to 2 (and author of The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom's Guide to Style, Sanity, and Big Success After Baby)

“A playlist is great for helping kids track time who can't understand a watch. ‘We're leaving after two songs’ can help keep her on track with expectations (and me as well).”—Anna, mom to 1

“My friend does her daughter's hair as she's eating breakfast. I tend to do everything in order—get up, go potty, brush teeth, wash face, get dressed, do hair and then go downstairs and have breakfast—so it wouldn't have occurred to me to do it that way. It would buy me five minutes if I did.”—Danielle, mom to 1

Create DIY Lunch For All

“I make my kids pack their snacks because they are old enough that they can get food out of fridge and pantry themselves. Chips and pretzels are in the pantry, or yogurt and apples are in the fridge. They buy lunch, but they have snack time in class (2nd and 4th grade). It’s one less thing for me to worry about. Each has forgotten to pack it once or twice, but when they do, it's because they forgot and not me, and they don't get mad at me!”—Jill, mom to 3

“I pack lunches the night before and put them on the counter in an assembly line. Each kid has his own tupperware bin in the fridge so my husband can drop the food and snacks in the right lunch boxes and put them right into the bags in the morning.”—Jamie, mom to 3

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