20 WAYS TO MAKE SCHOOL RUN MORNINGS LESS STRESSFUL
Mornings can be a challenge if you’re trying to get the kids to school, with everything you all need and on time. Here are 20 practical ways to make school run mornings easier and less stressful.
WHY ARE SCHOOL RUN MORNINGS SO STRESSFUL?
I think most parents find school run mornings very stressful. We’re often pushed for time and even the most organised amongst us can get caught out if we forget to do something or check that everything is ready.
It can take army-like precision to make sure everyone leaves on time with everything they need but to do that you need a strategy! So, here are 20 ways to make school run mornings less stressful!
To move a small army of little ones from A to B takes planning. Even more so when you have to be there at a certain time, and maybe have to get to work yourself – calm, composed and without breakfast down your top.
There are many things to think about, all in quite a short space of time. It’s also not unusual to have some last-minute hitches such as missing PE kit, forgotten homework or food tech ingredients to put together.
So, it’s not surprising that many of us find school run mornings more than a bit stressful. But it needn’t be like that if you just get a little bit organised and have a strategy in place!
20 WAYS TO MAKE SCHOOL RUN MORNINGS LESS STRESSFUL
Here are some tactics that I’ve found work for our family and certainly help to make school run mornings less stressful. See if any would work for you.
1. Evening Routine
Create a solid evening routine for yourself so you do as much as possible the evening before. If you need help or ideas for this, check out this article on developing an evening routine that works for you.
2. Clothes and uniform
Lay out school uniform and your clothes the night before so it’s quick and easy to find and put on. This is where have a simplified capsule wardrobe can really help speed up the process.
Make sure all homework is done the evening before and put it all back into school bags ready for the morning.
4. Pack bags
Pack the school bags completely the night before and include whatever is needed for that day (e.g. PE kit, swimming stuff).
5. Prep packed lunches the evening before
Meal planning at the weekend can really help so you already know what’s for lunch on each day and you’ve got all the ingredients to make it. Have a read of my meal planning made simple article for inspiration.
If your kids take snacks into school with them, plan for these like you plan for meals. This way you know what you need to shop for and you can try to find healthier food options than reaching for the nearest bag of crisps.
Make sure all school permission slips, letters from school etc are read and signed if needed and put into bags the evening before so they’re not forgotten about. Being organised with your paper filing can really help here.
Bath time and hair washing etc could be done the night before to save time in the morning.
9. Laundry and routines
Keep on top of the laundry so there’s always clean uniform to hand in case of emergencies e.g. breakfast spills! I’ve written a whole post and downloadable freebie on how to set up routines for your home which might be helpful for you.
10. Your own morning routine
Establish a morning routine for yourself and get up before the kids – get yourself ready and do as much of everything else as possible before they wake up. Here are some morning routine ideas you might find helpful.
11. Chart or checklist
Use a chart or some kind of visual list with pictures for little ones, which everyone can see, that shows your kids everything they need to do that morning to be ready to leave the home.
12. Establish a routine
Make sure everyone knows the order in which to do things e.g do you want them to eat breakfast/do teeth before they get dressed so they don’t get breakfast/toothpaste down their clean uniform? Do the same thing every day so everyone knows what’s happening.
13. Foster independence
Encourage and teach your kids to dress themselves from as early age as possible so they can get dressed by themselves rather than needing your help and time.
Limit breakfast choices to a couple of options to save time on decisions – you can rotate different options throughout the week for variety.
Make sure everyone knows what time you need to leave home and give plenty of reminders – for example we’re leaving the house in 30 minutes, 20 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 2 minutes etc. There’s no excuses that your kids didn’t know the time or how long they’ve got!
16. Pack the lunches
Don’t forget to finish the lunches and put them out ready to take with the school bags. No good prepping the night before if you leave them in the fridge (yes, this one’s for me!)
17. Water bottles
Same for water bottles. Fill them with fresh water and don’t forget to put them in the school bags!
18. Grab bag
If you’ve got little ones, put together a bag of stuff that you might need when you’re out doing the school run and keep this ready to take with you whenever you go out, including school run mornings. You never know when you’ll need a baby wipe or a spare nappy and it’ll save you much less stress, hassle and time knowing that you’ve got an emergency bag with you (either on the buggy if you’re walking, or in the car if you’re driving).
19. Screen time boundaries
No screen time, technology or other games until your kids are ready and they have time to spare.
20. Keep calm!
I’ve found that how I am in the mornings kind of sets the tone for everyone else’s mood. So, if I’m shouty and stressed out then my kids tend to pick up on that and react accordingly!
PUTTING THESE IDEAS INTO PRACTICE
Try out these ideas for a couple of weeks and they’ll hopefully start to make a big difference to your school run mornings.
It’ll probably take a little time for everyone, including you, to get into the swing of things but even putting in place a few ideas on the list could really help you get more organised and manage your time a bit better.
Be persistent, learn from anything that goes wrong and find a routine that works for you and stick to it! You’ll be calmer and not feel like you’ve done a full day’s work before the day has even begun. Your kids will benefit from the structure too and you’ll save yourself a whole load of hassle and stress!
Let me know how it goes in the comments and if there’s anything that does, or doesn’t, work for you!
MORNING ROUTINE PLANNER
If you’d like some more help in putting together a routine for your school run mornings, then you might like to take a look at my Morning Routine Planner. It’s a simple but effective workbook to take you through your mornings, step-by-step, so you can create a morning routine that really works for you.
MORE RESOURCES FOR SIMPLIFYING LIFE WITH KIDS
Here are some related articles that you might enjoy:
- How to Help Kids and Teenagers Declutter and Keep Their Room Clean and Tidy
- Kids and Chores: Why and How to Encourage Kids to Help at Home
- How To Simplify Going Back To School and School Routines
- Simple Tips to Make Weekends and School Holidays Fun For Everyone
- Minimalism and Motherhood
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I’m Antonia and on this blog I share practical inspiration to simplify your home, time and life. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest! You can also subscribe to Balance Through Simplicity and receive regular simplicity tips straight to your inbox for free. Make sure you never miss an article plus you’ll get a copy of my free Declutter Starter Kit as a welcome gift!