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Simplify Your Before School Routine (And Never Be Late Again)

Do you dread the before school chaos that erupts every day as you’re all trying to get out the door in time? It can be the worst! Kids dragging their feet and not doing as you ask, or taking 30 minutes just to eat one bowl of cereal. Seriously… tell me my kids aren’t the only ones??

Someone can’t find their school shirt. Someone else forgot to pack their lunch so you have to go back inside.

You’re late for work/appointments/social events because you’re still rounding up the family. Arghhhh…

Yeah, school mornings aren’t much fun! BUT you can make them easier! There are a few things we do in our household to minimise the number of meltdowns and the frequency of shouting (I swear, it’s shouts of love).

Hopefully, these simple changes to your before school routine can help you get out the door on time too.

Simplify your before school routine (and never be late again)


Waking up for school can be tough, especially if you’re not a morning person and even more so in winter! But there are some easy ways to make your morning routine less stressful and more efficient.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be out the door in no time!


Make school lunches (and work lunches) the night before. This means there is no last-minute panic when you realise you don’t have anything for the lunch boxes.

It also saves you time in the morning, reducing the number of things you need to do.

I actually prepare lunches 2 days ahead most of the time. Starting on a Sunday night, I will pack 2 school lunches to prepare us for Monday and Tuesday.

This means even if we have a busy night sometimes, we are usually still one day ahead on school lunches and just need to grab them out of the fridge in the morning.

Making packed lunches the night before means it is something you don’t need to make time for in the morning.

At the moment, my daughters are too young to do it themselves without help, so that is one less thing to worry about.

We have 2 lunch boxes for each of the girls we alternate with all week. We also keep the fridge organised so that there is a space to keep the lunch boxes.

I like these ones because they fit a full sandwich plus snack compartments.

Grab my free printable for school lunch box ideas and stick it on the fridge so you are never short of things to add in too!

Time Saved: 5 minutes

RELATED: Kid-Approved School Lunch Box Recipes

Lunch box planner banner


Have you ever had one of those days when you are trying to get everyone dressed for school only to realise there are no clean school uniforms?

It’s pretty stressful when there’s no time to wash and you end up having to send your kids to school in a grubby uniform or having to write a note to excuse them from their proper uniform for the day.

Okay, so it’s only happened once here and that was enough.

We now make sure to have uniforms, right down to socks and underpants, ready the night before to ensure a smoother morning school routine.

This means no last-second panics when there is nothing to wear. Or being late for school waiting for the wash and dry cycle to finish!

Time saved: 5 minutes

School backpacks on steps


Again, there is a lot you can do the night before to save time for your morning routine for school.

Pre-packing the contents of the school bag, with the exception of lunch is a great way to get organised the night before.

Make sure hats, homework, books and anything else are in there ready to go.

This also means having any extracurricular activities organised too, such as swimming gear for swimming day, sports uniforms, library books, and any special projects.

A family command station could be the perfect way to keep everything in one place and ready to go for the next day. There are some great ideas for functional storage using Kallax shelves.

This is a great task to get your kids into the habit of taking control of. This will help them learn responsibility for their own actions.

You may want to double-check they have everything for the first few weeks, or if your kids are in their early years of schooling.

Time saved: 5 minutes

Starting school for the first time? Check out these books about starting school to read together.


Having quick, easy and nutritious breakfast options ready to go are going to save heaps of time without the need to bake up a fancy meal in the morning.

My kids usually choose cereal and we have a couple of different choices to keep it interesting. Toast is another quick and easy option and fresh fruit on hand if you really are running late.

Or you can pre-bake some yummy breakfast muffins like these applesauce, oat and banana muffins or my kids’ favourite, mango, yoghurt and banana muffins. Warm them first or serve them cold.

Time saved: 10-20 minutes

Prepare your child for their first school year with these simple tips


In our household, our girls are currently obsessed with LEGO and gaming (on their tech-approved days) and they will try and sneak these things in by getting up early to play.

This is fine but we have a 7:30 AM rule that all play stops until they are ready for school. At this time, they can return to building LEGO or other non-tech activities.

They have been known to sneak toys or colouring over to their breakfast table while they eat. And it means they simply don’t eat. No matter how many times you tell them to get on with it.

You get the constant replies of ‘I AM’ but still that full bowl sits there with Cheerios floating in it. Arghhhhh… so we previously needed a no play before school rule.

Now that our routine is so streamlined for before school, we no longer need the no play rule, but we do have a bring nothing to the breakfast table rule to go along with our 7:30 cut-off for play time. It works great and there’s no need to nag!

Time saved: 15-30 minutes


Child sleeping with teddy

This one may seem like a strange one when we are talking about getting out the door quicker in the morning but trust me, it helps.

Tired kids will drag their feet even more. That’s the last thing you want, so make sure they are going to bed early enough.

We adjusted bedtimes twice in our eldest daughter’s first year of school, simply because she was still waking up tired. We finally found the magic spot at 7 PM which seemed to work perfectly for her. This has adjusted as she has gotten older.

She is far more likely to wake up naturally on time now or at least get out of bed easier now than she did even half an hour later for her bedtime.

It can take a little trial and error with younger kids until you find what seems to work for them but it will definitely help you get off to a good start in the morning. Less of that love yelling too ;)

Time saved: YOUR SANITY


One of the best ways to simplify your morning routine with younger kids is to use a routine chart.

This can be as simple as a list of tasks that need to be completed each morning, or you can get more creative and make a visual chart with pictures or symbols.

Either way, having a routine chart will help your children stay on track and avoid forgetting any important steps in their morning routine.

You can get great routine charts for morning routines for kids online. They can also help manage household chores to make the rest of your home life a little easier with kids too!


It’s one thing to make sure our kid’s routines are streamlined and organised but it doesn’t count for much if you’re the one dragging your feet and causing everyone to be late.

Many of these tips can be helpful when applied to the adults in the household too with pre-planning outfits, and packing lunches and bags the night before.

One of the best ways to make your mornings less stressful is to have a plan and prepare for the next day ahead of time.

If you can get everything ready the night before, you’ll be able to wake up without feeling rushed or panicked.

Another way to reduce morning stress is by creating a calm and relaxing environment in your home.

Dimming the lights, using aromatherapy, and playing soft music can help you ease into waking up if it is something you personally struggle with. And lastly, try not to hit the snooze button! Getting up early will give you more time to relax before school starts.

Need more help getting your own butt into gear? Check out these top habits to simplify your life.

It will make a big difference to everyone starting the day on a positive foot and not a rushed one!

RELATED: How To Set Up Your Planner For The New Year

An organised household is a harmonious one! Not to mention the fact that happy kids = happy mums and dads!!! I’m sure you will agree!

Getting your before school routine sorted right from the start of the school year will help you and your children have a better start to every day.

Simplify your after school routine too with these yummy after school snack ideas