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5 Tips for Making the Morning Rush Easier…

5 tips for making the morning rush easier

5 tips for making the morning rush easier

I remember back in the day, when I used to wake up leisurely at a comfortable time. I could take a shower, make some breakfast, and have a breezy morning on my way to work. Now, my morning starts something like this…

    At 6:45am Ruby yells, "Mama! I'm awake! Come and get me!" Ruby wakes up Coco from her yelling and     Coco babbles in her crib, "MaMaMaMaMumMum".

My alarm clock (aka my kids) has rang, and I shoot out of bed, stumble into the bathroom, and as soon as I walk into the kid's room, it's GO time. If it's a normal weekday, I have exactly one hour from the time I wake up to get all of us fed, dressed, and out the door by 7:45am to get Ruby at school by 8am and me to work by 8:30am. Because the morning can be so hectic, the folks at Quaker Oats Company asked me to share my tips for making the morning rush easier. Each tip shaves off at least 5 minutes so if you do them all, you're saving a lot of valuable time that can help you have a great start to your day…

5 tips for making the morning rush easier

1. Set clothes out the night before. You might think it doesn't take long to pick out what you or your kids will wear in the morning, but it takes longer than you think (especially if you let kids in on the decision-making process of what they get to wear). Set everything out (both kids clothes and your clothes) the night before. And for the kids clothes, place them in the general order that they will be put on (ie. undies, short, pants, etc.). Also, make sure to pick out shoes, any hair accessories/jewelry and any other item of clothing that will be worn the following day so there are no new decisions to make in the morning.

5 tips for making the morning rush easier

2. Set up the breakfast table. After the kids have gone to bed, set up the morning's table with plates, utensils, napkins, salt/pepper, and anything else you'd need for breakfast that isn't perishable. You can even pre-fill cups and glasses in advance with juice, water, or milk and keep them in the fridge ready to pull out and place on the table in the morning.

5 tips for making the morning rush easier

3. Prep breakfast in advance. Get a head start on breakfast by making anything you can in advance. For example, if everyone loves your famous homemade oatmeal pancakes, you can make a big batch on Sunday and freeze them to make within the next few days for easy reheating during those hectic weekday mornings. Or, you can simply make your batter the night before and bring it out in the morning so you can get them right onto the grill. The same thing goes for waffles, frittatas, or smoothies. You can pre-cut fruit for a smoothie and then keep in a bag (or store in a container) all the items you'd need for a morning smoothie. That way, all you have to do in the morning is throw it in the blender and add some yogurt or juice. 

5 tips for making the morning rush easier

4. Pre-pack a full lunch. Most people already know to pack their lunch the night before. But to save some time, fully pack it into the bag you'll carry it in (whether it's a lunch pail, insulated bag, or a brown paper bag). Include your drinks, then leave the full bag in fridge ready to go. And if your kids lunch needs ice packs, that should be the only thing you need to add in the morning.

5 tips for making the morning rush easier

5. Play music! We keep a portable speaker in the kids' rooms that connects to my phone so I can give them a little pick-me-up when we all need it. Music helps get everyone moving and motivated to wake up and start the day. You can also use it as a way to keep track time with kids by saying something like,"By the time this song ends, I want you to finish brushing your teeth!"

What do you think? Are there any other things that you do to help the morning run smoothly?

This post is brought to you in collaboration with the Quaker Oats CompanyAll content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that make Oh Joy possible.

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling by Ariel Fulmer}



  1. Great tips and fabulous pics :). Does your husband help with any of the chores in the morning? That could take a few things off your hands. Also I know a lot of parents give bath to their kids in the evenings. What do u guys do?

  2. My daughter used to always wear the clothes she would wear the next day to bed. No having to change in the morning! At first I objected to her wearing her outfits to bed instead of pajamas, but it really saves a ton of time.

  3. ugh, I share this struggle. Like Angel’s daughter, my son also chooses to wear the clothes he wants to wear the next day to bed so he is ready to go in the morning. I try to get some of the lunch made the night before, but with a 1 year old and a 3 year old, the night-time routine is full, too! That lunch bag is cute, who makes it?

  4. Preparation is definitely the key and you have it all planned – Kudos! One day, you will have leisurely mornings again and will only have to dress yourself 😉

  5. Hi Shruti!
    My husband has to be at work before we wake up most mornings so he helps on the weekends but can’t during the weekdays.
    We also give our kids baths in the evening 😉

  6. Wow you have such cute items in your house! I Definitely lay out outfit the night before and sometime I put the kids to bed in their next-day’s clothes. It saves us so much time. =) It’s a lot of work now but we all will miss this time when our kids are big.

  7. Where are the cute placemats and napkins from? Love ❤️ As a mom of a 3 and 4 year old, I feel this post. Every morning is stressful!

  8. I’m a brand new mom …. no one ever told me that I’ll never be able to sleep in again 😉 helpful post for the near future! Would love to know where you got the bib from?

  9. Hi Kate!
    The placements are from Chilewich and the napkins were from Leif shop!
    And yes, mornings are always crazed for me, too! ;P

  10. Completely agree with these. The clothes makes a huge difference!
    The other thing I do, which is hard but so good, is set an alarm for 15-30mins before kids wake up. It means I get up at 5:30 on a childcare day and 6:30 on a home day, but means I can get up, dressed and pack lunches in bags or just have a coffee in a quiet house. Which gives me a better mind frame for when the boys wake.

  11. Hi,
    I have always lit fun candles at breakfast. It is a soothing way to celebrate the new day and seems to create this great mojo while we are starting our day. Even with my 11 and 13 year old kids!

  12. I wish I could do that! I used to be able to when I had one baby and now I am so tired I need all the sleep I can get so I wake up with the kids ;/

  13. It’s super hard so I understand the get sleep when you can. I have a 4 yr old and a 2.5yr old, and some days early alarm goes off and I just roll over back to sleep 🙂

  14. I feel you Joy! I too have an hour to get my kid to school because I refuse to wake up earlier than 7:30. And like you, I’m also on my own for the morning rush because my husband goes to work before I’m up. I agree with all your tips but have more to add. First, pick something for breakfast that you know your kid likes and preferably something portable in case they dawdle at the table and you need them to eat while you rush them over to school. Bananas are good for this as are homemade muffins and cheese sandwiches. Also if your kids are little (between 3 and 5) make sure whatever you serve for breakfast is something they can feed themselves (no mommy having to cut your pancakes or help you pour milk in your cereal) and is not messy (in my house this means nothing with peanut butter or Nutella).
    I also set my alarm to go off five minutes before we have to leave the house. My son is 3 and doesn’t have a good concept of time and that we’ll be late if he doesn’t hurry. But he does understand that when the alarm goes off, he needs to drop what he’s doing and put on his shoes and jacket.
    In the area of getting dressed, I stress autonomy. Pick out clothes that they can put on by themselves without your help. I think I picked this one up from my son’s preschool. No overalls, shoes with laces, button down shirts, etc. After all, mama needs time to get dressed and presentable too!

  15. Wow, I remember those days but the only way it worked for me was to set my alarm for 5 am. I just jumped up and got right in the shower and the coffee was timed to be finished when I got out. I’d get myself ready, think through my work day, and the boys would wake up when they smelled breakfast cooking. My husband too had to be at work by 7 so I was on my own. But having him home at 3:30 to play and help with dinner more than made up for it. As for your sponsor, oats are so versatile and wonderful and you could write several posts just on the great breakfasts you can make using them.


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