Back to School Basics: Tips for Getting Out of the House on Time    
It's that time of the year again: parents rejoicing after drop-off and kids moaning over another summer gone can only mean one thing--school days are upon us! The school year offers more structure to our days, but those hectic mornings can still throw us for a loop. These tips for getting out of the house in the midst of AM chaos will help families get to the bus on time! 
Prepare the Night Before: Pack lunches, lay out and iron clothes, put all school work in book bags the night before. There is no better way to smother a morning with anxiety and stress than to rush around right before leaving the house. 
Organize High Traffic Areas: In the mornings, one of the most densely populated areas in our house is the kitchen. Breakfast-making, form-signing, spills and clean-ups-they all happen in the kitchen. I've since moved things, like bowls and cups, where the kids can reach them so they can lend a hand with breakfast preparation. I also keep their lunches (which I packed the night before!) in a low shelf in the fridge, so when we're walking out the door, everyone grabs their own. 
Stick to a Coming Home Routine: This may sound strange seeing as how we're talking about leaving the house, but what you do with your stuff when you come home makes a difference. Have a spot for everything, including keys, bags, shoes, and homework. 
Everyone Helps: If your kid can walk, she can help! My 8 and 6-year-olds are responsible for feeding the dogs then letting them out, and my 3-year-old's job is to put breakfast plates in the sink. They're small tasks, but helpful nonetheless. 
Wake Up Earlier: Parents, this one is for you. If you can swing it, wake up earlier than everyone else. Get your "you" time in, whether that means reading, exercising, or sitting like a zombie until your internal clock catches up. Whatever it is for you, take the time to do it. 
Keep Essentials in the Car: Those of you responsible for drop-off can attest to the importance of keeping extras in the car! A hairbrush, pair of socks, a few dollars, even a bottle of water will come in handy on those crazy days.  

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