An Uncomplicated Life Blog: Early Morning Hacks For Back To School

Monday, July 9, 2018

Early Morning Hacks For Back To School

Back to school means early mornings! Use these hacks to make them as efficient and smooth as possible

If I haven't said it here before, allow me to announce it to the world now: I am NOT a morning person. I hate mornings. I wish nothing happened in the world before 8 am and it that it was required for all people to sleep until AT LEAST 7 am. I'm sure to a college student or even a 20 something year old, that sounds like the early morning, but to those of us who are parents or hold down typical jobs or worse yet, both of those things, you know that those hours are indeed considered sleeping in! Henry has one more year of preK preschool left, and after that, we'll need to be in the carpool lane by 7:15 am, Monday through Friday. Just pull my hair out now, please. That sounds like death. I'm going to pretend like that's not my impending future because getting four kids out of the house by 7 am is too much for my despise of morning hours self... However, through this hatred of early hours, I've developed a series of hacks that honestly make the mornings bearable! Not likable, but tolerable. If you're anti-mornings like me or you just need some tips on how to use your time more efficiently, check out these early morning hacks that are great for those back to school rushes.

Morning hacks and efficiency tips for the early back to school mornings to curb chaos

1) Make lunches the night before and make them in bulk
Everyone knows this one but so few do it! Trust me on this one and just do it. I like to make them after dinner but before I've done the "final clean" of the kitchen for the day. If your kids go to school everyday, make them two at a time! This is a super efficient way to do it - you've already got the bread and peanut butter and jelly out, make two sandwiches instead of one. Then store it in a paper or plastic bag in the back of the fridge, and swap it out when your kids come home from school and you're cleaning out their backpacks and lunch bags.

Breakfast #1 gets set out on the counter, ready for the kids' early wake up time

2) Set out your kids supplies the night before
This is for everything: Outfits, special supplies like an art project or a towel/spare outfit for a field trip, homework in folders, tuition checks/lunch money/etc in the right spot - whatever your child might need for school the next day, have it set up and ready to go for the morning. Make sure it's all in one spot so you're not chasing it down when you should be getting in the car! The only thing I don't set out the night before is the kids' lunches, which stay in the fridge until we zip up and put on backpacks.

We're a two breakfast kinda family (or at least my kids are) so I set out their first breakfast the night before. They like to wake up early so I shove cereal bars at them because these kids wake up hungry! Then I usually heat up pancakes that were made the day before, scramble a few eggs, or give them yogurt and fruit closer to when we leave for school. The first breakfast is the super early one and therefore needs to be made as easy as possible! You could set out cereal bowls or partial supplies for breakfast if your kids eats from the fridge. Get out whatever you can to make it as easy as possible!

Otto's packed backpack ready to go in the morning

3) Set our YOUR supplies the night before
I don't go as far as getting my outfit planned because I work from home and can wear whatever I want, but if I had an office job, better believe I'd plan that out! I do get my coffee set up. I make individual cups (don't use a Keurig because of the mold and mildew that grows in them and how wasteful the actual cups are... Seriously it's like getting a new plastic straw everyday for your drink - why are you doing that?! Plus, I think it makes sucky coffee and isn't strong enough hashtagsorrynosorry) when my husband is working or traveling and I get this and the kids' "first breakfast" all set up and on the counter at the same time. Takes less than 2 minutes.

My coffee station is ready to go for an easy morning cup

4) Wake up early enough to move at your desired pace and still leave on time
Seems like the wrong advice coming from a woman who hates mornings right? Like I should be telling you all of this so that you're able to stay in bed until the last possible minute for the most possible sleep, right? Here's something else I've learned: When you push your timetable, it makes early mornings WORSE. For example, I don't like mornings, so I don't like moving fast or loud sounds; basically, the general chaos of rushing is excruciating! I've started to wake up a half hour before I used to in order to move at a calm, reasonable pace in the morning. We aren't rushed but there's also no time built in for dragging our feet. It makes a huge difference on my mood not only while we're getting ready to get out the door, but also for the rest of the day for me! It might take you a few tries to get it right, but you'll find the sweet spot of time to get up that enables you to move through the steps necessary for the morning at the pace you need to be a happy and calm parent. For me, that was more than worth shaving off 30 extra minutes in bed.

Back to school time is always a crazy mess of figuring out new schedules, timing, and what all needs to be done to get everyone where they need to go. If you're not a morning person like me, this is especially painful! Use these early morning hacks to get you on track for a well planned, prepared, calm and efficient back to school morning schedule. 


  1. #4 is MY JAM. I wouldn't say I'm a "morning person", but I definitely value getting up early and having time to get work done and move at my own pace before my real "day" starts. This morning started at 5 am, and here it is 7 and I have practically all my computer work done for the day!

  2. 7:15?! For elementary school?! Jesus what time do the middle and high schools start? That sounds terrible.
    Number 4 for life! I love my morning quiet time to drink my coffee before EJ starts crying for me to get him up.

  3. That’s crazy early! I’m all about preparing the night before because mornings are not my thing.

  4. Great tips! I can't believe the school starts so early?!! #4 is definitely something that I struggle with! I need to definitely make an effort to do that this school year.

  5. I love the idea of making 2 sandwiches at once! Easy way to get ready for tomorrow!

  6. Making lunches and coffee the night before is a really great idea. When I went to school, that's what I always did.

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