Tips for an organised before school morning routine

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

Our school mornings at home are like groundhog day, however, following this routine keeps us organised and has made the mornings rush-free for me.  So here is our family’s before school morning routine that I want to share with you. I started writing this post about 18 months ago, and I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to publish it, but moral of the story is that it still remains the same today!

tips-for-an-organised-before-school-morning-routineKEY POINTS TO FOLLOW TO STAY ORGANISED

  • Know what is going in your kid’s school lunch boxes. planning tips here.
  • Have school uniforms ironed and hanging in the kid’s wardrobes, so they’re ready to go.
  • If you’re not going to the gym after school drop off, shower after you wake up before the morning routine starts.
  • Don’t let the kids watch TV before school.
  • Pack school bags with school books, notes, sports gear the night before.
  • Create a reasonable bedtime for the kids so they don’t wake up tired.


My school mornings are usually busy getting the kids ready.  By the time we all wake up, we have about 1 hour to get ready.  For the past 10 years, my kids have used a routine chart to help them remember to complete everything needed to before school.  This saves my sanity and stops me from yelling and repeating myself every single day.  Routine charts are available in my shop as an instant download, and there are loads of different colour options available.


We start our mornings at 6.30am. Most mornings I get up and get dressed in my gym clothes. Scotty is up a half an hour earlier and goes to the gym before he starts work.  The kids eat breakfast while I make school lunches.  See lunchbox ideas here.


Then they do their ‘responsibility tasks’, which in the morning is unpacking the dishwasher and putting out the rubbish.  See a list of age-appropriate tasks here.


Next, they brush their teeth.  It is a must that this is the next to-do on the list in the morning. I really don’t like them getting dressed then brushing their teeth as they are more than likely going to get toothpaste on their school uniform.


There have been some mornings that my kids rush brushing their teeth (goodness knows why).  Now I check that they have brushed well and if not I get them to brush again.  There was a stage that this was happening far too often so I created a chart (I love charts!!).  I use these charts to mark off if they have brushed their teeth well, at the end of the week it is acknowledged and rewarded in something as simple as picking a movie to watch over the weekend or which board game we can play.

 Kids Bathroom Brushing Teeth Chart

These ‘Brushing Teeth’ charts are an instant downloadable printable, available in 4 different colours.  They are editable so you can type your child’s name onto the chart. Click here to visit shop to download.


When they are finished brushing their teeth, they wipe over the bathroom sink (have to be honest, they do sometimes forget to do this and it aggravates me).

Kids Bathroom 2

They make sure the bathroom is left tidy, towels hung up etc.  I laminated the set of 4 bathroom prints to add some colour into the bathroom, which is also a great reminder for the kids… brush your teeth, care for your skin, hang your towel and wash your hands.

Kids Bathroom 3

Then they get dressed and make their bed. I have a perfectly imperfect rule, I don’t remake it after the kids do it, I am just happy and grateful they did it themselves. Then they brush their hair, pack their lunch into their school bag and go to school!


While the kids are getting ready for school I put the washing on the line, tidy up the lounge room and put the dirty dishes into the dishwasher.  Then it’s time to fuel my body with some breakfast.  I sit down for a minute and catch up on the morning news. I love the Today Show!!! Karl is so funny, gees he makes me laugh when he laughs at himself.  During this time I also do the girl’s hair (sorry can’t show photos for the kid’s privacy, as they are all in school uniforms).



After I drop the kids to school I do a workout with my trainer (two-three times a week).

and then come home, shower and work on the blog.  I work on the blog each weekday between 10.30-3pm.

Organise office 3

That’s how our school mornings run.  All this happens within an hour easily and without rushing.  The kids don’t watch TV before school and I think this really helps to make sure they are ready on time.


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dimple February 4, 2015 - 8:35 AM

I get things ready the night before. I have their bags ready in front of the door i have their lunch ready in the fridge so i just pop it in the bags.if it needs to be heated i heat it then put it in their bag. Their clothes are all ironed clean and ready on the lounge room couch.they wake up wash their face brush their teeth wear their uniform (this happens all while im asleep) haha. Ones a new prepy and the other is in grade 1. So i wake up get the breakfast ready and do their hair. =)

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 4, 2015 - 9:20 AM

Fantastic! Sounds like you have a great morning routine going on.:)

Jo February 4, 2015 - 3:33 PM

I’m exactly the same…even their uniforms on the couch! Everything ready the night before and the kids do most of it themselves. Makes it much much easier!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 9, 2015 - 10:57 AM

Love your work, Jo!! x

Julia K February 4, 2015 - 9:07 AM

I agree that a morning routine is essential. I absolutely LOATHE being late and by insisting on a morning routine that gets us all out the door by 7.45 I am hoping to teach my kids that it is important to be on time. This morning there were roadworks in our are, but because we have some buffer built into our routine – we still made it to both schools with plenty of time to spare and no stress.
I make sure the uniforms are all ironed and in the kids’ wardrobes. As a part of their before bed routine – they are to get their uniforms out and hung on their doors for the next day. This includes down to shoes, socks & underwear. When they get up – they do their chores and then come inform breakfast. I almost ALWAYS cook them breakfast to give them a great start to the day. Other people think this is crazy, but I just make it simple. I prep lunches the night before so they are in the fridge ready to go and that frees me up in the morning to cook breakfast. On Monday this week they had French Toast, yesterday was English Muffins with Baked Beans, this morning they just had buttered muffins & milk. I usually make pancakes once a week and make enough batter for a double batch so they can have them two days in a row.
After breakfast they brush their teeth and get dressed and I do their hair.
I agree 100% no TV or electronics before school.

Jenny Mc February 4, 2015 - 9:55 AM

One of my kid’s chores is to set the table with the bowls, spoons and breakfast cereals before we go to bed. Then they rinse and stack their bowls on the sink when they have finished. (No dishwasher) All three kids have one daily chore and one weekly chore to do around the house, and this rotates through the month.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 9, 2015 - 10:58 AM

I like it, Jenny!!

Kathryn February 4, 2015 - 9:58 AM

never allow TV in the morning before school – also, we are just implementing a no iPhone/iPad/iPod etc before you’re ready rule too – these things are even more of a distraction than the TV

Melinda February 4, 2015 - 10:57 AM

Kat I’m just wondering if you work all day on blog when do you prepare dinner, clean house etc. Always interested how people structure their days..TIA

Sonia grandile February 4, 2015 - 11:22 AM

Hello Kat, have been following routines like yours for the school terms and makes the mornings and afternoons easier. I did download 4 routine charts last week and only 3 downloaded correctly. The 4 th came up as an error. I’ve sent a couple of emails but no response yet as to how I can get the purple coloured afternoon routine chart sent through correctly. Thank you
Sonia. Love your blog

Jamie | Jamie's Recipes February 4, 2015 - 1:36 PM

I am amazed at what you get done in the mornings. Absolutely no electronics allowed in the mornings at my house too. They are able to distract each other easily enough as is. Having a responsibility chart has helped around here too. I am so glad to not have to nag them any more. They just follow the chart!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 9, 2015 - 11:00 AM

It is so lovely to have mornings running smoothly and stress free.:)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 4, 2015 - 2:00 PM

Great routine Kat! It looks like it works perfectly with your family too! 😀

Foodie February 4, 2015 - 5:20 PM

So admirable! And consistent! I am not nearly as organized in my life and there is only one of me, plus husband of course but I don’t think he would respond well to checklists ???? We are very similar beings. I am mostly spontaneous but in some ways I have organisation envy, you make it look so fun! ???? I’m impressed!

Trish February 4, 2015 - 5:27 PM

This is an excellent post. I don’t have children-I am a teacher! I am going to make some of your lunch box suggestions.

Jay February 4, 2015 - 10:41 PM

Your post of before school routine has saved me today were always running late with three children 6 and under it’s a constant battle just trying to leave the house!

For getting my tribe to brush their teeth (which was a daily battle). I brought tooth brush timers (sand timers) one for each of the kids now they have no excuse how long to brush them for, it also made it so much easier there is now no more fighting or arguments as they always try to race to be the first to turn their timer! 🙂 something so simple!

Caley February 4, 2015 - 11:24 PM

Great routines and I love all your printables x

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 9, 2015 - 10:58 AM

Naw thank you Caley.:)

website February 5, 2015 - 12:44 AM

The idea for pre-school morning routine sounds amazing! It is a good way to built a habit in your kid to clean and tidy their room. Thanks for the article!Barnsbury Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

Lauren @ Create Bake Make February 5, 2015 - 12:05 PM

These are great ideas Kat! My boys only go to kindy two days a week, but if I have any hope of getting them out of the door in time we also have to have clothes ready the night before, no tv etc. I love your teeth brushing chart too, off to get one now 🙂

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 6, 2015 - 8:50 AM

Fantastic Lauren! They are so handy, we love ours.:)

Janine February 5, 2015 - 1:55 PM

Hi Kat, our morning routine is a nightmare! I have 3 girls aged 9, 6 & 3. Aside from MY OWN disorganisation (a work in progress!) all 3 girls take so long to eat in the morning, it drives me crazy, and I find myself nagging and micro-managing their every move till we race out the door to get to school before the bell goes. I’ve tried routine charts but my control freak nature finds me checking on them, or giving them time reminders all the time to try to get them to hurry through the list of things they have to do. My OCD nature also would like them to eat first so they don’t get food or toothpaste all over their clothes, but this way, the eating part of the golden hour takes up most of the hour! So I want to put eating last on the list so they’ve only got a certain time limit to finish eating before we have to leave. Short of making each of them wear a bib or even an art smock (!!!) so you have any tips for getting them to eat quickly without me feeding them or nagging them. Some days I just want to pull my hair out! Thanks for listening to my rant, cheers, Janine

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 6, 2015 - 8:41 AM

Ooh Janine i do feel for you. I know how frustrating it can be. Do they have the TV on while eating breakfast? I would have no TV and maybe get them up a few minutes earlier to allow for the extra time that is needed in the morning. I hope you are able to find a solution that works for you and your family.:)

Janine February 6, 2015 - 8:45 AM

No, definitely NO tv or electronics of any sort, we are very strict with that, even in the after school timeslot. They are just such slow eaters!

Miss Maudy February 5, 2015 - 3:30 PM

Ok, my kids have six things to do every morning. Get up (sounds obvious, but some mornings…) make beds, have breakfast, clean teeth, get dressed and make lunch. The oldest has a few extras as he leaves last (turn off all the lights and lock the front door – I normally lock the back door when I leave. This is fundamentally what happens, just with a lot of “what are you doing?” and “what are you supposed to be doing?” and a few “you clean your teeth in the bathroom. With a toothbrush. And toothpaste.”

We need to be out the front door at 8am so I can get to work by 8.30am. Some mornings we don’t make it without a LOT of shouting!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 6, 2015 - 8:38 AM

Miss Maudy, sounds like you have a great system. I like it.:)

Viki February 5, 2015 - 5:47 PM

Thanks for sharing this! Good to read -wish I could do it almost like you, but often I get confused what and when to do…Always wanted to write down what need to be done -the priority order- but I always forget it…

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 6, 2015 - 8:34 AM

Viki i love to use the morning charts to help with our morning routine, i find it helps a lot for all of us. Here is the link for you and at the moment they are 50% off.

Melinda February 7, 2015 - 7:48 AM

My girls get dressed, tidy room, make bed. Then breakfast while I pack lunches, I do their hair while they sit at the bench eating. Then they wash face, brush teeth, pack bag, shoes on. Tv or iPad, playing or reading only happens when everything is done. The girls take less than 30mins to do all this so are rewarded with about 15mins of free time before we head off.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 9, 2015 - 9:15 AM

WOW that is fantastic! I love your morning routine, Melinda. Well done to you and your girls.


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