School morning hacks for a stress-free routine

Morning school run

Ah, the school morning routine – a bit like a china shop full of hippos, there's a high probability of chaos in a very short time. But IKEA has asked Mumsnet users to share their advice on how to get ready for school in the morning without the dramas, and we're already taking notes…

1. No more hide and seek

1. No more hide and seek

“We're fairly organised in the morning and it's down to IKEA. We have wall-mounted plastic baskets in the hall that have hats, scarves, and gloves etc in the winter and sun cream and sun hats in the summer. Everything has a home so we don't waste any time looking for stuff.”

2. Make breakfast a breeze

2. Make breakfast a breeze

“We’ve got those plastic cereal storage boxes to hold several types of cereal – my children use those colourful plastic IKEA cups to scoop out what they need. Stops them shouting for me when I’m having a quick shower.”

3. Nothing wrong with a little repetition

3. Nothing wrong with a little repetition

“Make sure that the routine is the same daily and stick to it. Even DC2, who is notoriously grumpy first thing, has learned the art of sorting themselves out. I wake everyone up and sort out coffee (for the grown-ups) and breakfast, but otherwise they know what they need to do.”

4. Get em' dancing

4. Get em' dancing

“The mornings that seem to go better for us are when we have lots of music on in the background. It seems to help my kids to get along and move from one part of the morning to the next.”

5. Keep it low

5. Keep it low

“Seriously, just speak very quietly about what they are going to do next. It's a sort of broken record technique. The quieter you are, the quieter they will be.”

6. Want them to be synchronised? Maybe let that go

6. Want them to be synchronised? Maybe let that go

“Staggered starts, otherwise everyone ends up in the bathroom at the same time. Partner gets up first, wakes kids, gets breakfast going, then I get up. The kids appear just as I've finished in the bathroom, heading to the kitchen to eat. They eat while I'm getting dressed, then they get dressed while I'm getting my bag together.”

7. Keep it minimal

7.  Keep it minimal

“We followed the 'IKEA model' of having a storage bench in the hallway with hats, gloves, bags, slippers etc in it, which also doubles as a place to sit to put on shoes. The other thing that has made a massive difference in our home is minimalism – we've got rid of tons of stuff and as a result things are easier to find and the morning routine is much smoother.”

8. Sort your storage and hope for the best

8. Sort your storage and hope for the best

“I have five stackable storage boxes on our landing – a full uniform for my son goes into each one. I work out what I'm going to wear the night before. The rest is hopes and prayers…”

9. Be strict with timings and don't buckle

9. Be strict with timings and don't buckle

“Breakfast cannot take longer than 15 minutes. I set a timer and they know that when it goes off they have to shovel in the last mouthfuls and get upstairs. It sounds cruel, but they actually find it quite funny and it works.”

10. Do as much as you can the night before

10. Do as much as you can the night before

“All bags are sorted the night before. In the hallway we have a set of low coat hooks. Everything the kids need for the next day are hung on their individual hooks so they just grab whatever is on there.”

Cut the chaos with IKEA

A key way to keep morning madness to a minimum is involving everyone in the home. When your home is set up so that your children don't need constant help, everyone's a winner. Put dinnerware and food in places your children can easily reach so they can set the table while you focus on making breakfast. A light step stool can also help in the kitchen and bathroom.

In the bedroom, the STUVA range is designed from the ground up, ensuring interiors are all easily reachable, with most parts being adjustable, meaning the furniture can grow your child. But one of the best places to keep well organised is the hallway. A bench with hidden storage will work wonders – just pop their bags inside and add a coat rack at their height nearby to give them a one stop shop before leaving each morning.

For more hilarious, and undeniably useful, school-related yarns, check out our Back to school pages.