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IKEA would like to hear your tips for making the weekday school routine as stress-free as possible

400 replies

AbbiCMumsnet · 24/07/2019 09:17

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Getting your kids out of the door for the morning school run is not for the faint hearted. It’s a task that hardly ever goes to plan, with the potential for things to go wrong always lurking around the corner. With this in mind, IKEA would love to know hear your advice on how you make the weekday school routine as stress-free as possible, and any hacks you might have to make your life easier.

Here’s what IKEA have to say:
“A key way to keeping morning madness to a minimum is involving everyone in the home. When your home is set up so that your little ones 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 help in the kitchen and bathroom.
In the bedroom, our STUVA range is designed from the ground up ensuring interiors are all easily reachable by little hands, 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.”

Have you established an efficient system to get your kids out of the door on time? How do you deal with unexpected obstacles that get in your path when trying to leave? Do you prepare meticulously the night before, or do you wing it in the morning and hope for the best - maybe the latter works best for you!

All who share their tips on avoiding the stress of the weekday school run will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win £300 in IKEA vouchers.
Thanks and good luck

Standard Insight T&Cs apply

IKEA would like to hear your tips for making the weekday school routine as stress-free as possible
OP posts:
MakeTeaNotWar · 24/07/2019 09:56

Everything is laid out the night before - uniform, bags, kit and breakfast things. The key in our house is getting up early so no one feels too rushed which is stessful. No TV / screens until everyone is ready to leave and then they can watch as long as nothing is left to do still

TeenTimesTwo · 24/07/2019 10:01

We've just bought a tall narrow Billy bookcase with enough shelves so there is one per GCSE subject. Do we win? Smile


  • a plastic wallet for paperwork going to and from school.
  • a holder for exercise books that are at home so they don't get lost in general chaos.
  • somewhere to do homework.
Theimpossiblegirl · 24/07/2019 10:33

Always get everything organised the night before and put bags etc. in the hallway.
I even make the lunches before I go to bed.

NewModelArmyMayhem18 · 24/07/2019 11:03

Make sure that the routine is indeed 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, otherwise they know what they need to do.

fish88 · 24/07/2019 11:04

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.

thanksamillion · 24/07/2019 11:07

Everything has a place and goes straight back there. Shoes off before coming in and stored in the hallway - as I child I wasted hours looking for shoes all over the house. PE kit washed and back in the bag.
I've got 3 children in 3 different schools so have to be organised!

CommonFishDiseases · 24/07/2019 11:21

We followed the "Ikea model" of (1) 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, and (2) having low down coat hooks at child height for school bags and coats. 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.

Blastandbollocks · 24/07/2019 11:25

Sorting things the night before, setting specific times for things to be complete, and ensuring things are at child height to make life easier.
We also have an Ikea whiteboard hanging in the kitchen and any reminders are written on there so we don't forget.
We're also about to redo the wardrobes in my son's bedroom using Ikea wardrobes so that everything will have a proper space.

Orangepear · 24/07/2019 11:26

I put everything on the floor in front of the door so we have to pick it all up to get out. I don't have any wall cupboards in the kitchen, everything is in drawers - designed so the DC can help themselves to breakfast.

starlight36 · 24/07/2019 11:44

Lots of timely nagging!

School bags sorted the night before - any snacks for after-school club organised dnd in fridge with note to remember on blackboard.

School shoes at top of pile in (overflowing) Shiite storage. Coats hung up near the door.

ILiveInSalemsLot · 24/07/2019 11:45

We use ikea storage solutions for organising wardrobes.
Dc know where underwear, socks/tights and jumpers are. The rest is hung up. Uniform is always accessible.
Shoes go in the hallway.
No one goes downstairs until they’ve been to the bathroom, washed, brushed their teeth and got changed and hair done.
Then downstairs for breakfast.

Bags are done the night before in theory but in reality there’s always some last minute thing needing doing.

voyager50 · 24/07/2019 12:04

Being organised by getting ready the night before is the best plan - clothes, bag, pe kit, lunch, homework etc all ready for the morning so that nothing is done last minute.

JoolsSchmools · 24/07/2019 12:17

We have a hanging box thing in the wardrobe (can't remember the name!) which has 5 compartments in so each Sunday a clean set of clothes goes in each.

Hooks in the hall for school bag, coat, PE kit and swimming kit.

School lunch prepared the night before.

Any letters or activities stuck to magnet white board on fridge

DonPablo · 24/07/2019 12:23

We're fairly organised in the morning and it's down to ikea!

We have Wall mounted plastic baskets in the hall (from IKEA!) that has hats, scarves gloves etc in the winter and suncream and sun hats eta in the summer. Everything has a home so we don't waste any time looking for stuff.

I'm also big on prepping the night before too. Hate morning chaos!

sharond101 · 24/07/2019 12:26

We are set up the night before. School bag at the door, uniform out and lunch made. After school clubs mean batch cooking is my saviour.

Asuwere · 24/07/2019 12:33

Play piece and lunch done the night before. Any homework is put straight back in bags once completed. I always think I'm missing something out when I read threads like this as I don't find the mornings stressful at all.

m0jit0 · 24/07/2019 12:35

Same routine every morning, stuff laid out/packed the night before.

PopWentTheWeasel · 24/07/2019 13:07

Get as much done the night before as you can, get uniforms out, bags packed and stored together ready to go. Work out the time you want to leave, go back 5 minutes, and then work back from then all the things you need to get done, teeth, uniform on, breakfast etc. Also never have the TV on or breakfast cereal will hit the floor and nothing will get done. My husband said it was like a military operation in our house but it gets us out the door on time.

DownRightAmazing · 24/07/2019 14:02

Everyone knows their role in our household, we never argue or nag or fallout - unless someone is ill/away from home and then it all falls apart!

DS is 6, he is responsible for getting himself breakfast and dressed - he knows what uniform he needs to wear and it's all within his reach so we don't lay it out the night before, he just gets it. In early summer he checks with me each day to see if it's shorts or trousers weather but otherwise he is fully independent. I have an alarm set for 5 mins before we need to leave and he knows that's the cue to get shoes on, and coats etc in winter. Shoes live on the shoe rack, hats, scarfs, gloves in a box by the door and our coatrack is multilevel so his coat is at his height.

I check his book bag the night before, so his water bottle etc. In the mornings I get myself and baby DD up and dressed and DH makes me a cup of tea whilst I feed her. DH does chores like loading/unloading the dishwasher and often getting laundry on in the morning before he goes to work - he also feeds the rabbit. Tbh we are a well oiled machine.

ThomasRichard · 24/07/2019 14:18

I made a poster for each child with labelled pictures of what they need to do each morning: get dressed, brush your teeth, put your lunchbox in your bag, feed pet, put on shoes... It’s worked surprisingly well. They know they need to do all of that before 7.30 to earn 20p towards their pocket money. If it’s not done by 7.30 but is done before I need to remind them they get 10p and if I have to remind them they don’t earn anything. Marvellous most days!

Thiswayorthatway · 24/07/2019 14:22

Preparation the night before is key, including Mummy packing her bag.

littlepooch · 24/07/2019 14:24

Everything organised the night before - clothes laid out for all including me, bags packed, shoes by the door etc. I prep breakfast as much as possible - table laid etc.

I wash and dry everything for swimming / sports / ballet bags when we get home from that activity and repack the bag straightaway so it's ready for when it's next needed.

If I know we have an early start I will shower the night before.

InvisibleHamster · 24/07/2019 14:54

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 hope and prayers.

maclinks · 24/07/2019 14:56

The night before get everything ready and I always plan to arrive at school early, if everything falls into place and we arrive early we sit in the car for 5 mins and we read through their school story book, or look at the words in their word tin...a sort of homework 5 mins. They then get 10 mins of running around in the playground with other children and I get to catch up with the gossip before the school bell goes. That 15 mins I get there early is really fun but if things go wrong or the traffic is bad it gives me elbow room and takes the stress off the morning.

HotChocWithCream · 24/07/2019 15:12

My son has a set spot (comfy chair in his bedroom) where his underwear, socks and uniform are laid out at night. I buy him 5 sets of school uniform (as I work full time and he always gets dirty playing football at lunch!). I wash it all on Saturdays and iron it at some point on Sundays. That way I can easily grab items from his wardrobe every night. I have his name written in sharpie pen on EVERYTHING! Even his shoes!

When he gets up he knows to shower/brush his teeth then get dressed. He then goes downstairs and helps himself to cereal, fresh orange and a yoghurt. He's eat breakfast whilst watching kids morning tv.

Downstairs we have a coat stand. One of the lower sections is dedicated to him for school. It has his school jacket, school bag and lunch bag. He takes the lunch bag to the kitchen and fills it with his lunch box (pre-made night before ion bottom shelf of fridge so he can reach it!). He then goes to the shoe cupboard and grabs his school shoes and we're good to go!

I have a dedicated section in the fridge for "school lunch items" that everyone knows they are not allowed to eat. Otherwise I'd be at the shops every day topping up!

When he comes home he puts his entire school uniform in a dedicated laundry bag that I grab on Saturday mornings and throw into the washing machine. That way I'm not scavenging through the main laundry basket looking for bits of uniform!

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