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For those of us who aren't natural morning people, waking up and getting on the road on time can be a bit of a struggle. Once you add kids to that equation, it can feel downright impossible to get everyone dressed, fed, packed, and to their various destinations before they're marked tardy. So, what are busy parents to do? Surely there's a way to make it all a little easier.

Bumps in the road are bound to happen, but with school starting, it's especially important to get into a streamlined morning routine. With a little preparation, you can avoid the drama and never be late for school again. Read on for a few tips, and get ready for the best year yet!

1. Establish A Quick Caffeine Source

If there's one thing that can take the pain out of the waking hours relatively quickly, it's caffeine. If you're a coffee addict like us, then you might consider investing in a coffee maker that starts brewing automatically at a certain time, or even trying out an instant option that can make it that much simpler to get your day going.

2. Pack Up

Do you ever feel like a bag lady when you're lugging a handbag, laptop case, gym bag and more out the door in the morning? When you think about adding the kids' book bags, lunch boxes and extracurricular equipment to the mix, it can feel like heading out for a week-long vacation every single time you head out the door. Take the scramble out of getting on the road with everything everyone needs by packing all the numerous bags at night and lining them up near the front door, where they won't be forgotten. You can even corral them into larger lightweight totes, like the ones from IKEA, so that you're only technically loading one or two bags in your trunk instead of a dozen.

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3. Meal Prep

Whether it's breakfast or lunch, the two meals that can add the most stress to your morning routine, make sure you've got some quick options planned out ahead of time. If you've got time to cook a full breakfast, great! But if not, brainstorm your options the night before and make sure you've got all the ingredients you'll need. For lunch, consider making your fridge a grab-and-go station, with things like sandwiches and snack packs already sorted, so assembling a lunch is as easy as tossing a few pre-packed items into your cute lunch bag. Done and done!

4. Pick Your Outfit

You've tried this before, right? It may seem silly, but when you take the guess work out of picking your clothes in the morning, it's amazing how much time you can save. And the same goes for the kids! Of course, there will be those days when a sudden surge of inspo comes over you and you go rogue, but picking out an outfit at night will definitely save you loads of time and stress.

5. Map it Out

Take a moment in the evenings to sit down with your thoughts and get acclimated with the next day's schedule. Do the kids have early doctor appointments? Do you need to get them to school early, so you can make it to a big meeting? Mentally prepare for it all before you hit the sack so that by the morning, you're ready to seize the day.