See how Brandi Milloy, the new host of Simply, adds moments of zen to start her day—even with two small kids.
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Weekday mornings always feel a little frazzled—especially if you're trying to get yourself and little ones ready. Brandi Milloy, the new host of Real Simple's Simply video series, has some hacks to help make the morning routine more relaxed, easier to manage, and a lot more zen.

Try one (or more!) of these strategies to see if they can streamline your mornings.

Wake up early

Brandi suggests waking up at least an hour before everyone else, which means 5:30 a.m. in her house. She sets an alarm on her Wake Up Light Rise Alarm Clock and starts the morning with a hydrating drink of water from a large Hydroflask she keeps at her bedside. Waking up early allows her to spend some quiet time with her husband, sipping coffee or reading—no phones allowed.

Move your body

Working out and moving every morning is important to Brandi, who feels it's essential to her physical and mental well-being. A brisk walk to the beach and back, attending a "mommy" bootcamp, or even just walking to her favorite coffee shop in the morning ensures she is getting a healthy endorphin boost.

Make it easy for everyone to pitch in

Not every household can split morning responsibilities when it comes to the children, but Brandi says "tag teaming" things like school lunches and getting the kids dressed has helped her family save a ton of time and make things work more efficiently.   

Brandi lets the kids help with breakfast by keeping healthy foods stocked in easy-to-access drawers and cabinets. Using kid-safe knives lets them prep their own fresh fruit and gets them invested in what they're eating.

A drawer dedicated to all of the kids' dishes makes it easy for them to grab anything they need.

School lunch hack

A snack drawer is key to packing a lunch quickly and easily. Organizing nonperishable snacks in different containers in a drawer makes it simple to see what you have so you can grab and go. Brandi uses a Planetbox Rover Bento Box for her daughter's lunch, which helps guide her to include a variety of foods.

Store items where you need them

Brandi keeps her kids' bags and homework right near the front door to ensure a smooth transition out of the house. Socks are kept in baskets, so when it's time to leave, everyone can grab their socks and shoes for the day without running back to their rooms to search for them.

Create a routine

The key to having a smooth day comes down to a consistent routine. When everyone in Brandi's family is on the same page, it makes getting out the door so much easier.