The easy morning routine for school that will get your family up, ready, and out the door on time–even on Mondays.

By Melanie Mannarino
Updated August 14, 2018
Robert D. Barnes/Getty Images

No one likes having a stressful morning routine for school that ends up making you late. It knocks you off your game, messes with your mood... and usually results in you leaving something essential at home, right on the kitchen counter. These tips and hacks will help you wake up on time, get ready fast, and head to school with minutes to spare. And not one of these ideas involves setting the alarm any earlier than you have to. Follow these simple strategies to streamline your morning routine for school and you’ll never be late for first period again.

Your Morning Routine for School: Part One

The night before...

  1. Check the weather forecast. Knowing the weather for tomorrow will help you pack your bag and plan your outfit (keep reading).
  2. Pack your bag. Make sure your books, papers, laptop, keys and anything else you need (sunglasses? umbrella?) for tomorrow are packed up and waiting by the front door. The more you do when you’re wide awake, the less you’ll forget tomorrow morning.
  3. Charge your devices. Laptop, tablet, phone—make sure they’re powered up for tomorrow.
  4. Pick an outfit. With the forecast in mind, you know whether to dress for sun, rain, snow, hot temperatures, or cold. Build from there, from shoes on up. (Now is the time to realize you don’t have clean any socks and adjust accordingly). Put everything on a hook on your bedroom door or over a chair.
  5. Leave the shades open. Blackout shades and curtains are essential on weekends when you can sleep all morning. But on weekdays, use daylight to give you extra motivation to get up and start your morning routine for school.
  6. Move your alarm across the room. It’s way too easy to stop Alexa’s wake-up call from the comfort of your cozy bed. Instead, set an old-school digital clock or your phone to at least 30 minutes before you need to leave the house (you’re kidding yourself if you think you can get ready faster), then put it at least four feet from your mattress. When it goes off in the AM, you’ll be forced to get out of bed to turn it off... and from there, it’s just a tiny stumble to the bathroom to wash up.

Your Morning Routine for School: Part Two

The morning of...

  1. Once you’ve turned off your alarm, hit the bathroom. Brushing your teeth is optional right now: Do it if it helps wake you up, otherwise wait till after breakfast (to keep your dentist happy and your smile bright). Other wake-up tactics: Wash your face or shower using a minty-smelling body wash for extra perk-up power.
  2. Make your bed. It takes seconds and should be a regular part of your morning routine for school–you’ll thank yourself tonight when you flop into your well-made bed, exhausted. (Also, you’ll score bonus points with parents.)
  3. Get dressed. This should take seconds since you prepared last night. (Don’t switch outfits on impulse—save that good idea for tomorrow.)
  4. Eat breakfast. After being in sleep mode for at least eight hours (teenagers need eight to 10 hours a night; younger kids need even more), you need to refuel. Choose a protein-and-carb combo to keep you energized and full till lunch. Think: cereal and milk or toast and nut butter; an egg, yogurt or overnight chia pudding, and fruit. Even a cheese sandwich on whole-grain bread will do the trick—and you can take it to go.
  5. Brush your teeth. Cavity protection, fresh breath—you know the benefits.
  6. Save five minutes for quick chores. Walk the dog, feed the cat, take your little sibling to the bus stop. Rather than check your phone or turn on the TV, do these things now while you still have time.
  7. Head out. Grab your bag as you leave the house, lock up if you have to, and get going!