7 Tips to get kids out the door on time!


Back To School Tips Organizing Parenting 2

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to worry less about being late because getting out the door is a smooth process? That is certainly the goal with our large family. One thing I know, kids make us late! Or rather not being organized and ready for the things that come up make us late! Of course there are people who are just always late as is, this just gets to be much worse when they themselves reproduce little latelings! I will not admit to possibly being one of those people, and I will not tell you even that there is a cure, but I can give you some solutions!

It is the perfect time of year, Back To School, to start setting yourself and your kids up for success. It isn’t going to be costly and after you figure out what works for you, it will be smooth. Remember though, it takes 21 days to make a habit they say, so give these tips 3 weeks to really set in and when at first there are stumbling points, keep adjusting a bit to make things work for your family!

 How to get a big family out the door on time!

1. Bags and Shoes by the Door!

Every on time person knows that the #1 key to how they peacefully get from A – Z is being organized. Everything has it’s place! This can be more difficult with small children who like to put things where ever they happen to fall. If the whole family though know to take off shoes at the door and put them in a basket, closet, or under a bench then this is a quick task everyone can manage together. If you are like my family and have many children, put this important area under the protection of one of them who will be in charge of keeping the area neat! Hang backpacks, baby bags, coats in this area as well.

2. Keep the Bags Stocked!

While our youngest is already 2 years old, like many parents of toddlers, we still have a baby bag, and with good reason! It is perfect for stocking with diapers, wipes (used for a million things!) spare trash bags, tissues, crackers, spare sippy cup, spare clothing, a few small toys, a brush! Really, even if you don’t have a little one still in diapers, you will want to keep a “to go bag” even if it just lives in your car or van. Keep a spare outfit for each child, wipes are a must, paper towels even, a brush, some good books as you never know when you will be stuck some place. I know some Moms even keep a few gift cards in their to go bag in case a kid says “It’s my best friends birthday and I forgot the party after school and I need a gift!”

3. Pack your emergency bag into your to-go bag!

Parents need an emergency bag that is a bit different I think than most. Of course you need your typical band-aids, just more of them and in fun colors I think! You also though need just “more” than the normal items. Add things like kids meds, a thermometer, a puke bag even! We keep spare pencils and paper, chap stick, some cash, back up charger, hand sanitizer, needle and thread, small scissors, tape, duck tape, safety pins, hair bands, mini screw drivers or travel leatherman, rubber bands, fingernail clippers. There are even disposable little tooth brush things you can add to it! Some moms even have essential oils they use in their vans to calm everyone down when things get stressful. Some have stress balls and spare fidget spinners even! You name it, you might need it. I know it sounds weird but truly such a little kit can save you time and keep you on time! Once we were out and one of my daughters found herself freaking out over her bangs being “too long” suddenly. Clearly no time to go get them trimmed, and knowing how to do them quickly myself, we just rushed out the door. When we got to our destination and she got out. I grabbed the small scissors and right there in the parking lot gathered her bands, did the twist, trimmed them a quarter inch, and she was happy and off she went. On time even! Little kits like this save parents time and time again! Put one together, it is worth it.

4. Have and Electronics Station.

With 5 kids who are wonderfully geeky we have found it important like many households now to have a dedicated electronics charging station. This helps things not get lost so often. Nothing worse than losing all important charging cords! Also keeping them in one area helps with safety concerns with a toddler! Charging stations can be fun to organize and as simple and cute as you like to match your decor. For us, being practical geeks, ours is simple and not at all hidden away. The idea we go with is at night all ipads, kindles, kids cells phones, 3 DS, back up chargers, get put to bed and plugged in. When we are heading out the door, the oldest child is in charge of throwing a lot of these items in the to-go bag along with their cords. Really though ideally you will have extra cords in your car or van for these. We have a power converter in our van but not all the charging cords, yet!

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5. Quick Yummy Foods

One of the secrets to success with kids and getting out the door fast is having the house stocked with on the go snacks. In our to go bag we have staple snacks, and also a lunch box that we put ice packs in and our cold snacks. Cold snacks are such a treat and living in the deep south, they are so needed as well. So after having each child fill their water bottles, the second oldest child grabs the cold snacks. We try to keep well stocked! One of the go-to snacks these days are Dannon Danimals. If we are running low or it has been a busy week it is easy to hit a local walmart, pick up the 12 pack of Danimals (perfect for a big family like ours!) grab some fruit that travels well, and the other needed snacks, and out we go!

Getting snacks at walmart

When you know what you kids love and have a routine, it makes things faster! I love them as the kids love them, no spoons needed, and they have Vitamin D and calcium. We have been doing a LOT of pokemon raids as a geeky family and often gathering and coordinating with hundreds of other people. We have to be fast, organized, and well stocked! Danimals is a go to snack for us for sure!


Dannimals baby

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Photo Aug 07, 5 53 30 PM

6. Clothing is Ready!

This is a hard one for my family who are constantly behind in laundry and it seems like someone is always growing out of “all their jeans” or shorts or long sleeves or sweaters. One of the great things about back-to-school time is many kids are getting stocked up on clothing for the season that fits. You can organize it all into closet systems or drawers by day for your child so there is no question in their minds about what they happen to be wearing come Monday morning. Of course there are brilliant people who go with buying multiples of the same tops and bottoms and streamline their clothing so it is more efficient, and uniforms for schools can be helpful in that way, but that is not what most of us are going to do. I know homeschoolers who are waldorf and Montessori who color coordinate the days of the week, so Mondays are red, and Tuesdays are yellow and so forth. I always think that is so cool but alas, I am not that organized and my kids have a fashion sense all their own! Some large families have their kids in a single color, so the oldest boy loves red so all his clothing is some kind of red and the youngest daughter loves green so all her clothing would be all greens. This helps make things faster when doing laundry apparently. What ever you choose to do, pick your battle. Lay out clothing the night before or do it weekly with a weekly system!

7. Plan Ahead!

For years when asked how we manage all these kids and getting places I tell them that each time we have a new baby we add 30 minutes to an alarm clock that tells us to get ready. So if we had a homeschool field trip to be at by 10am, and we had 2 kids, and it took 30 minutes to get there, I would start getting them ready at 8:30am. This was because soon as I said we need to start to get ready someone needed to find shoes, another couldn’t find their brush, and then they wanted to eat though they had been up for hours playing or watching TV, and then of course things would be forgotten soon as we got in the car. So as we had more and more kids I kept adding 30 more minutes. Of course with a new baby came my own issues! I would forget the diaper bag, or binki, or baby carrier, always something as in the chaos of heading out the door things became a blur. Eventually going any place was such a hassle we became more home bodies truth be told. Then we got a system, because homeschooling isn’t about being home…. it is about being in the world too! So now, we just need 10 minutes heads up and we can get out the door and not forget anything and if we do, our to-go bag and emergency kit tends to save the day!


Let us know if any of these tips are useful to you and if you have any tips of your own on how to make getting places on time easier with kids! 

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