SURVIVING THE SCHOOL RUN // tips & tricks for a smoother morning routine


I just can’t believe it’s been three years since this photo was taken, just after Big Sis started school. So. Darn. Cute! 

I’ll put my hands up and admit that at first I was an absolutely rubbish school mum. I’d forget forms, and lunch boxes, and mufti days (cue some muffled swear words, and a u-turn back home to get Big Sis changed), and pretty much everything else at one point or another.

And, no matter how quickly I rushed around in the morning, I was never quite on time. I was that one always hurtling through the school gates as the bell rang, herding Big Sis into the line as the kids were shuffling into class.

But I’ve picked up a few pointers over the years – some school run tips and tricks that make my mornings slightly less disastrous; maybe they can help you too!

• If you have children with long hair, wash it the night before and plait it so it’s easy to brush the next morning.

• Buy plastic bowls with lids and fill them with cereal the night before. Fill a screw-top drink bottle with milk, and put it in the fridge door. While you shower the kids can get their bowls, and pour our their own milk (my girls were doing this from four and six years old).

• Lay uniforms out the night before, including socks and shoes, and encourage children to dress themselves. There might be some ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ to begin with but it will free up a bit of your time and they’ll love the feeling of independence it gives them. In fact, sort out your own outfit too – it’s actually quite a relief not to have to think about it when you’re half asleep and have a whingey child hanging off your leg.

• Empty school bags as soon as you get home, and if there are any newsletters, put important dates in the calendar straight away. Then make sure you check the calendar! If they need anything the following day, get it ready the night before. Give each child their own drawer or cubby hole, so they can grab what they need the next day.

• Make school lunches the evening before – it might be tempting to put them off until the morning, but they’ll just slow you down. While you’re at it, swap cakes and slices for wholemeal sandwiches. Forgo dried fruit for fresh fruit, and keep chocolate for special occasions at home. Kids will eat as much sugar as they can get away with, so remove the option. Installing healthy eating habits now will help them make better choices later in life.

Wow. I almost sound organised, don’t I?! I’ve certainly come a long way, but I’m definitely more of a work in progress. How about you? What are your best time-saving school tips?

• Read about how we made home-made lavender pouches for teachers’ gifts, or the time aliens visited our home to give Big Sis a confidence boost. 


  1. Lots of great tips, thanks for sharing. We start Reception in September and am sure I will be using lots of these hacks! xx

    • So glad you found them helpful Dominique – and also quite relieved that I’ve actually learned SOMETHING of use over the past three years… 😉 xx

  2. Some great tips Jacqui! You sound super organised! #TipsandTricks

    • Haha! I wish I actually was! Would make life run a lot more smoothly… 😉 x

  3. Haha I am STILL that Mum after three years. My tip is to get your children into the habit of doing any homework on the day it is given rather than leaving it, forgetting and it then becoming a last minute rush (they get too much but it needs doing nonetheless) x

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