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27 Hacks for Moms Who Suck at Mornings

For the most part, I feel like I am at odds with mornings. I suck at them and I hate it, especially as I watch my husband seemingly glide through them, checking off his imaginary to-do list with (appeared) ease. He's just way too good at the a.m. thing. (Yet, somehow I managed to assume the responsibly of morning drop-offs.)

Becoming a parent meant that I had to come to terms with mornings. And for a small moment in time, when they were filled with a sweet baby and cuddles, I loved them. Nowadays I'm navigating life with a tween and a pre-threenager, dragging my feet through the final days of summer break. I already know, in just a matter of days, it's about to get real.

So I've been making more of an effort to reintroduce a bit more routine into our lives while looking for ways to work smarter not harder. I'm also holding on to this: Each morning, I have the opportunity to set the tone not just for my day but also for my husband and my children.

If you're like me, you're going to need these hacks to help us start winning when it comes to mornings.

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1. Drink a glass of water before you get out of bed (one down, seven+ more to go) to rehydrate yourself and start your day on a healthy note.

2. Go to sleep in your workout gear so when you wake up, you're ready to go.

3. Store smoothie ingredients in individual bags to make morning smoothie preparation even easier, or put all your ingredients into your blender the night before and refrigerate.

4. Freeze leftover smoothies in popsicle molds for future morning meals or snacks.

5. Prepare meals for the entire week and store them in the fridge or freezer for easy access.

6. Create "take home" and "take to school" folders for each of your kids. Be sure to check folders nightly for papers that may need to be signed and returned.

7. Post a checklist on the door listing the items everyone should have on hand before leaving the house.

8. At night, use a satin pillowcase to help prevent/reduce frizz.

9. Keep an extra set of clothing in the car—coffee spills, epic diaper blowouts and spit-ups and spilled potluck dishes happen. Do this for your children, too.

10. Keep a stash of dollar bills and change on hand or in the car. It's perfect for those days when you get to drop-off and your kid realizes their lunch is at home on the counter.

11. Keep a makeup bag of travel-sized toiletries with you, that way your world doesn't crumble in the event that your cycle starts or you forget to put on deodorant.

12. Before bed, place your alarm clock out of reach so you have to get up to turn it off. Kind of annoying but it works!

13. Have a "day-of-the-week" breakfast.

14. Or better yet, have the same thing every day during the week: cereal/oatmeal/bagels/yogurt. Although this might seem a little boring, it removes the need to make another decision in the morning. Besides you can always change it up the following week.

15. Use mason jars for storing grab-and-go meals. No time to eat breakfast before heading out? Grab some oatmeal—in a jar, of course.

16. Use dryer sheets to remove deodorant stains from clothing.

17. Iron clothes—shirt collars and skirt hems—with a hair straightener.

18. Have everyone plan a whole weeks' worth of outfits Sunday night (remember to take a look at the seven-day forecast).

19. Glue magnets to the backs of cups and stick them onto the refrigerator so that children can get their own drinks.

20. Store bibs on the back of a high chair using a Command hook.

21. Buy an egg slicer. In addition to slicing eggs, you can use it for slicing fruit for breakfast and snacks.

22. Layer mattress sheet covers with sheet protectors in between them while potty training for quick cleanup after a post-bedtime accident.

23. Purchase a face moisturizer that has sunscreen in it for one less step in your morning routine.

24. Hang wrinkled clothes in the bathroom while you shower.

25. Add a carabiner clip to the passenger seat headrest to keep your purse upright and within easy reach. No more watching as the contents of your purse spill out onto the floor at a red light.

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26. Have a designated place for backpacks, purses, keys, etc.—that way everything is ready to go in the morning. Think of how much time you'll save by not having to search for your keys!

27. If you work outside of your home, keep a couple spoons and forks in your car. Ever been reduced to eating a salad with your fingers?

Image via Twenty20

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